The James Webb Space Telescope Is Now fully Aligned And Ready To Reveal The Secrets Of The Universe

The James Webb Space Telescope is now operational and ready to observe the cosmos. Ready to solve the mysteries like finding alien life and looking beyond the edge of the Universe. 

According to NASA's Webb team, the space observatory's huge mirror, which is capable of seeing into the furthest regions of space, is now perfectly aligned.

Webb, dubbed the world's greatest space observatory, has completed a number of critical stages toward matching its 18 gold mirror parts.

The mirror is so huge that it had to be folded in half to fit inside the rocket before its launch on December 25. Webb started the painstaking process of unfolding and calibrating its mirror in January, after reaching an orbit a million miles from Earth.

Webb will be able to see into the atmospheres of exoplanets and witness some of the earliest galaxies formed after the universe started, using infrared light that is undetectable to the naked eye.

The first high-resolution photographs of the universe collected by Webb are not anticipated until late June, since the observatory's equipment must yet be calibrated. However, NASA's test findings revealed on Thursday demonstrate the observatory's four equipment' capability to capture crisp, well-focused photos. These photos together cover the whole field of view of the telescope. Webb's mirrors concentrate light from space onto each device, which then captures photos.

Webb conducted the test by observing a nearby tiny satellite galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud. The test photographs reveal the galaxy's dense field of hundreds of thousands of stars.

"These remarkable test images from a successfully aligned telescope demonstrate what people across countries and continents can achieve when there is a bold scientific vision to explore the universe," said Lee Feinberg, Webb optical telescope element manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The telescope team anticipates that the observatory will surpass its original aims since it is currently operating better than planned.

"These images have profoundly changed the way I see the universe," said Scott Acton, Webb wavefront sensing and controls scientist at Ball Aerospace, in a statement. "We are surrounded by a symphony of creation; there are galaxies everywhere! It is my hope that everyone in the world can see them."

Webb can also employ the separate pieces of its mirror as a gigantic 21-foot, 4-inch (6.5-meter) mirror to catch light from a single star, as seen in a previous photograph provided in March.

The crew will spend the next several months calibrating all of the scientific equipment.

Each instrument has a number of specialized detectors and unique equipment that aid in the achievement of Webb's scientific goals, and each instrument must be set up prior to being declared ready.

And this summer, we'll witness Webb's first views of the universe's secrets.

Reference(s): NASA

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