James Webb’s alignment ended and the images surprised scientists; research!

Four months after its December 25, 2022 launch, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is finally close in alignment. After a thorough examination Thursday, the observatory was able to capture sharp and well-focused images using each of its four powerful science instruments on board. Now that the seventh and final step of aligning the telescope has been completed, the team has come to a consensus that it is ready to go into service.

However, it will have to go through the last stage of preparation, known as commissioning of scientific instruments. The process should take about two months, i.e. James Webb should not start its official activities until around June or July, in the middle of the North American summer.

The telescope’s alignment with all of the Webb’s instruments can be seen in a series of images that capture the observatory’s entire field of view.

“These remarkable test images of a successfully aligned telescope show what people of all countries and continents will be able to observe with a bold scientific vision of exploring the universe,” said Lee Feinberg, Element Manager, Webb Optical Telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight. center.

Performance beyond expectations

The telescope’s optical performance continues to be better than the engineering team’s most optimistic predictions.

Webb mirrors now direct fully focused light collected from space into each instrument with sharp images. The quality is described by the accuracy of the details, which will improve further with the following modifications.

Scott Acton, Frontline Detection and Control scientist, said. wave Webb, Ball Aerospace: “With telescope alignment completed and half-life efforts completed, my role on the James Webb Space Telescope mission is over.”

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“These images profoundly changed the way I see the universe. We are surrounded by a symphony of creation. There are galaxies everywhere! I wish everyone in the world could see them.”

next steps

Going forward, Webb’s team will focus on commissioning scientific instruments. It’s a collection of highly advanced detectors equipped with unique lenses, masks, filters and custom equipment that helps you do the science it was designed to do.

The images captured by the James Webb Telescope are very clear and will help scientists unravel the mysteries of galaxies. Photo: NASA

With alignment in its final stages, most of the professionals who worked at the Mission Operations Center of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore are already packing their bags to go home, where they have successfully completed their duties.

Although the telescope’s alignment has been completed, some calibration activities still need to be done before the telescope can begin operating for the more than $10 billion mission, with huge gains for science.

In addition, continuous maintenance observations every two days will monitor the alignment of the mirrors and, if necessary, apply corrections to keep the mirrors in their compatible positions. Another step towards scientific development.


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