Home Health Webb telescope completes calibration, new photos show stars | Large Magellanic Cloud | Epoch Times

Webb telescope completes calibration, new photos show stars | Large Magellanic Cloud | Epoch Times

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Webb telescope completes calibration, new photos show stars | Large Magellanic Cloud | Epoch Times

[Epoch Times, May 4, 2022](The Epoch Times reporter Di Rui compiled and reported) The calibration of the Webb Telescope (JWST) has been completed, and the European Space Agency (ESA) has shown five images taken by the new-generation telescope.

After the seventh and final round of calibration, the project team members unanimously agreed that the telescope can smoothly enter the next work agenda: the trial stage of scientific research equipment. This phase will take about 2 months, after which the Webb telescope will begin formal observations.

The Webb telescope chose the Milky Way’s neighbor, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), as a test object, showing the results of three sets of equipment for comparison. The Large Magellanic Cloud is about 158,000 light-years away from the Milky Way, orbiting the Milky Way and is the largest satellite galaxy around the Milky Way.

The images taken by each set of imaging devices show the view of the starry sky from the position of their mirrors, which are slightly offset from each other.

The three sets of equipment are NIRCam (takes pictures at a wavelength of 2 microns); NIRISS (takes pictures at a wavelength of 1.5 microns) and MIRI (takes pictures at a wavelength of 7.7 microns).

Another device, called NIRSpec, is a spectrograph, which is not used for imaging, but can also take pictures at a wavelength of 1.1 microns, which can be used to calibrate and locate targets. The black areas seen in this set of photos are the result of an array of tiny shutters inside the device. There are hundreds of thousands of controllable gates inside the device. By controlling the opening and closing of these gates, the light entering the spectrograph can be controlled.

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Finally, there are two fine guidance sensors (Fine Guidance Sensor), after tracking the star used for positioning, the telescope is accurately pointed at the target area. The two sensors are not used to take scientific photos, but can take some calibration preparations like the one shown here. These photos are not only used to assess sharpness, but also to correct for subtle distortions and alignment issues between the two sensors. This is part of the calibration process for all equipment in the telescope.

The ESA press release on April 28 said the Webb telescope has so far performed better than project team members had expected. The next step is to start trial operation of various scientific research equipment.

Each scientific research equipment is composed of a unique set of complex components such as lenses, baffles, filters, etc., to accomplish various scientific research purposes. During the commissioning phase, the equipment will test different configurations and try different combinations to complete the tasks.

The Webb Telescope is a collaborative project between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). ◇#

Responsible editor: Ye Ziwei

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