You have free access to all the articles of the Observer by being our subscriber.
NASA’s new James Webb Telescope has shown its enormous photographic power for the first time, with an image of a star 2,000 light-years away, surrounded by small galaxies.
The image was published on Wednesday by Nasa and served as a test to confirm the effectiveness of the telescope. The photo is created from 18 separate images, each taken using the 18 hexagonal mirrors that make up the telescope.
More than 20 years ago, the Webb team set out to build the most powerful telescope ever put into space and succeeded in assembling an ambitious optical design capable of meeting the needs of science,” explained Thomas Zurbuchen , associate director at NASA. “Today, we can say that this model will meet [as suas funções].”
AT observed galaxies in the now published image have billions of years, reports the Associated Press. In the future, scientists hope to be able to observe celestial bodies so old that they only have “a few hundred million years younger than the Big Bang“Explained to the press agency Jane Rigby, scientist of the project that composes the James Webb.
The team operating the telescope will continue to perform analyzes on James Webb’s instruments and align their instruments until the end of May. At the end of this stage, and after two additional months of preparation of the remaining instruments, the telescope will be fully operational.
At a cost of 10 billion dollars — around nine billion euros — the James Webb will succeed the Hubble telescopelaunched in 1990 into space and in operation for almost 32 years.