English Portal - First image of the MERRY instrument on board the James Webb Telescope

English Portal – First image of the MERRY instrument on board the James Webb Telescope

At NASA’s STScI (Space Telescope Science Institute) in Baltimore, where astrophysicists monitor and process data from the Merry instrument aboard the James Webb Telescope, we are ecstatic. Meri just took her first picture of the sky in the thermal infrared wavelength range.

How was this first photo taken?

This image was taken as part of JWST’s optical fine-tuning. It’s part of
Large Magellanic Clouda satellite galaxy of the Milky Way immortalized by Merry, a region of the universe chosen because we can observe many interesting elements there, including stars and clouds of gas and dust.

The tension was evident in the center just before MIRI’s first image of the sky was taken. Was the image quality up to expectations? He had to patiently take his pain before
The MIRI note is sent to Earth and then processed. Although the observation took no more than 15 minutes, and the time for receiving on the ground and then downloading the image did not exceed two hours, the wait was unbearable for the researchers, who could not wait to see this first shot. But the wait was worth it. The picture for astrophysicists is breathtaking. It is a performance even though the visual tuning and calibration is not over yet!

Find out in the video the story of the first photo of Meri:


This first picture of Mary touched me a lotPierre-Olivier Lagag, Scientific Director and Co-PI (First Associate Investigator) for France explains the instrument.
This is the first time we have obtained this kind of infrared image with a wavelength of 7.7 microns. And with that finesse. Everything is going well with James Webb: the launch was perfect, as was the deployment and then the alignment of the telescope. And now we have confirmation that the imaging device is capable of producing excellent quality images. Much more accurate than those produced by the Spitzer Telescope, which also photographed the Large Magellanic Cloud. »

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next steps

This first image confirms that the tool is able to reach the expected level of quality and beyond. The next step now: make what we call “recipe in heaven”. Or analyze other monitoring modes of MIRI (spectral and coronagraph), in order to evaluate their performance. A stage is scheduled for next May and June. in july,
The first pictures of real scientific value It will be announced at a press conference. July will also be the starting point for scientific observations. ”
The observations that interest me most will be those of the exoplanets and in particular Trapist 1 BAnd
scheduled for november Adds Pierre-Oliver Lajege.

Merry: US-European cooperation

Meri machine is the fruit of cooperation between Europe and the USA. It includes in particular the Mirim imaging device, which was developed between 2004 and 2009 under the responsibility of CNES.

CEA, as director of the Mirim project, played a key role and coordinated the participation of the three partners involved in the project: the Laboratory for Space Studies and Astrophysics Instruments (Lesia; Observatoire de Paris -PSL/CNRS/Sorbonne University/University of Paris), and the Institute for Astrophysics in Space (IAS, CNRS). / Université Paris-Saclay) and the Marseille Laboratory for Astrophysics (LAM, Aix-Marseille University / CNRS).

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