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The Webb team forms an 18-dot starlight into a hexagon

This early Webb-aligned image is called an “image array”, with the dots of starlight arranged in a pattern similar to the honeycomb shape of the primary mirror. Credits: NASA / STScI / J.Depasquale

The James Webb Space Telescope team continues to adjust the observatory’s mirrors. The engineer has completed the first step in this process, called “Segment Image Identification”. The resulting image shows that the team moved each of Webb’s 18 primary mirror segments into a planned hexagonal shape of 18 out-of-focus copies of a single star. increase.

Now that the image array is complete, the team has begun the second phase of alignment, “segment alignment.” At this stage, the team fixes a large positioning error in the mirror segment and updates the placement of the secondary mirrors to better focus the individual dots of the starlight. Once this “global alignment” is complete, the team will begin a third phase called “image stacking”. This will cause the 18 spots to overlap each other.

Matthew Laro, a system scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute and manager of the Telescope Branch, said: “During global alignment and image stacking, this familiar placement gives wavefront teams an intuitive and natural way to visualize segment spot changes in the context of the entire primary. mirror..Now you can actually see it Primary mirror It slowly becomes the exact intended shape! “

  • The Webb team forms an 18-dot starlight into a hexagon

    Credit: NASA

  • The Webb team forms an 18-dot starlight into a hexagon

    This image mosaic (above) shows 18 randomly placed copies of the same star and served as the starting point for the alignment process. To complete the first stage of alignment, the team moved the primary mirror segment to place the dots of starlight in a hexagonal image array (bottom). Each dot in Starlight is labeled with the corresponding mirror segment that captured it. Credits: NASA (above); NASA / STScI / J. DePasquale (bottom)


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Quote: The Webb team will convert an 18-dot starlight into a hexagon (February 19, 2022). Obtained from February 19, 2022 https://phys.org/news/2022-02-webb-team-dots-starlight-hexagonal.html

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The Webb team forms an 18-dot starlight into a hexagon

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