JWST

James Webb Space Telescope

The New York Film Academy is partnering with National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA GSFC) & Northrop Grumman. The goal of this collaboration is to increase overall scientific and educational awareness and interest among the general public through the documentation of the development of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The following products of this collaboration are currently being produced by the Academy’s leading faculty and student members  –

  • 30-90 second Public Service Announcements (PSA’s) that will highlight the overall motivation and development of JWST
  • 3-5 minute short videos featuring pertinent JWST missions, scientists, and engineers
  • Short animations of key astronomical phenomena that JWST will observe

View these projects on our videos page.

The James Webb Space Telescope

The New York Film Academy is proud to officially collaborate with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Northrop Grumman Corporation to increase overall scientific and educational awareness and interest among the general public through the documentation of the development of the James Webb Space Telescope (often referred to as JWST or Webb).

JWST will be a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror. The telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana in October of 2018. JWST will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

The James Webb Space Telescope is an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is managing the development effort. The main industrial partner is Northrop Grumman; the Space Telescope Science Institute will operate JWST after launch.

Several innovative technologies have been developed for JWST. These include a primary mirror made of 18 separate segments that unfold and adjust to shape after launch. The mirrors are made of ultra-lightweight beryllium. JWST’s biggest feature is a tennis court sized five-layer sunshield that attenuates heat from the Sun more than a million times. The telescope’s four instruments—cameras and spectrometers—have detectors that are able to record extremely faint signals. One instrument (NIRSpec) has programmable microshutters, which enable observation up to 100 objects simultaneously. JWST also has a cryocooler for cooling the mid-infrared detectors of another instrument (MIRI) to a very cold 7 K so they can work.

Our students had the privilege to work with Dr. Matthew Greenhouse, the ISIM (Integrated Science Instrument Module) Project Scientist on JWST. Dr. Greenhouse answered students’ questions and has been instrumental in helping them gain a better understanding of the project and the science surrounding it.