Difference between revisions of "2550: Webb"

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(Explanation: (adding references in previous comics))
(Explanation: put my comment about Cueball's question back in, with a longer explanation)
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A normal advent calendar marks the days until Christmas by allowing 'doors' to be opened, or other means of revealing some treat/picture. This is often from the 1st of the month until the 'big reveal' on the 25th, though other schemes may exist for cultural reasons. This particular calendar features 18 hexagonal features, intended to be sequentially accessed over several days, deliberately similar to the 18 gold-beryllium mirrors designed to fold out to form the JWST's compound reflector. The Hubble Space Telescope's mirror panels, along with those on the the yet to launch James Webb Space Telescope, are hexagonal. The first door is on the 5th, two days after this comic's publication date, while the last is the 22nd, marking 'The Big Day'.
 
A normal advent calendar marks the days until Christmas by allowing 'doors' to be opened, or other means of revealing some treat/picture. This is often from the 1st of the month until the 'big reveal' on the 25th, though other schemes may exist for cultural reasons. This particular calendar features 18 hexagonal features, intended to be sequentially accessed over several days, deliberately similar to the 18 gold-beryllium mirrors designed to fold out to form the JWST's compound reflector. The Hubble Space Telescope's mirror panels, along with those on the the yet to launch James Webb Space Telescope, are hexagonal. The first door is on the 5th, two days after this comic's publication date, while the last is the 22nd, marking 'The Big Day'.
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Cueball's question could be interpreted two ways: Cueball doesn't know about JWST, so he is asking why this advent calendar ends before Christmas; or Cueball does know about JWST and its history of delays, so he is asking why the calendar ends on 22 when there is no certainty in that launch date (and also implying that he expects it to be delayed).
  
 
The title text references the fact that chocolates in advent calendars are often molded into different shapes, and the fact that the later numbers have a "pamphlet on managing anxiety" is probably supposed to quell the impeding fear that the launch would be delayed. The telescope's launch was initially planned for 2007, but due to various redesigns, financial issues, accidents, flaws, and the {{w|COVID-19 pandemic}}, the launch date was pushed back to 2011, then 2013, 2018, 2020, May 2021, October 2021, and finally to the current launch date in December 2021. It may also allude to post-launch concerns; even if the launch goes well, there will still be nervousness about reaching its intended observation point, unfolding/deploying successfully, and passing its final calibrations without problems. There are effectively no means to rescue/repair this expensive piece of equipment should anything be discovered to be amiss, unlike the {{w|Hubble Space Telescope}}, which was visited a number of times by the Space Shuttles to remedy and enhance various features. (There exist issues with even the HST that cannot currently be considered repairable, without the Shuttles or any proven replacement, and the Webb is to be located far beyond Hubble's operational orbit.)
 
The title text references the fact that chocolates in advent calendars are often molded into different shapes, and the fact that the later numbers have a "pamphlet on managing anxiety" is probably supposed to quell the impeding fear that the launch would be delayed. The telescope's launch was initially planned for 2007, but due to various redesigns, financial issues, accidents, flaws, and the {{w|COVID-19 pandemic}}, the launch date was pushed back to 2011, then 2013, 2018, 2020, May 2021, October 2021, and finally to the current launch date in December 2021. It may also allude to post-launch concerns; even if the launch goes well, there will still be nervousness about reaching its intended observation point, unfolding/deploying successfully, and passing its final calibrations without problems. There are effectively no means to rescue/repair this expensive piece of equipment should anything be discovered to be amiss, unlike the {{w|Hubble Space Telescope}}, which was visited a number of times by the Space Shuttles to remedy and enhance various features. (There exist issues with even the HST that cannot currently be considered repairable, without the Shuttles or any proven replacement, and the Webb is to be located far beyond Hubble's operational orbit.)

Revision as of 07:15, 4 December 2021

Webb
Each one contains a chocolate shaped like a famous spacecraft and, for the later numbers, a pamphlet on managing anxiety.
Title text: Each one contains a chocolate shaped like a famous spacecraft and, for the later numbers, a pamphlet on managing anxiety.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by the JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic depicts an advent calendar geared toward astronomers anticipating the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.

