News: 2 of Webb's 4 instruments are configured. How much longer do we have to wait for the others?

30/06/2022
Credit image: NASA
Credit image: NASA

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 30 June 2022, at 03:19 am Los Angeles time

NASA has completed the configuration and verification of 2 of the 4 scientific instruments of the powerful James Webb Telescope.

Yesterday, the space agency managed to check the last mode, namely the MIRI Coronagraphic of the MIRI instrument.

"We are thrilled that MIRI is now a functioning, state-of-the-art instrument with performances across all its capabilities better than expected. Our multinational commissioning team has done a fantastic job getting MIRI ready in the space of just a few weeks. Now we celebrate all the people, scientists, engineers, managers, national agencies, ESA, and NASA, who have made this instrument a reality as MIRI begins to explore the infrared universe in ways and to depths never achieved before," said Gillian Wright, MIRI European principal investigator at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre, and George Rieke, MIRI science lead at the University of Arizona.

June 22, 2022, was marked by the configuration of the first instrument of the most powerful telescope ever launched, NASA succeeding this with the NIRISS instrument.

But how long would we have to wait for James Webb's other 2 instruments to be declared ready for scientific observation?

The team coordinating Webb has so far managed to declare ready 3 of the 4 modes of NIRSpec and 4 of 5 modes of NIRCam.

As it has been working lately, the Webb team puts into operation 1 or 2 modes of Webb's instruments every day, which means that we could expect that in 1, 2, or maximum 3 days the other 2 instruments of the telescope will be declared ready for scientific observations.

The sooner they are put into operation, the more time Webb will have for observations, and the final result will be seen in the first clear and full-color image that will be shown to the world on July 12, 2022. Definitely, this date will remain in history.

In any case, James Webb Telescope has shown very good results so far, and the team that coordinates it has put a lot of effort so that Webb can start its observations as soon as possible.

We hope that on July 12, James Webb will show us as Bill Nelson says "the deepest image of the Universe that has ever been taken". Read more here.

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