James Webb Space Telescope Spots Its First Star | Sci-News.com

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James Webb Space Telescope Spots Its First Star astronomy space science

This mosaic, taken by the NIRCam instrument onboard the James Webb Space Telescope, shows 18 images of the same star. Image credit: NASA.Webb to space was of course an exciting event, but for scientists and optical engineers, this is a pinnacle moment, when light from a star is successfully making its way through the system down onto a detector,” said Webb project scientist Dr. Michael McElwain, an astronomer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Webb team’s challenge was twofold: confirm that the camera was ready to collect light from celestial objects; and identify starlight from the same star in each of the 18 primary mirror segments. The result is an image mosaic of 18 randomly organized dots of starlight. “The initial search covered an area about the size of the full Moon because the segment dots could potentially have been that spread out on the sky,” said Webb deputy scientist Dr. Marshall Perrin, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute.

“And we found light from all 18 segments very near the center early in that search! This is a great starting point for mirror alignment.”


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