This James Webb Space Telescope Mirror Displays Real JWST Images

A bespoke decorative piece that celebrates the science and engineering of JWST.

The James Webb Space Telescope is not just a remarkable feat of engineering; it’s a beauty too. Take his 18 hexagonal gold-plated beryllium mirrors, which inspired YouTube cellar nerd at create a replica to hang on their wall as a functional piece of art, accented with real images captured by the telescope.

The first one captured images arrived last week, but the Webb Space Telescope itself was actually in development as early as 1996, with a major overhaul in 2005, and construction was finally completed in 2016. The telescope’s mirror array measures 21 feet across. diameter, making its light-gathering area about six times larger than that used by the Hubble Space Telescope, allowing the Webb to image even older, more distant objects. It will help us better understand the origins of our universe, but the reproduction of the Cellar Nerd is much less ambitious. It looks really cool and costs a lot less than $10 billion to build.

See deep in space with a Webb model on the wall

Instead of turning to companies like Northrop Grumman, the Cellar Nerd sourced its gold-tinted mirrors from Amazon, which meant having to wait until they actually arrived to get accurate measurements for design and build a frame to mount them on. The frame was 3D simulated in Autodesk’s Fusion 360, but instead of creating all the pieces using a 3D printer, the Cellar Nerd instead took his trusty jigsaw puzzle and a sheet of plywood.

To make the mirror worth looking at even for those who aren’t vain, the Cellar Nerd replaced the sensors at the center of the Webb Space Telescope’s mirror array with a salvaged 15.6-inch laptop screen. connected to a Raspberry Pi 2 which holds real images captured by the real telescope and scales them to fit the visible part of the screen as part of a passive slideshow. Eventually, the Cellar Nerd plans to update the mirror to automatically retrieve new images from the Webb Space Telescope as they are shared online, to add to an ever-changing slideshow.

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