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NASA begins process of bringing new space telescope into focus

Webb is about 100 times more powerful than Hubble, enabling it to observe objects at greater distances, thus farther back in time, than Hubble or any other telescope

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NASA begins process of bringing new space telescope into focus
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California: NASA embarked on a months-long, painstaking process of bringing its newly launched James Webb Space Telescope into focus, a task due for completion in time for the revolutionary eye in the sky to begin peering into the cosmos by early summer.

Mission control engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, began by sending their initial commands to tiny motors called actuators that slowly position and fine-tune the telescope's principal mirror.

Consisting of 18 hexagonal segments of gold-plated beryllium metal, the primary mirror measures 21 feet 4 inches (6.5 m) in diameter - a much larger light-collecting surface than Webb's predecessor, the 30-year-old Hubble Space Telescope.

The 18 segments, which had been folded together to fit inside the cargo bay of the rocket that carried the telescope to space, were unfurled with the rest of its structural components during a two-week period following Webb's launch on Dec. 25.

Those segments must now be detached from fasteners that held them in place for the launch and then moved forward half an inch from their original configuration - a 10-day process - before they can be aligned to form a single, unbroken, light-collecting surface.

The alignment will take an additional three months, Lee Feinberg, the Webb optical telescope element manager at Goddard, told Reuters by telephone.

Aligning the primary mirror segments to form one large mirror means each segment "is aligned to one-five-thousandth the thickness of a human hair", Feinberg said.

"All of this required us to invent things that had never been done before," such as the actuators, which were built to move incrementally at -400 Fahrenheit (-240 Celsius) in the vacuum of space, he added.

The telescope's smaller, secondary mirror, designed to direct light collected from the primary lens into Webb's camera and other instruments, must also be aligned to operate as part of a cohesive optical system.

If all goes as planned, the telescope should be ready to capture its first science images in May, which would be processed over about another month before they can be released to the public, Feinberg said.

The $9-billion telescope, described by NASA as the premier space-science observatory of the next decade, will mainly view the cosmos in the infrared spectrum, allowing it to gaze through clouds of gas and dust where stars are being born. Hubble has operated primarily at optical and ultraviolet wavelengths.

Webb is about 100 times more powerful than Hubble, enabling it to observe objects at greater distances, thus farther back in time, than Hubble or any other telescope.

Astronomers say this will bring into view a glimpse of the cosmos never previously seen - dating to just 100 million years after the Big Bang, the theoretical flashpoint that set in motion the expansion of the observable universe an estimated 13.8 billion years ago.

The telescope is an international collaboration led by NASA in partnership with the European and Canadian space agencies. Northrop Grumman Corp was the primary contractor.

SOURCE: Reuters

Pakistan

Youm-e-Ashur to be observed with due solemnity on Tuesday

Mourning processions will be taken out in all cities and towns of the country. 

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Youm-e-Ashur to be observed with due solemnity on Tuesday

Lahore: Yaum-e-Ashur, the tenth of Moharram-ul-Haram, will be observed on Tuesday across the country with due solemnity to pay homage to the supreme sacrifice rendered by Hazrat Imam Hussain Razi Allah ho Ta'ala Anho and his devoted companions in Karbala.

Mourning processions will be taken out in all cities and towns of the country. 

Ulema and Zakireen will highlight the bright and candid teachings of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A.) and various aspects of Karbla tragedy.

Meanwhile, in connection with the 9th Muharram today, Taazia and Zuljanah processions will be taken out in different parts of the country in memory of the martyrs of Karbala.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made to avoid any untoward incident during the mourning processions.

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Pakistan

Social media campaign against sacrifices of martyrs, horrifying: PM  

"Self-righteous political narratives spurring hate speech"

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Social media campaign against sacrifices of martyrs, horrifying: PM  

Islamabad: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday while expressing his displeasure said that the social media campaign, aimed at belittling and ridiculing the sacrifices of martyrs, was horrifying.

On his Twitter handle, he observed that the self-righteous political narratives were poisoning the minds of the youth and spurring hate speech.  

Terming the campaign horrifying, the Prime Minister called for a deep reflection of the direction, all this is taking us to as a nation.   

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Pakistan

Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain condemns propaganda campaign against Army

PML-Q president calls upon politicians to leave political expediencies and support Army

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Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain condemns propaganda campaign against Army

Lahore: The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain condemned the vilification campaign on social media against the Army.

PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has said that the entire nation mourns the loss of Army men’s lives in the Lasbela tragedy while urging politicians to put their political interests on the back burner and support Army.

In his statement on Sunday, Ch Shujaat said that the Army had served the nation in every calamity and hour of trial. It has played a significant role in the restoration of peace and security and the elimination of terrorism from the country, he added. 

The PML-Q leader stated that the entire nation was grieved over the martyrdom of the Shuhda of Lasbela tragedy. He called upon the politicians to leave their political expediencies behind and foiled the propaganda campaign against the Armed Forces. He asked them to fully support the Army. 

He was of the view that everything could be tolerated but propaganda against Army could not be allowed.

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