May 18, 2022

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alignment James Webb Space Telescope NASA is complete and the space observatory is now able to capture sharp, well-focused images with each of its images. Four scientific instruments. after finish from The seventh and final stage Aligning, the team unanimously agreed that Webb is ready to proceed with his next and final round of preparations, known as commissioning (or commissioning) of scientific instruments. This process will take approx. two months before the start of scientific operations in the summer.

Well-focused images of stars in each instrument’s field of view show that the telescope is perfectly aligned and in focus. To perform this test, Webb pointed to a portion of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, providing a dense field of hundreds of thousands of stars. The image sizes and positions shown here describe the relative arrangement of each of the Webb’s instruments on the telescope’s focal plane, each facing a slightly inverted portion of the sky. The three imaging tools used by Webb are NirCam (images at a wavelength of 2 microns), Niriss (image of 1.5 microns), and Miri (at 7.7 microns, a longer wavelength that reveals ’emission’ from interstellar clouds and starlight). Although NirSpec is a spectrophotometer, it can acquire images, such as the 1.1 μm image shown here, for calibration and target acquisition. The dark areas visible in some parts of the NirSpec data are due to their microshutter matrix structures, which contain hundreds of thousands of controllable shutters that can be opened or closed to determine which light is being sent to the spectrometer. Finally, Webb’s precision guide sensor trajectories guide stars to aim with precision and accuracy; Its sensors are not generally used for scientific imaging but calibrated images such as those shown here can be obtained. This data is used not only to assess image sharpness, but also to measure and calibrate small image distortions and align sensors as part of the Webb Tool’s overall calibration process. Credit: NASA/StScI

The alignment of the telescope coupled with Webb’s instruments is illustrated in a series of fascinating images that capture his entire field of view. “These extraordinary test images from the successfully aligned telescope show what people from different countries and continents can achieve when there is a bold scientific vision to explore the universe,” he said. Lee Feinbergresponsible for the Webb optical telescope elements in Goddard Space Flight Center NASA.

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The optical performance of the telescope is better than expected. Mirrors focus the light collected in space into each instrument and each instrument takes pictures of the light being delivered to it. Image quality is only limited by aberration, which means that the resolution of the details that can be seen is limited The best material possibleGiven the size of the telescope. From now on, the only changes to the mirrors will be very small periodic adjustments to the primary mirror clips.

“With telescope alignment complete and half-life fatigued, my role on the James Webb Space Telescope mission is over,” he says. Scott Acton from Aerospace ball. “These images have profoundly changed the way I see the universe. We are surrounded by a symphony of creation. There are galaxies everywhere! I hope everyone in the world can see them.”

Now, Webb’s team will turn its attention to putting scientific tools into service. Each instrument is a highly advanced set of detectors featuring unique lenses, masks, filters and custom equipment that help it do the job it was designed for. during the commissioning, the features of these tools will be configured and managed in different groups to confirm their operation. Although the telescope alignment has been officially completed, some calibration activities still need to be carried out: as part of commissioning From the scientific instruments, the telescope will be asked to point to different regions of the sky where the total amount of solar radiation hitting the observatory varies, to confirm thermal stability when changing targets. In addition, continuous maintenance observations that take place every two days will monitor the alignment of the mirrors and, if necessary, apply corrections to maintain the alignment.

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