Breaking news! The first image from the James Webb Telescope! See here what it looks like

11/02/2022
Credit: NASA
Credit: NASA

Above you can see the first image from James Webb received by NASA! It is the first image that the James Webb Telescope, the largest and most powerful telescope ever launched into space, has ever made.

"The James Webb Space Telescope is nearing completion of the first phase of the months-long process of aligning the observatory's primary mirror using the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument." said NASA.

"The team's challenge was twofold: confirm that NIRCam was ready to collect light from celestial objects, and then identify starlight from the same star in each of the 18 primary mirror segments. The result is an image mosaic of 18 randomly organized dots of starlight, the product of Webb's unaligned mirror segments all reflecting light from the same star back at Webb's secondary mirror and into NIRCam's detectors." NASA also said.

Credit: NASA
Credit: NASA

"This initial search covered an area about the size of the full Moon because the segment dots could potentially have been that spread out on the sky," said Marshall Perrin, deputy telescope scientist for Webb and astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute. 

"Taking so much data right on the first day required all of Webb's science operations and data processing systems here on Earth working smoothly with the observatory in space right from the start. And we found light from all 18 segments very near the center early in that search! This is a great starting point for mirror alignment."

Credit: NASA
Credit: NASA

More details will coming.

In short about Webb's path to L2:

Webb was launched a month ago on December 25, 2021 in Kouru, French Guiana on the Ariane 5 rocket. 33 minutes after its launch, Webb opened its Solar Array, being the first Webb component to unravel from its original state. This was followed by a Mid Course Correction Burn 1a, named by NASA and MCC1a, being the first burn correction to put Webb in the correct orbit. Just one day after its launch, an antenna, the Gimbaled Antenna Assembly, was opened.

Two days after the launch and just one day after the first burn correction, Webb did the second burn correction, which is Mid Course Correction Burn 1b (MCC1b). After Webb was put in the right direction, it widened, unfolding the Forward Sunshield Pallet. And on the same day, Webb opened his Aft Sunshield Pallet.

After the first 4 days since its launch in French Guiana, the telescope made a new opening, more precisely it deployed its Deployable Tower Assembly (DTA). After 5 days of launch, it has unveiled a small and a medium element, Aft Momentum Flap and Sunshield Covers. On the 6th day, Webb started to be as we know it.
He untied two important symmetrical parts: Sunshield PORT Mid-Boom and Sunshield Layer Tensioning Ongoing

It's been 11 days since the launch, with Webb already in 2022. On the 11th day after its launch, it started deploying its Secondary Mirror and finished the process after a few hours. The next day, another important element was unveiled, Aft Deployed Instrument Radiator, this instrument is very sensitive.

13 days after its launch, Webb began unpacking Port Primary Mirror Wing, ending the process after a long day. Two weeks after its launch, it began to deploy another part of it symmetrical to the one opened the day before, meaning that after two weeks it opened its Starboard Primary Mirror Wing. Also two weeks after its launch, Webb is completely DEPLOYED!

On January 12, 2022, just 4 days after it was fully deployed, Webb had to straighten his mirrors. Thus began a process of moving two individual mirrors, also called Individual Mirror Segment Movements, which ended in two hours. Between the 18th and the 28th after the launch, Webb started to lift all 19 mirrors, except for two of them that started to be built later. "Mirror Segment Deployments COMPLETED" announced NASA on the 28th day of Webb's launch. On the 30th day, Webb makes his last burn correction before reaching L2, which is L2 Insertion Burn.

And now WEBB IS ORBITING L2! 

We expect a lot more pictures from Webb after this. And of course more data from our big, beautiful Universe. Good luck Webb! We are waiting for the most beautiful data and images you can give us! 

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 11 February 2022, at 07:31 am Los Angeles time

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