Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Will Budget Woes Kill NASA's Next Great Telescope?

The James Webb Space Telescope is the heir apparent to the Hubble Space Telescope

After Hubble: Will Budget Woes Kill NASA's Next Great Telescope? -- Time

Over the past hundred years or so, the science of astronomy has been utterly predictable, in an utterly unpredictable sort of way. Decade after decade, telescopes got steadily bigger and more powerful, and expanded their range beyond ordinary visible light into the hidden realms of ultraviolet, infrared, radio waves and more. And with every one of those leaps, astronomers discovered something unexpected and astonishing — massive black holes spewing blasts of energy into space, tiny neutron stars spinning a thousand times a second, dark matter pushing galaxies around like toys, and even the afterglow of the Big Bang at the dawn of time.

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