The James Webb Space Telescope was launched on December 25 last year. After a little more than two months in space, NASA can report that all is well.
Not so long ago, they received the first high-resolution image from the telescope, and experts around the world are thrilled.
– This is first of all proof that the telescope is working properly, and now there are probably many who have sighed a sigh of relief. Researcher Håkon Dahle tells NRK that the things you see in this image give us a hint as to what the telescope will be able to offer in the long run.
The Norwegian researcher is one of the first in the world to use the James Webb Telescope for his own work. Participates in several projects that were given observational time in the first year.
The new image gives Dahli and scientists around the world a renewed belief that a super telescope will be able to provide valuable new knowledge about the universe in the coming years.
– Design delivers
I started planning and building James Webb 25 years ago. The goal was to build the most powerful telescope ever. This meant that one had to come up with a rather bold optical design.
Today we can confirm that this particular design will succeed, says NASA astrophysicist Thomas Zurbuchen in a press release.
To prove his ability, James Webb focused on a single star called TYC 4212-1079-1. The distance between the star and the telescope is 2000 light years.
Although the telescope focused on the star itself, the optics are so sensitive that even stars and galaxies in the background are visible in the image.
These are the things that make researcher Håkon Dahle happier and more predictable.
get rid of galaxies
The Web telescope is about the size of a tennis court and cost about ten billion US dollars to make. It is located in orbit around the Sun, about 1.5 million kilometers outside Earth’s orbit.
In total, “James Webb” consists of 18 segmented mirrors.
The image of the star TYC 4212-1079-1, which is now spreading on websites around the world, is not very special in itself, but in the background experts see things that were not previously visible in the same way.
– The image is dominated by a star from our galaxy, but in the background we see distant galaxies. If you compare this to images taken by the old Hubble telescope, you will see that these galaxies have a much more regular shape. “You see a lot of tiny spiral galaxies,” Dahley says.
One of their goals is to be able to see more distant galaxies.
You have to do a lot of analyzes to see how great the potential is, but it looks very promising, says the Norwegian researcher.
– This is the future
Over the next six weeks, the telescope will have completed its adaptations in space. He will then begin his final preparations before the scientific operations begin.
It is expected to be operational during the month of June.
With its infrared light, the super telescope is expected to come up with more discoveries in the coming time.
The telescope has performed more so far than we could have hoped, says Jane Rigby. She is an American astrophysicist who works at the Goddard Space Flight Center.
– This is the future from now on. Without lifting a finger, thanks to James Webb we can look at galaxies a long time ago.
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