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Through the Looking Glass to Outer Space.


Into the Looking Glass

From http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/iotd.html

Recently, technicians at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., completed a series of cryogenic tests on six James Webb Space Telescope beryllium mirror segments at the center’s X-ray & Cryogenic Facility. During testing, the mirrors were subjected to extreme temperatures dipping to -415 degrees Fahrenheit, permitting engineers to measure in extreme detail how the shape of the mirror changes as it cools.

The Webb telescope has 18 mirrors, each of which will be tested twice in the Center’s X-ray & Cryogenic Facility to ensure that the mirror will maintain its shape in a space environment — once with bare polished beryllium and then again after a thin coating of gold is applied.

The cryogenic test gauges how each mirror changes temperature and

shape over a range of operational temperatures in space. This helps predict how well the telescope will image infrared sources.

The mirrors are designed to stay cold to allow scientists to observe the infrared light they reflect using a telescope and instruments optimized to detect this light. Warm objects give off infrared light, or heat. If the Webb telescope mirror is too warm, the faint infrared light from distant galaxies may be lost in the infrared glow of the mirror itself. Thus, the Webb telescope’s mirrors need to operate in a deep cold or cryogenic state, at around -379 degree Fahrenheit.

Image Credit: NASA

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Composer born July 24. Ernest Bloch (Yes I know, I’m late. )


Ernest Bloch (July 24, 1880 – July 15, 1959) was a Swiss-born American composer.

He wrote some hauntingly beautiful pieces for the viola.

Back in a past life when I was halfway a decent violist,  I played a couple of them.  The piece featured here more Hebraic and less almost avant-garde than the Suite, but both just reach in and grab the longing and yearning in my hear

From Wikipedia ….

Bloch was born in Geneva and began playing the violin at age 9. He began composing soon afterwards. He studied music at the conservatory in Brussels, where his teachers included the celebrated Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. He then travelled around Europe, moving to Germany (where he studied composition from 1900-1901 with Iwan Knorr at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt), on to Paris in 1903 and back to Geneva before settling in the United States in 1916, taking American citizenship in 1924. He held several teaching appointments in the U.S., with George Antheil, Frederick Jacobi, Bernard Rogers, and Roger Sessions among his pupils. In December 1920 he was appointed the first Musical Director of the newly formed Cleveland Institute of Music, a post he held until 1925. Following this he was director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music until 930.

In 1941 Bloch moved to the small coastal community of Agate Beach, Oregon and lived there the rest of his life. He died in 1959 in Portland, Oregon, of cancer at the age of 78. The Bloch Memorial has been moved from near his house in Agate Beach to a more prominent location at the Newport Performing Arts Center in Newport, Oregon[2].