February 3, 2023

The James Webb Space Telescope is fully aligned and ready to observe the universe

2 min read

Recognized as the world’s largest space observatory, Webb has successfully completed several steps over the past few months that were crucial to aligning the 18 parts of its gold mirror.

The mirror is so large that it had to be folded to fit inside the rocket to launch on December 25. After reaching orbit One million miles from Earth In January, Webb began the careful process of opening and aligning its mirror.

The first high-resolution images of the universe from the web are not expected until the end of June, as observatory equipment still needs to be calibrated. But test results released by NASA on Thursday show clear, well-focused images showing that four observatory devices are capable of capturing. Together, these images share the entire field of view of the telescope. Web mirrors are directing the focused light from space into each device and those devices are taking pictures.

Each of the web devices obtained crystal clear images of the stars in the neighboring galaxy.

For the test, Webb observed a small neighboring satellite galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud. The dense field of millions of stars in the galaxy can be seen in the examined images.

Lee Feinberg, manager of the web optical telescope element at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said: If so, what can the people of countries and continents achieve? “

Web Telescope's first test images include an unexpected 'selfie'.

The Telescope team expects the Observatory to exceed the targets it has set for itself, as it is already performing better than expected.

“These images have significantly changed the way we look at the universe,” said Scott Acton, a web view front-sensing and control scientist at Ball Aerospace. “We are surrounded by a symphony of creation; there are galaxies everywhere! It is my hope that everyone in the world can see them.”

A previous photo shared in March also showed that the web could use individual parts of its mirror as a large 21-foot, 4-inch (6.5-meter) mirror and receive light from a single star. Is.

This image, taken by the James Webb Space Telescope in March, shows the galaxy and the stars behind 2MASS J17554042 + 6551277.

For the next two months, the team will make sure that all science instruments are calibrated.

Each device has a number of special detectors with custom tools to help achieve the science goals of the web, and all devices must be configured before they are ready.

And this summer, we’ll see the first glimpse of the web that can unravel the mysteries of the universe.

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