Since NASA released the first images of James Webb just a few days ago, we can’t help but ask ourselves all sorts of questions about it. space telescope. One of them is interesting: how can you store these photos with such a resolution? You must have a huge hard drive! But the truth is, no. In fact, as it has recently become clear, successor to Hubble It has a solid state drive (SSD) 68 GB. Come on, it has a much smaller capacity than most modern mobile phones or laptops.

This does not mean that James Webb has a short memory. Just use what you need with margin calculated to the millimeter. Not a gigabyte more. If you had a huge hard drive, it would be much more difficult to protect it from the elements of space. And if it really was necessary, NASA would certainly make an effort to achieve this. But this is optional.

This space telescope is designed to send data back to Earth twice a day for four hours each time. Each of these deliveries frees up 28.6 GB of data. Thus, about 57 GB of information is lost every day. The remaining 11 GB of hints are also not without reason. But let’s take it step by step.

What data does James Webb store?

It is logical to assume that most of the information that James Webb stores comes from images. Be careful, it’s important to note that he doesn’t take pictures for the sake of taking pictures. These are impressive images that are already delighting all space lovers, but we must not forget about them. scientific goals. They are made with such precision and depth that they can answer questions that Hubble did not answer (although these are not the deepest images of space, we should not forget about it).

Now, in addition to images, James Webb also keeps 3% telemetry and engineering data. It must be within those 68 GB of information. On the other hand, it is assumed that after 10 years shelf life telescope could damage about 10 GB of the hard drive. Thus, he carries a total of 11 GB more than he releases per day.

And what he releases is very much, although it may seem to us that he stores almost nothing. There is something to see than Hubble collected 1 to 2 GB per day. Too much for its time, of course. However, James Webb multiplies the best of his scripts by 30. But why would you accumulate it?

Even if I spend 10 years on photographs, scientists on Earth have to process them almost every day. Therefore, it has the ability to connect with our planet and transmit information speed 28 Mbps. For this, a very simple SSD is enough, it is easier to protect it from cosmic radiation or low temperatures. Everything is optimized.

Ultimately, James Webb differs from people in that he does not attach importance to the storage of memories. Every day at work, you let go of all those great scenes you saw and come back to the present. There are no traces inside Carina Nebula or Stephen’s Quintet. In his memory there is only room for all the good things that are to come. The rest is in the hands of scientists, who, like good people, process memories much better than machines.

Source: Hiper Textual

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