The James Webb Space Telescope is (currently, but after many prior delays) scheduled to be launched on the 22nd of December. Christmas will indeed come early for astronomers should the launch be successful.

A normal advent calendar marks the days until Christmas by allowing 'doors' to be opened, or other means of revealing some treat/picture. This is often from the 1st of the month until the 'big reveal' on the 25th, though other schemes may exist for cultural reasons. This particular calendar features 18 hexagonal features, intended to be sequentially accessed over several days, deliberately similar to the 18 gold-beryllium mirrors designed to fold out to form the JWST's compound reflector. The Hubble Space Telescope's mirror panels, along with those on the the yet to launch James Webb Space Telescope, are hexagonal. The first door is on the 5th, two days after this comic's publication date, while the last is the 22nd, marking 'The Big Day'.

Cueball's question could be interpreted two ways: Cueball doesn't know about JWST, so he is asking why this advent calendar ends before Christmas; or Cueball does know about JWST and its history of delays, so he is asking why the calendar ends on 22 when there is no certainty in that launch date (and also implying that he expects it to be delayed).

The title text references the fact that chocolates in advent calendars are often molded into different shapes, and the fact that the later numbers have a "pamphlet on managing anxiety" is probably supposed to quell the impeding fear that the launch would be delayed. The telescope's launch was initially planned for 2007, but due to various redesigns, financial issues, accidents, flaws, and the COVID-19 pandemic, the launch date was pushed back to 2011, then 2013, 2018, 2020, May 2021, October 2021, and finally to the current launch date in December 2021. It may also allude to post-launch concerns; even if the launch goes well, there will still be nervousness about reaching its intended observation point, unfolding/deploying successfully, and passing its final calibrations without problems. There are effectively no means to rescue/repair this expensive piece of equipment should anything be discovered to be amiss, unlike the Hubble Space Telescope, which was visited a number of times by the Space Shuttles to remedy and enhance various features. (There exist issues with even the HST that cannot currently be considered repairable, without the Shuttles or any proven replacement, and the Webb is to be located far beyond Hubble's operational orbit.)

The JWST has been referenced previously in 1730: Starshade, 2014: JWST Delays, and 2447: Hammer Incident, as well as indirectly in 975: Occulting Telescope and 1461: Payloads.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[Cueball and Ponytail are looking at an advent calendar. The advent calendar is in a hexagon shape, with 18 smaller hexagons with numbers ranging from 5-22 written on them.]
Cueball: The hexagons are nice. But why does it end at 22?
[Caption below the panel:]
Astronomer Advent Calendar


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Discussion

Ah, without edit-conflict being indicated (probably because subsequent new paragraphs could be considered as not 'treading on the toes' of the first one posted), I seem to have added repetitious information. Also I can see that I misbalanced the paragraph sizes as I went into increasingly more detail as I got into the edit. Was going to go back to wikilink/fix/etc, but I should probably leave it to a new eye to better re-edit the whole think 'nicer', taking how much or little inspiration the current mess of text might provide. Have fun! 172.70.85.41 04:49, 4 December 2021 (UTC)

I tried to restructure it a bit (grouping related info, rebalancing paragraph sizes) and resolve the duplication without losing any important information. Hope it looks okay? 172.68.133.99 05:46, 4 December 2021 (UTC)
wtg guys for clearly describing these abstract issues and addressing them 172.70.110.227 16:38, 5 December 2021 (UTC)


Could someone explain why the numbers are arranged the way they are?

