NASA’s new James Webb Telescope has reached another milestone in alignment and has sent the clearest image of a star yet.
said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the NASA Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “Today we can say that the design will be successful.”
The James Webb Space Telescope was launched from French Guiana on Christmas Day to replace the old Hubble Telescope and began the long process of aligning the mirror’s 18 segments in January.
On March 11, the telescope was able to complete a mirror alignment phase called “precision grading,” The Fifth out of seven The stages that James Webb must go through Before being able to take pictures completely using ultraviolet light.
As part of the subtle gradient, Webb snapped an image of a bright star a million miles from Earth with several other galaxies and stars visible in the background.
Last month, Webb took his first set of mirror images of a star located much closer in the constellation Ursa Major.
In a statement, NASA confirmed that the image was a test image of how the 18 Web Mirror clips work and is not an official scientific observation.
While NASA has confirmed that the telescope will not be able to take pictures as it was designed for several more months, the test image shows Webb is on track to take snapshots that will deepen scientific understanding of the universe.
“We aligned the telescope and focused it entirely on a star, and the performance is above spec. We are excited about what this means for science,” Ritva Keski Koha, deputy director of the Webb Optical Telescope Element for NASA Goddard, said. He said in a statement. “We now know we built the right telescope.”
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