The New Galileos

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01The James Webb Space Telescope2009043020100510

Meet the scientists behind the James Webb Space Telescope, the gigantic successor to the Hubble Telescope.

In the first of two programmes on modern day telescope builders and astronomers, Andrew Luck-baker talks to some of the 2,000 strong team constructing a telescope unlike any that has been sent into space before.

When launched in 2014, JWST will have by far the largest mirror on a space telescope - 6.5 metres across.

It also needs to sit behind a giant sunshield so that it can chill to the temperature of deep space.

The sun shade covers the area of a tennis court.

One chief goal is be to see deeper into the cosmos than even Hubble has allowed.

The further astronomers see, the further back through the Universe's history they voyage.

With JWST, NASA scientists hope to see the very first stars to light up after the Big Bang, almost 14 billion years ago.

Before these primordial stars, the Universe was just a void of cool, gaseous darkness.

JWST should reveal how and when these stars transformed the infant Universe into a place where planets and people were possible.

Producer: Andrew Luck-baker.

Andrew Luck-baker meets the scientists behind NASA's next giant telescope.

First of two programmes in which Andrew Luck-baker meets today's telescope builders and astronomers.

He meets the scientists behind the James Webb Space Telescope, the gigantic successor to the Hubble Telescope.

From 2013, its mission will be to find the first stars born at the dawn of the universe.

It will have by far the largest mirror on a space telescope, some 6.5 metres across.

It needs to sit behind a giant sunshield, which covers the area of a tennis court, so that it can chill to the temperature of deep space.

The further astronomers can see, the further back through the universe's history they are able to voyage.

JWST should reveal how and when these stars transformed the infant universe into a place where planets and human life became possible.

Andrew Luck-baker meets the scientists behind the James Webb Space Telescope.

02 LASTThe Large Binocular Telescope2009050720100511

Second of two programmes in which Andrew Luck-baker meets today's telescope builders and astronomers.

He meets the scientists behind the Large Binocular Telescope, which will image the universe in even greater detail than the Hubble telescope.

Andrew talks to the astronomers who expect to see planets orbiting and being born around distant stars with the telescope.

He also meets the technologists who designed and constructed the revolutionary observatory with its twin 8.4 metre diameter mirrors, and visits the spinning furnaces in which the giant reflectors were made.

The LBT is a trailblazer for astronomical technologies in the next generation of super-massive telescopes.

Andrew Luck-baker meets the scientists behind the Large Binocular Telescope.

The world's largest telescope is nearing completion on a mountain top in Arizona.

With the combined power of its two giant mirrors, the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) will image the Universe in greater detail than NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Andrew Luck-baker talks to the astronomers who expect to see planets orbitting and being born around distant stars with the telescope.

He also meets the technologists who designed and constructed the revolutionary observatory, and visits the spinning furnaces in which the 8.4 meter diameter mirrors were made.

Producer: Andrew Luck-baker