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Hometown: Atlanta
Home country: US
Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
Number of posts: 4,390

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NASA's Webb Telescope Packs Its Sunshield for a Million Mile Trip

Source: NASA

Engineers working on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope have successfully folded and packed its sunshield for its upcoming million-mile (roughly 1.5 million kilometer) journey, which begins later this year.

The sunshield — a five-layer, diamond-shaped structure the size of a tennis court — was specially engineered to fold up around the two sides of the telescope and fit within the confines of its launch vehicle, the Ariane 5 rocket. Now that folding has been completed at Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California, the sunshield will remain in this compact form through launch and the first few days the observatory will spend in space.

Designed to protect the telescope’s optics from any heat sources that could interfere with its sight, the sunshield is one of Webb’s most critical and complex components. Because Webb is an infrared telescope, its mirrors and sensors need to be kept at extremely cold temperatures to detect faint heat signals from distant objects in the universe.

In space, one side of the sunshield will always reflect light and background heat from the Sun, Earth and Moon. Thermal models show that the maximum temperature of the outermost layer is 383 Kelvin, or about 230 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, the other side of the sunshield will always face deep space, with the coldest layer having a modeled minimum temperature of 36 Kelvin, or about minus 394 degrees Fahrenheit.

Read more: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2021/nasa-s-webb-telescope-packs-its-sunshield-for-a-million-mile-trip

I cannot wait for this telescope to successfully deploy. Fingers crossed.

Justice Breyer Insists SCOTUS Isn't Political, Warns Against Court-Packing, and Doesn't Talk About R

Source: Law and Crime

Justice Stephen Breyer, SCOTUS’s ever-agitated octogenarian, made a claim about the Court last night during a speech at Harvard: it’s not conservative, and everyone should stop using political terms to describe justices. Breyer gave a two-hour lecture at Harvard Law School Tuesday, at an event titled “The Scalia Lecture: The Authority of the Court and the Peril of Politics.”

During the speech, Breyer chastised journalists and politicians for referring to justices by the presidents who appointed them, as well as for describing them as “liberal” or “conservative.” Such labels, according to Breyer, “reinforce the thought, likely already present in the reader’s mind, that Supreme Court justices are primarily political officials or ‘junior league’ politicians themselves rather than jurists.”

A public perception that justices are beholden to political (rather than jurisprudential) beliefs is incorrect, Breyer insisted. As evidence of the Court’s apolitical nature, Breyer pointed to its refusal to take up the many lawsuits aimed at overturning the results of the 202o presidential election. According to Breyer, the Court’s decision not to take up Trump’s cause, even with its perceived 6-3 conservative majority, supports a conclusion that even its ruling in Bush v. Gore hadn’t been politically motivated. “Judicial philosophy is not a code word for ‘politics,'” the justice lectured.


Perhaps Breyer’s boldest move was directly speaking out against expanding the Court — a suggestion that has gained traction with many progressives after Republicans denied then-Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing in an election year. Donald Trump went on to appoint Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the latter after Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement. But the court-packing conversation reached new heights after Trump nominated — and the Mitch McConnell-led Senate confirmed — Amy Coney Barrett as the newest justice in an election year. Republicans wasted no time after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death to make that happen. Still, Breyer warned that expanding the Court beyond nine members would threaten public trust in the institution that has been “gradually built” over centuries.

“Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that perception, further eroding that trust,” he warned.

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/supreme-court/justice-breyer-insists-scotus-isnt-political-warns-against-court-packing-and-doesnt-talk-about-retirement/?utm_source=mostpopular

Justice Clarence Thomas Suggests SCOTUS Will 'Soon Have No Choice' But to Rein in Ability of 'Domina

Source: Law & Crime

Justice Clarence Thomas Suggests SCOTUS Will ‘Soon Have No Choice’ But to Rein in Ability of ‘Dominant Digital Platforms’ to Moderate Speech Online

The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday put an end to a lawsuit that challenged then-President Donald Trump’s then-ability to block his critics on his personal Twitter account. The justices unanimously vacated a lower court’s decision, which held that Trump’s actions violated the First Amendment. The high court ordered the case dismissed as moot in light of the fact that the former president has been permanently banned from Twitter. But more significantly, Justice Clarence Thomas became the first member of the high court to endorse a radical new view of social media companies that been steadily gaining steam among conservatives.

Writing a separate concurrence that was not joined by any of the other eight justices, Thomas suggested that social media companies like Twitter and Facebook had become too powerful and should be stripped of their First Amendment rights to moderate speech on their websites.

“Today’s digital platforms provide avenues for historically unprecedented amounts of speech, including speech by government actors. Also unprecedented, however, is control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties,” Thomas wrote. “We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms.”

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/supreme-court/justice-clarence-thomas-suggests-scotus-will-soon-have-no-choice-but-to-rein-in-ability-of-dominant-digital-platforms-to-moderate-speech-online/?utm_source=mostpopular

Police Say They Shot and Killed 'Armed' 13-Year-Old Boy in Chicago

Source: Law and Crime

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) confirmed that the “subject” who was shot and killed during an “armed confrontation” with officers in Little Village early Monday morning has been identified as a 13-year-old boy, several Chicago-area news sources reported on Thursday.

According to the reports, a CPD official said that Adam Toledo, 13, who lived in the South Side neighborhood, died from a gunshot wound to the chest. The teen was identified by the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Officers on the scene were responding to a ShotSpotter tip—the city’s gunfire detection network. Shots had been heard in the area at approximately 2:35 a.m. on Monday. Police said that officers, upon arriving at the scene, spotted “two subjects in a nearby alley.”

“One subject fled on foot which resulted in an armed confrontation. One subject shot and killed. 2nd subject in custody. Gun recovered on scene,” CPD spokesman Tom Ahern said, including a photo of the firearm and evidence marker on the ground.

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/police-say-they-shot-and-killed-armed-13-year-old-boy-in-chicago/
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