The Webb Space Telescope takes a selfie while aligning its golden mirrors

This shot of Web mirrors was taken using

This shot from mirrors web Captured with a specialized “pupillary lens” inside the NIRCam instrument.
picture: NASA

Commissioning phase of 10 billion dollars The Webb Space Telescope continues on the right track, mission specialists say correspondents today.

Lee Feinberg, element manager of the Webb optical telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said during a Media conference that the telescope has “spread its wings”, and now it has “opened its eyes”.

TThe commissioning phase is still in its infancy, but the telescope was able to see its first light: 18 scattered spots represent one star. Each mirror currently operates as a separate telescope, but the goal is to get them to work together so that the star – HD 84406 – appears as one glorious image. This alignment process is expected to take about a month.

The team is in the midst of aligning all of the hexagonal mirror segments with a telescope near infrared camera, better known as NIRCam. The tool was chosen because of its wide field of view and because it is capable of operating at higher temperatures than Webb Other tools, which are still cool. Early indications are that everything is working very well.

Mosaic image showing 18 distinct points of light, each emerging from a single star.  The goal is to direct the Webb's 18 mirror segments to achieve a single focused view of the star.

Mosaic image showing 18 distinct points of light, each emerging from a single star. The goal is to direct the Webb’s 18 mirror segments to achieve a single focused view of the star.
picture: NASA

“We don’t see anything to worry about,” Feinberg said. “It’s still early, But we are very encouraged by what we see.” The team receives data from the under-microscopic telescopeAdded to its attractiveness, its performance matches models and expectations. “It’s too early to say there is no major flaw,” he said in response to a reporter’s question, but “if there had been a major major flaw, we would probably have seen it now, but we don’t.”

The team took the opportunity to release a new selfie taken with a “specialized photographic lens” within NIRCA.m-Not an external camera—According to NASA statment. One of Webb’s 18 mirrors appears to be particularly bright, as a result of being pointed towards star, while other mirrors do not currently share the same alignment.

The word Webb saw her first photons was a statement Last week, but this is our first glimpse of the mosaic image, which shows 18 disorganized points of starlight. The goal now is to convert these 18 points into one.

Annotated image showing the points and their corresponding mirror sector.  According to NASA, these results

Annotated image showing the points and their corresponding mirror sector. According to NASA, these results “closely matched expectations and simulations.”
picture: NASA

Speaking on the conference call, Marshall Perrin, deputy telescope scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, said he was pleased with how closely the 18 segments appeared in relation to each other, a sign that the array was already well-balanced after initial publication. He said the cheers erupted in the control room with each dot slowly emerging. “We are happy, relaxed and happy to be in the business,” Perrin said, adding that the team is “on track in terms of schedule.”

The mirror alignment process began on February 2. Webb was directed to 156 different locations around the expected location of the target star, in a process that resulted in 1,560 images and 54 gigabytes of raw data. The team detected photons from all 18 segments near the research center, in a very promising start.

The artifacts visible in the mosaic image are the result of NIRCam working above its ideal temperature. NASA said these artifacts will disappear once Webb cools down.

Launched December 25, 2021, web he With the participation of NASA, and European Void Agencyand the Canadian Space Agency. The telescope is expected to enter the The mission’s science phase is in June, at which time it will investigate the early universe, the evolution of galaxies over time, and the atmospheres of exoplanets, among other science goals.

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