Having reached your destination, the james webb telescope aligns its mirrors and captured the first image of a perfectly clear star. It is an additional milestone to the long list of achievements of this space telescope, which brings good news since its launch on December 25, 2021 led by the Peruvian Aracely Quispe.
The James Webb is the largest space telescope ever launched into space. So much so that no rocket can propel it to make it work. For this reason, it was necessary to bend the space origami a little more and so to be able to fold it so that each of its constituent parts would unfold during the journey to Lagrange point 2.
It arrived at its destination on January 24, already fully open. However, he still had to readjust his mirrors and instruments. He began with the first, arranging all the optics that They allowed taking pictures where the human eye cannot reach.
This part is complete and according to the POT, everything goes perfectly. Indeed, as a picture is worth a thousand words, the space agency attached the first photograph of a star taken by James Webb.
The great journey that the James Webb telescope has made
Throughout the month that its journey lasted, the James Webb unfolded its giant mirrors, solar panels and, in general, all the components that made it up.
He finally reached his destination, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, and has been orbiting the L2 point for almost two months. But from that January 24, 6 months of adjustment of the mirror and its instruments were planned.
He began by aligning his mirrors, more precisely with what is called ‘fine phase’. In it, not only are the mirrors placed, but it is also analyzed “if each optical parameter that has been verified and tested is working at, or above, expectations.”
No serious problems or contamination were found to concern scientists observing James Webb from Earth. In fact, almost from the beginning, the space telescope has been able to collect light from very distant objects and transmit it to its instruments for analysis.
Once the ‘fine phase’ has been completed, the near infrared camera lines up, since it is James Webb’s main image generator. At the end of this stage, it can not only collect light, but also transmit it to the camera and reconstruct the image with it.
The unpublished photograph of a star that captured the space telescope
To check if the camera is working properly, scientists on Earth point to any star and take a picture. The result is completely clean, so it is understood that everything has been done correctly so far.
At this point, James Webb engineers will spend six weeks fine-tuning other instruments, including a near-infrared spectrometer, a mid-infrared range, a near-infrared imager, and a slot airborne spectrometer, From the earth. They have an algorithm that analyzes the performance of each of these tools, which then calculates and makes the necessary corrections.
After that, there will be other adjustments to make, but a good part of the most difficult path will be covered. In fact, the first scientific data from James Webb will reach Earth in the winter Latin American of 2022. Below you can see a video of Youtube on How NASA’s James Webb Reaches Alignment Milestone, With Optics Successfully Working:
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