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Wednesday, 13 July 2022


Indeed, excellent low-light and low noise! But just slightly more expensive than the latest Phase One rig. Just slightly.

For all you looking for a higher res camera, here are some A/B pix of Hubble vs Webb (sorry linked on twitter):
The two images are several a week exposure from Hubble and 12.5 hours exposure from James Webb, admittedly visible light vs IR.

The first tweet is from an Associate Prof at U Michigan. The second from a self labelled space nerd.

Thus proving the adage “The best camera is the one you have with you”.

Not only an amazing photo but this is a “way back time machine” as well. Viewing this should make anyone with an overblown sense of importance realize what a tiny little twit they really are.

Like anyone else, I too am thrilled and amazed by the new Webb telescope photos of our distant universe. Then again, there's something that kinda rubs me the wrong way about some of 'em- and for reasons well beyond tangential. For whatever reason, they just remind me of all those many, many photos out there of super sharp, super colorful, super detailed, beyond realism postcard landscapes (slot canyons, anyone?) that are so universally popular and ubiquitous these days. Fair comparison, absolutely not- not even a valid analogy, just the association that somehow prevents me from fully enjoying the new Webbs...

The Institute that is home for the project team is nearby. Amazing that the universe is accessible just down the road.


Fabulous! I wonder if the next administration will shut it down? After all, the James Webb:

1. Represents science and analysis.
2. Shows light older than 4000 years.
3. Is run by a government agency.

Once again proving the old adage that "The best camera is the one you lust after but really can't afford!"

Amazing images and, as others have said, the sheer scale of our universe (or what we can see of it) is beyond comprehension. We are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

We don't know if it's the Best Camera in the Universe. Maybe there is someone on planet Zog1234 looking at us right now with a bigger one!
Seriously though, sometimes it seems to an outsider like me that the USA is broken, but achievements like the JWST show that it is still the greatest country on earth.

Problem with astrophotography is that it's a numbers game, as I wrote in https://wolfgang.lonien.de/2022/07/pictures-from-jwst/ two days ago - that's why I gave it up after barely trying it. My longest exposure with the camera riding piggyback on some telescope I could never afford was 50 minutes, and it shows the nearby light pollution and some airplanes as well: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wjlonien/26260428525/in/album-72157664531370473/

Just a plug for the most enthusiastic astrophysicist on the internet (to my knowledge!)
The one and only Dr Becky.
If you don't care much about space you need to meet Dr Becky.

Seeing how the galaxies are shaped in this image, I tempted to say - nice swirly bokeh, but NASA missed out on that trend by a few years.

Yes, I know it’s not swirly bokeh. Sometimes I just can’t help being a smart-@r$e :~)

On a more serious note, seeing JWST ramping up on one end of the scale and LHC ramping up at CERN on the other end of the scale, we are living in exciting times for science.

Some have said seeing the Webb images feels like time travel, being witness to events of the past. Indeed.

We now can see the singularity that gave us the 'starburst' filter.

I grew out of space fantasies during my teens. It is of absolutely no interest to me what lies out there in space. It will always be beyond my ability to reach it, thank goodness, and let’s hope it remains just as difficult for anything with a brain that may be out there, to access Earth!

It’s not that I became particularly cynical as youth departed - after all, let’s face it, I did devote myself to making photography become a sustaining career, something that has always required a smidgen more optimism than realism. No, it is something else about such preoccupations that upsets me: humanity has far more immediate problems to fix, right down here on terra not always so firma. I could start with basic survival of the species, where you have various administrations with no mind to take guns away from half-crazed citizens, “patriots”, turbulent school children et al. or even force people to follow obvious health advice in times of widespread infections. I could throw in a few examples of other messes that require urgent fixes, but they don’t provide escapism, so who cares whether or not medicine is available free at point of delivery (of course we know it has to be funded by the citizenry) and cancer treatments don’t depend on the thickness of your insurance portfolio.

As I suggested, we should fix things that it’s within our combined powers to fix, not waste national/international time, money and brain-power chasing Martians riding about on their on space unicorns.

Was this done using the world's largest mirrorless camera?

This thing isn't all that advanced. It's not mirrorless.

The Hubble deep field view has been my computer background for years. Viewing it on the regular keeps me humble. Looks like I have to upgrade to keep on the path.

Understanding what that view represents makes it extraordinarily difficult to conclude life on earth is the sum of all that is intelligent in the universe.

"...it's way beyond incomprehensible."

Yup, more stars in the universe than grains of sand in all the beaches and deserts on Earth!


Best camera in the _known_ universe. ;)

Pretty amazing.

Of the many astonishing things about the James Webb Space [Camera], the latest thing for me is just how fast it is, in multiple senses but particularly in terms of data gathering and transmission, especially compared to Hubble. And it still boggles my mind how many operations had to go perfectly right for it to work at all.

It's also cool that it's a collective project supported and funded by some half a billion citizens in 29 countries, which includes, I believe, most of TOP's readers.

I see the occasional complaint about how much it costs, but here's a good article putting that cost (not merely financial) into perspective and context: https://www.planetary.org/articles/cost-of-the-jwst

For one thing, the cost is spread over 24 years. For another, it's a very tiny bit of overall government spending no matter how you slice it. And there's the precedent of the Hubble telescope, which after surviving comparatively more serious delays and overruns, was extraordinarily successful and fruitful.

I prefer to think of JWST as proof that we can achieve extraordinary things when we cooperate and let expertise lead. It gives me hope.

In response to Speed & Grant - LOL.
I’d say no, on a technicality.
JWST has 18 of them :~)

I wrote above, "Was this done using the world's largest mirrorless camera?"


Both Hubble and JWST are reflecting telescopes, which means that they collect light from the cosmos using mirrors.


But they are not like the mirrors in an SLR in that they don't flip up and out of the way when a picture is snapped.

Confused? Ask Mike -- he explains things for a living.

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