James Webb Space Telescope’s latest selfie marks a space observatory milestone

New images from the James Webb Space Telescope show the space observatory’s newest major landmark: 18 The mirrors are now aligned enough to serve as one massive mirror. new photos Released by NASA today Includes A “selfie” from JWST showing the progression of mirrors along with updated images of one star.

Since reaching its final orbit, the telescope’s 18 mirrors combined have focused on the isolated star HD 84406, which researchers use as a target to align the mirrors. Pictures posted last month Show 18 photos of the star who was Captured individually on each mirror clip. NASA’s latest high-resolution image 84406 shows what it looks like when all 18 mirrors work with the near-infrared or infrared camera. Nircam. They were able to catch no Just The image of the star – but also Distant galaxies are behind the star, too.

Photo: NASA Photo: NASA

JWST’s “selfie” shows its 18 mirrors all collecting light from the same star. The portrait was taken using a specialized lens that helps the engineering team return to Earth to make sure the mirrors are working properly. Now that the 18 mirrors are Aligned, they can work together as a single mirror to start taking distant photos stars, galaxies and Even photos from 13.6 billion light-years away – small universe pictures.

Photo: NASA

“More than 20 years ago, the Webb team set out to build the most powerful telescope anyone has ever put into space and came up with a bold optical design to meet challenging science goals,” Thomas Zurbuchan, associate director of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said in a NASA blog. “Today we can say that the design will be successful.”

Over the next six weeks, NASA will continue to prepare JWST finally begins its scientific work. the team The next steps will involve the alignment tools including Near-infrared spectrophotometer, mid-infrared instrument, near-infrared imager, and non-slit spectrophotometer. From there, JWST will start doing its final checks and making any last minute adjustments.

prolonged The alignment process is on track and he Expected to conclude by early May before the telescope It became available for science observation preparations, NASA says. They also reported that the first set of images and scientific data for the telescope will be released in the summer.

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