BBC Sky at Night – February 2022
English | 104 pages | pdf | 60.07 MB
Get ready for the world’s most powerful telescope!
Like most of the astronomical community in the run-up to Christmas 2021 (as we prepared this issue), we were on the edge of our seats here at Sky at Night Magazine with a mix of nerves and excitement at the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Webb is the largest and most complex space telescope ever built, and there is hardly a branch of astronomy that will not benefit from its observations. We look at these on page 98, where Ezzy Pearson speaks to the Director of Sciences and Exploration at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center about the science that the JWST will deliver from its destination in deep space. Then on page 16, Chris Lintott and Lewis Dartnell pick out some of the scientific proposals for Webb’s time which have caught their eye.
Once launched, Webb will go through around 50 major stages of deployment as it unfurls from the nose cone of its launch rocket. This all takes place over two weeks – during which time this issue should have reached you – as the JWST travels to the Sun–Earth L2 Lagrange point, 1.5 million kilometres away. We wish it well on its voyage!
Our view of the stars holds much to look forward to next year too. On page 28, Charlotte Daniels takes a detailed look at some of the most exciting events to come in 2022’s night sky. We hope imagers and visual astronomers find the practical advice here helps with planning some great observations of the conjunctions, occultations and oppositions to come – not forgetting the increasing chance of strong auroral displays.
Enjoy the issue!