We are close to witnessing James Webb’s Space Telescope (JWST) first scientific observation.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) alignment has been completed after a full review. The last step in the validation process is that the space observatory will be able to “capture sharp, well-focused images with each of its four powerful onboard scientific instruments,” NASA explained in a blog update.
James Webb’s optical performance is near perfect
Shortly thereafter, James Webb’s team held a meeting and unanimously agreed that Webb was ready to proceed with the final preparations work known as the scientific instrument commissioning. This will take about 2 months, after which James Webb will be able to start working on science in the summer.
NASA showed a series of images showing the alignment of the equipment, as well as the full view of James Webb . “This stunning test image of a successfully aligned telescope shows what people in countries and continents can achieve when they have a bold scientific vision for space exploration,” said Lee Feinberg, Webb Optical Telescope Elements Manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. .” he said.
NASA said in its announcement that James Webb’s optical performance “continues to outperform the engineering team’s most optimistic predictions.” The telescope’s mirrors now successfully directing fully focused light from space to each instrument. NASA described the image quality clicked by the instrument as “diffraction limited.” That means physically as good as possible.
“We are surrounded by a symphony of creation”
With the end of Webb’s lineup, several of the staff responsible for operations completed their duties. Webb wavefront sensing & control scientist Scott Acton said: “With the completion of the telescope alignment and a half-life effort, my role in the James Webb space telescope mission comes to an end. These images have radically changed my view of the universe. We are surrounded by a symphony of creation. There are galaxies everywhere! I hope everyone in the world can see them.”
We may be just two months away from James Webb commence scientific. Once there, it will provide a tantalizing glimpse view of cosmos, and it could eventually provide evidence of extraterrestrial life and new insight into the elusive force of dark matter, in many other important observations. We just have to wait a little longer.