They are images of 18 blurred points of light.
The James Webb orbital telescope has handed over to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) its first experimental images after launch. This is stated in the statement of the department.
“The entire Webb team is thrilled with how well the first steps of shooting and settings up the telescope are progressing. We were so happy to see that the light penetrates into the [near-infrared camera] NIRCam,” Marcia Riquet, the camera’s principal investigator, said in a statement.
The images are images of 18 blurred points of light – the same number as the mirror panels of the camera. It is reported that within a month, specialists will adjust the location of the mirror segments of the camera until 18 images form a complete picture.
As indicated in the press release, the telescope began taking pictures on February 2. Scientists changed its position depending on the predicted location of the object 156 times. The whole process took about 25 hours. “Webb’s images will only get sharper,” the statement said. “It is expected that the first scientific images will be delivered to Earth this summer.”
The launch took place at the end of December from the Kourou cosmodrome in French Guiana. The telescope is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
The observatory has a mirror with a diameter of 6.5 m – the largest ever put into orbit. The James Webb telescope will be used to study the oldest stars and galaxies in the universe that formed after the Big Bang, as well as to search for potentially habitable planets. The estimated life of its operation is 10 years.