The James-Webb Space Telescope aligns its mirrors

The star 2MASS J17554042+6551277 seen by the James-Webb space telescope, after the alignment procedures of its main mirror.

The James-Web telescope is continuing smoothly with the adjustment steps that should allow it to deliver its first scientific observations in the summer. NASA thus published, on March 16, an image which testifies to the success of the fine alignment phase of its near-infrared camera, with the 18 hexagonal plates of beryllium which constitute its primary mirror. A few weeks ago, when the craft was pointed at a star, the captured image showed 18 indistinct points. This time, the cylinders allowing to orient each reflecting surface made it possible to converge the light of the star 2MASS J17554042+6551277 so that it gives a single and same image, much more precise – we can also guess galaxies there. NASA estimates that the performance already exceeds the specifications. The other imagers will benefit from the same optical alignment procedures, before two months of preparing the instruments that will lead the telescope’s infrared eye to begin its scientific harvest.

The World of Science and Medicine

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