It looks like the mirror on the telescope. --172.70.110.171 14:04, 4 December 2021 (UTC)
If a magic hexagon was possible, he would have done it. However, the numbers add up to 243, and with 5 rows, this makes it impossible for each row to add up to the same number. 172.70.110.173 16:29, 4 December 2021 (UTC)
I know some advent calendars go in exact order, but a lot of them are actually ordered randomly. I've got one in my living room where the top row is "2, 17, 8, 10" 172.70.210.237 23:42, 4 December 2021 (UTC)

Alternate explanation: all the astronomers are Moldovian Orthodox Catholics, and they timed the telescope to launch on Christmas Eve in their slightly out-of-sync calendar in which Christmas replaced days 2 & 3 of their week long Winter Solstice Party.Seebert (talk) 17:28, 4 December 2021 (UTC)

Why does it have the small hexagons oriented "pointy side up"? I know this is generally considered a good thing, as far as rocket launches are concerned, but in this case? 162.158.88.91 20:28, 4 December 2021 (UTC)

That's the way the hexagonal mirrors are oriented in the JWST 256.256.256.256 (talk) 12:09, 6 December 2021 (UTC)

The cells on the calendar go from 5 to 22, which I assumed was a reference that astronomers have been waiting since 2005 (when the current mission was replanned) until 2022 (the year the telescope will become active). Rather than counting down 25 days until Christmas, astronomers are counting down 18 years (inclusive) until they get their new toys to play with. 172.70.134.23 00:29, 5 December 2021 (UTC)

It's also just the number of mirrors the telescope has, and the day it launches. 172.70.110.227 16:38, 5 December 2021 (UTC) Cwallenpoole (talk)
I was wondering why 1–4 were missing. Cwallenpoole (talk) 14:28, 6 December 2021 (UTC)

JWST is as fixable as Hubble, if you have Starships. Which NASA is already counting on (and funding) for Artemis.172.70.134.191 21:37, 5 December 2021 (UTC)

Not yet available... Current tech is woefully unable (or unwilling to be put to use) to help with HST, never mind JWST. Retired tech could do Hubble, as proven, but would have been stretched to deal with the Webb. And the Webb isn't even designed to be fixed (though I'm sure they'll still have people working on it if they discover a washer's-worth of mirror misalignment, or whatever...).
That sweet smell of Musk isn't yet right for the job. Even if the business plan says that it will be flying within the next few months, it'd be wishful thinking to rely on it at this point.
(More so than with the sample-driller/collect/return chain of missions currently only a fraction of the way through realisation upon Mars. There's the Return stage to implement almost from scratch (setting up remote launch-site, fully fueled, etc) but the whole rover-with-manipulator thing isn't really an engineering challenge, more a matter of design nuances and the usual amount of (apparently increasing, but surely not infallible) skill and luck in executing the required landings.) 172.70.162.155 00:13, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
Off topic now, but the point about manned missions to Mars is that you _don't_ come back, you colonise. good luck.172.70.162.77 13:19, 6 December 2021 (UTC)

Could it also have to do with the fact that so called "Advent Calendars" tend to have 25 days, even though the Advent Season (Starting 4 Sundays before Christmas) is dependant on what day of the week Dec 25th falls on, and at a minimum 28 days long? Or am I the only one bothered by the fact that the companies making these calendars ignore the meaning of "advent" in the Christmas context, and just arbitrarily start them in December?172.70.34.165 14:24, 6 December 2021 (UTC)

In Denmark we just call it a Christmas Calender (Julekalender) and has no reference to Advent (or the Christ for that matter, they never managed to make us real Christians ;-p ) Also we celebrate on th Eve before the 24th so Santa ha to come while we are still up, as we open the presents on the 24th and thus our x-mas calenders end on the 24th. --Kynde (talk) 10:19, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
In Finland it's complicated. My Lego calendar has 24 windows, daughters L.O.L. toy calendar has 25 windows (haven't seen this kind before) and church sells ones that start on 28.11. since that's the first advent this year.

162.158.238.239 04:38, 20 December 2021 (UTC) It's because hexagons are the bestagons. 172.69.71.98 17:07, 6 December 2021 (UTC)

Hexagons are the Bestagons! love it ;-) --Kynde (talk) 10:19, 8 December 2021 (UTC)

In retrospect, Cueball wasn't wrong - it should have been all the way to December 25. 172.70.85.79 16:28, 24 December 2021 (UTC)

This is actually awesome. I wonder if anyone actually made this? I certainly hope so! 162.158.63.30 10:46, 27 May 2022 (UTC)