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NASA shows first star image taken by James Webb telescope after focusing – IT Pro – News

NASA has released a new photo taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. The US space agency says the telescope’s mirror has been adjusted so well that the images may be better than expected.

NASA has released an image of the star 2MASS J17554042+6551277 taken with the Space Telescope’s Near-Infrared Camera. The image is the first result of an important milestone that the telescope completed March 11: that of fine phasing† That is focusing the telescope using data from the NIRCam, which records infrared images. During that process it was found that ‘every optical parameter that has been checked and tested performs satisfactorily or above expectations’, writes NASA† The image of the star that has now been taken was created from images taken using all 18 individual mirrors of the telescope.

According to NASA, the NIRCam is now fully set up to work properly with the JWST’s primary mirror. The NIRCam is the primary camera on the telescope, but there are some other important scientific instruments, such as two spectrographs: the Near-Infrared Spectograph and the Mid-Infrared Instrument. They will be further aligned and focused in the next month and a half. This is followed by another process of final focusing of all instruments together.

NASA says the images are better than expected. “Performance exceeds our expectations,” says optics manager Ritva Keski-Kuha. No quirks were discovered while focusing. “The team found no critical issues and no measurable contamination or blockages in the telescope’s optics,” the space agency wrote.

In addition to the star 2MASS, dozens of galaxies can also be seen. These objects are just bycatch for the telescope focusing process, but these kinds of deep-field photos with multiple galaxies that are very far away will come along more often. While the Hubble telescope sometimes had to be focused on a particular point for weeks to get such deep-field photos, James Webb takes much less time to do so.

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