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Since the space telescope at NASA arrived in January at the Lagrange D2 sober stage, the cost team at an objective has been working to perfectly align all the sections which ingredient primary mirror kid. The 11 last March, a new record was broken: at this stage, all the optical parameters on the instrument have been checked and checked; they work as expected, if not better, and Adam Webb is able to collect light from distant objects without any problems. As proof, this magnificent photograph of a star caught by the observatory.
The telescope is of course not yet fully operational. No less than seven steps make up the instrument’s sober calibration process. The team has just passed the fifth, titled phasing finished (great phasing
Space images of unprecedented resolution
The image presented by a NASA the last February, after completing the first three stages sober to the alignment, appeared blurred and displayed 18 times on the same star , all the factors forming a hexagonal shape. Each of the 18 sections of the primary mirror were therefore finely tuned to produce a unified image of the same star captured by the NIRCam.
And the results are even better than expected: not only does the star appear very sharp (a red tea filter was used to improve the contrast), but thousands of stars and dark galaxies are also visible beyond it. We have the highest resolution infrared images ever taken from space, said Scott Acton, a wave entrance detection and control scientist working on the telescope, in a video accompanying NASA’s announcement. In addition to this sober star photo, Wayne Webb took another selfie. This image was created using a specialized pupillary imaging lens built into the NIRCam instrument, designed to take pictures of sections of the primary mirror rather than pictures of the sky. This setting will of course not be used in scientific operations; it is strictly for engineering and alignment purposes, NASA says.