L2 Halo for JWST

Yesterday I received a question about where the new James Webb Space Telescope is located. Is it in orbit of the Earth, like Hubble? Is it out in deep space?

The answer is no, not really. Now I spent this morning trying to illustrate the answer to that question myself. However, it’s taking me too long. So we’re going to reference this great illustration from Scientific American.

Not quite the final frontier, but the James Webb is pointing that way.

James Webb orbits around a point called the L2 Lagrange point, which sits in a line with Earth and the Sun. The telescope points out and away from the sun whilst the sun shield keeps the sunlight from warming the spacecraft while solar panels collect said light and power the spacecraft.

So if any of my other readers had a similar question, hopefully this goes some ways to answering the question.

Credit for the piece goes to Michael Twombly.

The 2014/5 Ebola Outbreak in Context

Spoiler alert, it’s big. Thankfully Scientific American has attempted to put the West African outbreak in the context of all other Ebola outbreaks. I think the one thing missing, rather the one thing I would have done differently, is to include some kind of background element to show the difference in scale. A giant circle behind the whole graphic. Or a giant diamond. Of course the designer may not have had the space to do that, because the scale difference is just that extreme.

Putting the ongoing outbreak in context
Putting the ongoing outbreak in context

Credit for the piece goes to Pitch Interactive for Scientific American.