Golden and gleaming, this convex mirror arrived last week at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., where it will be mounted on the much-anticipated Webb telescope. When the telescope is up and running, sometime later this decade, the Webb will take the title of the most powerful space telescope ever built, ousting even the Hubble. The Boulder-built mirror’s color comes from a microscopic layer of gold, 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. The gold will help the telescope better reflect infrared light, making distant planets and the universe’s first galaxies easier to see.
Image Credit: Chris Gunn, NASA