NASA’s Webb Telescope just captured this stunning image of a distant galaxy

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We finally have our first image of James Webb. At least the first sharp image the James Webb Space Telescope produced. NASA released the image on March 16, 2022 and shared that all critical mirror alignment steps have been completed.

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The first image of James Webb is breathtaking

first image of James Webb

first image of James Webb

the James Webb has reached his destination orbit in January. From there, the Webb team began aligning the various instruments that make up the space telescope. Now we are finally beginning to see just how powerful these instruments can be when they work together.

NASA says the Webb team completed the fine-phasing alignment stage on March 11. Once this step was completed, the 18 segments of the James Webb Telescope mirrors were properly aligned to work together. Now that they are completely aligned, the mirrors will be able to capture light and transmit it to the various instruments located on the spacecraft.

In this first image by James Webb, a central star can be seen, which shines brightly across the photo. The star is surrounded by dots, lines and spirals. Each of them represents a star or a galaxy in the background. It’s a breathtaking view, and it shows exactly what makes the James Webb such a promising technology for exploring space.

With this new photo, we finally see what it looks like when all of James Webb’s mirrors work together as one. By attracting light and then bringing it together, the James Webb can process images of distant stars and galaxies to a level of detail we truly weren’t able to achieve before.

That first image of James Webb isn’t even as good as it gets either. With fine phasing, the Webb team aligned Webb’s main imager, the near-infrared camera, to work with the spacecraft’s mirrors. Then they will also have to align the other instruments together.

NASA says these adjustments will take place over the next six weeks. During this time, the team will further align the near-infrared spectrograph, mid-infrared instrument, new infrared imager and slitless spectrograph. The team will then make final roster changes before putting the James Webb to work.

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The James Webb Telescope in space

The James Webb Telescope in space

While James Webb’s first image is outstanding, there’s a lot more to look forward to. The Webb team says it has already planned a year of sightings. He hopes to start working on those when the final rosters wrap up in May.

NASA claims that every optical parameter the team checked and tested performs at or above the expectations set for it. It’s an amazing thing to hear, especially with so many plans for the James Webb already in the works. Additionally, the success of the James Webb Telescope design could be used for other telescopes in the future.

“More than 20 years ago, the Webb team set out to build the most powerful telescope anyone had ever put into space and came up with a bold optical design to meet demanding scientific goals,” Thomas said. Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s science mission. Branch in Washington, said in the press release. He finished: “Today we can say that the design will deliver.”

Although we don’t know much about NASA’s plans for the James Webb, we can at least expect some more fascinating photos, like the last photo from the Hubble telescope.

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