Even if you weren’t one of those kids who grew up with a passion for assembling models, chances are you’ll appreciate the 80-foot-long, 40-foot-tall, 40-foot-wide, 12,000-pound model of the James Webb Telescope, on display in Battery Park now through June 6 as part of the World Science Festival.
According to FOX News, contractor Northrop Grumman designed the model, which is roughly the size of a tennis court and represents a full-scale rendering of the functional telescope/satellite that will be launched into space in 2014. To give you a sense of just how big this thing is, it took two trucks to ship the parts to New York and a team of 12 workers four days to assemble. So it requires just a bit more work than your average model-in-a-box.
Northrop Grumman spokeswoman Sally Koris calls the Webb “the next great space telescope” and “the scientific successor” to the famed Hubble Telescope, and it’s not hard to see why. Using long-wavelength infrared light, the James Webb Telescope will peer into depths of space heretofore unreachable, far beyond the reaches of puny ground telescopes and even the formidable Hubble. It will be used to study the origins of stars and galaxies and — if we’re really lucky — uncover an alien or two. We joke about the aliens, of course… but, then again, if there are some E.T.s out there, this puppy might just be the telescope to find them.
In other words, get your butt to Battery Park to see the Webb Telescope model while you can. You’ll be one of the first to observe something supremely cool… and we all know how important that is to New Yorkers.