TookLaunched in December, James Webb has passed nearly every stage of calibration, allowing it to capture “the sharpest images” a telescope has ever produced, said Michael McElwain. , one of the scientists of the US Space Agency (NASA), the project responsible for it, in statements to journalists.
James Webb is jointly operated by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
Michael McElvain explained that there are still several operations the team must perform before using the telescope to capture scientifically useful images, such as activating the various measurement modes it will use.
The previously produced images were taken for the purpose of calibrating the instruments and they present a major difference in sharpness compared to Spitzer, which would replace the infrared telescope.
Thanks to his great sensitivity, James Webb will be able to observe the light of galaxies a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, which will give an idea of the formation of our universe.
“It will change our view of our local universe,” said Christopher Evans, the ESA scientist responsible for the project.
In mid-July, James Webb expects to take a series of images of physical objects to demonstrate their scientific mediation capabilities, because so far, the telescope has captured clusters of stars in well-studied locations, such as large clouds. is targeted. Magalhães, to test the calibration of your equipment.
The images will be colourful, as the team will use a process to convert infrared data into human-visible colors, making the images comparable to the famous Hubble Telescope.
This space observatory, which is estimated to cost around US$10,000 million (about 8,800 million euros), was launched on 25 December and the gold-plated mirror is the largest ever launch into space.
The launch of the new telescope, which began to be developed more than 30 years ago, has been delayed year after year.
Engineers from ISQ – Instituto de Sodadura e Qualidade are involved in the safety of launch operations and are responsible for the calibration of the Portuguese astronomer Caterina Alves de Oliveira, who works at the Scientific Operations Center of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Spain. One of the web tools.
Astronomers hope the telescope, named after a former NASA leader, will yield more data about the early days of the universe, including the birth of the first galaxies and stars.
James Webb will make it possible to capture the faint light of even more distant celestial bodies from 13.5 billion years ago, when the universe was very young (the age of the universe is estimated at 13.8 billion years by the Big Bang theory).
The new telescope is said to be Hubble’s successor to orbit 570 kilometers from Earth for 31 years.
Given its distance from Earth, Webb, unlike Hubble, cannot be repaired in orbit, so its “life expectancy” is short, five to ten years.
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