August 17, 2022

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The first pictures of James Webb are coming

The first pictures of James Webb are coming

In the lead up to the long-awaited color photos, the US agency is already making us happy with a very good test photo.

We’re just days away from NASA’s release of the first color images from the James Webb Space Telescope. Promising to be crazy visuals that would “definitely make a hit”, The US agency confirmed to us before† And for those who can’t wait, we have good news. Because before we marvel at the real work in a few days, NASA already gives us a preconceived idea.

test image
In the lead up to the long-awaited color photos, the US agency is already making us happy with a very good test photo. This test image can be admired in all its glory below. The statue was made in May, using the so-called WebbPrecision steering sensorwhich was tested at that time.

Stunning image captured by James Webb’s micro-orientation sensor. Photo: NASA, CSA, and the FGS team

The image is the result of 72 snapshots taken in 32 hours. And while James Webb wasn’t necessarily supposed to capture blurry objects, he managed to immortalize very faint celestial bodies on the image. Therefore it indicates that Precision steering sensor – even unplanned – capable of producing stunning images of the universe.

deepest image
The bright star on the right edge is a star named 2MASS 16235798 + 2826079. However, this image only shows a handful of stars, and the other patches are thousands of faint galaxies. Some of these galaxies are found in the nearby universe, but the vast majority of them are astoundingly distant galaxies. “When I took this picture, I was so excited to see all the detailed structures in these misty galaxies so clearly,” said NASA’s Neil Rowlands. The image is thus one of the deepest images of the universe ever captured.

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Primary goal
Although the picture is a great piece of work by Precision steering sensorTaking pictures isn’t even his primary goal. The Precision steering sensor It especially ensures that he can stay focused on the things to be studied for a long time. In short, the device ensures that the telescope is able to see its mission targets well and sharply. pictures that Precision steering sensor They are usually not preserved, in part due to the limited communication bandwidth between L2 (the point from which a telescope must reveal the secrets of the universe) and Earth. But during one of James Webb’s tests in May, the team concluded that due to sufficient available bandwidth, it might still be possible to send images back to Earth.

Important
The Precision steering sensor You will play a vital role in James Webb’s mission. Thus, it is the only tool that will be used during each note. By the way, the Precision steering sensor Also plays an important role in tuning Webb optics. From now on, the instrument will continue to point the telescope at its target, while maintaining the accuracy that Webb needs to make groundbreaking discoveries about stars, exoplanets and galaxies, among other things.

preview
The photo shows what we can expect from James Webb when he actually begins his science observations. Plus, it offers a preview of what science telescopes will study in the coming weeks, months, and years. “The weakest points in this image are exactly the types of hazy galaxies that Webb will be examining in his first year of scientific operations,” said team member Gene Rigby.

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NASA creates high expectations with images. Because if this tool is able to inadvertently deliver all these great photos, what can we expect from the planned color photos? We’ll know in a few days!