Perspective: NASA recently completed the final stage of telescope alignment on the James Webb Space Telescope, which means the telescope is capable of capturing sharply focused images with each of the four onboard science instruments. NASA has since moved into the science instrument commissioning phase ahead of official operations this summer, but the space agency spent some time this week closely examining an image sample from Webb’s coldest instrument.
infrared device, or MIRI for short, has a camera and a spectrograph capable of seeing light in the mid-infrared spectrum. It covers the wavelength range from 5 to 28 microns.
These test images were captured at 7.7 µm and show part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. A comparison image of the same target was taken with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope infrared camera (8.0 microns). This volume was launched in 2003 and completed scientific operations in January 2020.
We won’t have to wait until summer to learn more about the universe around us. On Thursday, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project will hold press conference present the “groundbreaking” results of the EHT. The conference will be broadcast live YouTube starting at 10 am ET on Thursday, May 12.
Some believe that the conference may be related to the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A*but we won’t know for sure until the end of this week.
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