Working Stiff: Behind the Webb (Episode 29)

The James Webb Space Telescope needs to be kept as cold as possible in order to detect infrared light from faint and very distant objects. A key component of this is the observatory’s tennis court-sized sunshield, which obstructs the warmth of the Sun. In this episode of “Behind the Webb,” engineers add special structures to the sunshield that shape it to best reflect heat.

“Behind the Webb” is an ongoing series that follows the construction of the Webb Space Telescope, Hubble’s successor. Find more episodes at

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