New images from the James Webb Space Telescope show the space observatory’s newest milestone: its number 18 the mirrors are now aligned enough to act as one large mirror. New pictures released by NASA today consists of a “selfie” from JWST showing the mirror’s process along with an updated image of a single star.
Since reaching its final orbit, the telescope’s 18 coherent mirrors have been focused on the isolated star HD 84406, which the researchers are using as a target to align the mirrors. Image presented last month already show 18 pictures of stars are individually captured on each mirror segment. NASA’s latest HD 84406 image shows what it looks like when all 18 mirrors work together with the Near Infrared Camera or NIRCam. Can they catch it? only one image of the star – but also So are the distant galaxies behind the star.
Image: NASA and Image: NASA
JWST’s “selfie” shows its 18 mirrors all capturing light from the same star. Selfies taken with a dedicated lens help the team of engineers return to earth to make sure the mirror is working properly. Now 18 mirrors are aligned, they can work together as a mirror to start capturing distant images stars, galaxies and even images that are 13.6 billion light years away – pictures of the baby universe.
“Over 20 years ago, the Webb team began building the most powerful telescope anyone has ever put in space and came up with a bold optical design to meet rigorous scientific goals.” Thomas Zurbuchan, deputy administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said in a NASA blog. “Today we can say that design works.”
Over the next six weeks, NASA will continue to prepare JWST finally begins its scientific work. Teams Next steps will include alignment tools including near-infrared spectrometers, mid-range infrared instruments, near-infrared imagers, and slit-free spectrometers. From there, JWST will begin to conduct a final check and make any last minute adjustments.
Lengthy alignment is going in the right direction and is is expected to end in early May before the telescope NASA said it will be ready for the preparation of scientific observations. They also report that the telescope’s first set of images and scientific data will be published in the summer.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/3/16/22981348/james-webb-space-telescope-selfie-space-mirrors-camera James Webb Space Telescope’s latest selfie marks an important milestone for the space observatory