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Scientists work to keep NASA's space telescope in the dark

Scientists work to keep NASA's space telescope in the dark

Science
Sept. 12 (UPI) -- NASA scientists are taking on the vital task of ensuring unwanted infrared light does not interfere with the optical testing of the James Webb Space Telescope."One of the challenges of testing an infrared telescope is that room-temperature objects [such as the walls of the vacuum chamber itself, or the warm electronics systems inside it] glow at the wavelengths of light that the telescope is trying to measure," Randy Kimble, a scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said in a press release. "If not carefully controlled, that warm glow can provide an unwanted background in the telescope's images, which would compromise the optical testing."Due to the telescope's extreme sensitivity to infrared light, scientists are using a cold, gaseous helium sh...