Starlight, Star Brightness, James Webb Space Telescope saw the first star (though it wasn’t tonight)-and even took a selfie, NASA announced on Friday.
This procedure is part of a months-long process of aligning the giant golden mirrors of the observatory, which astronomers want to begin unraveling the mysteries of the early universe by this summer.
The first photo sent back from space is far from stunning. Black backgroundAll showing the same object: HD84406 A bright isolated star in Ursa Major.
But in reality, it represents a major milestone. 18 dots were captured by Primary mirror18 individual segments — and the image became the basis for aligning and focusing these hexagonal pieces.
The light bounced off the segment, reaching the Webb’s secondary mirror, a round object at the end of the long boom, and then reflected off Webb’s main imaging device, the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) device.
Marcia Rieke, a senior researcher at the University of Arizona’s NIRCam instrument and a professor of astronomy, said in a statement, “How well the entire Webb team is making the first steps in taking images and adjusting the telescope. I’m crazy about it. “
“I was very happy to see the light entering the NIR Cam.”
The image capture process begins on February 2nd, and Webb points to different positions around the predicted star position.
The first search on Webb targeted an empty area about the same size as the full moon, but all the dots were near the center. In other words, the observatory is already relatively well placed and final alignment is possible.
To assist in the process, the team also captured “selfies” taken through a special lens mounted on the NIRCam, rather than an externally mounted camera.
NASA previously said that selfies aren’t possible, so this news comes as a welcome bonus for space fans.
“I think the reaction was almost a sacred cow,” Lee Feinberg, element manager for the Web Optical Telescope, told reporters that he wasn’t sure if Starlight alone could get such an image. did.
The $ 10 billion observatory, launched from French Guiana on December 25, is now aligned with the Earth’s surroundings in a second cosmic region called the Lagrange Point, one million miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from the planet. Is in orbit. ..
Webb will start its science mission by summer. This includes using high-resolution equipment to trace the first-generation galaxies formed after the Big Bang back 13.5 billion years.
Visibly Ultraviolet rays What was emitted by the first luminescent object was stretched by the expansion of the universe and arrives today in the form of infrared light. It is equipped for Webb to detect with unprecedented clarity.
Its mission also includes research to determine the origin, evolution, and habitability of distant planets known as exoplanets.
© 2022 AFP
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Webb Telescope finds the first star and takes a selfie
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