After many delays, NASA finally sent the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) into space last Christmas as a successor for Hubble. JWST is even considered the most powerful space telescope ever built, but many people had their doubts.
But it was worth the long wait! Webb is aiming to look deeper into the galaxies and stars than ever before and provide important info about the very first stars that illuminated the Cosmos. Astronomers hope to understand the Universe a lot better after NASA’s telescope sends back the right pictures.
Webb spots a bright star on a background full of galaxies
According to CNET.com, JWST spotted a new alignment evaluation image showcasing a bright star.
JWST’s YouTube channel has the following detailed explanation:
On March 11, the Webb team completed the stage of alignment known as “fine phasing” – and at this key stage in the commissioning of Webb’s Optical Telescope Element, every optical parameter that has been checked and tested is performing at, or above, expectations. The team found no critical issues and no measurable contamination or blockages to Webb’s optical path. The observatory is able to successfully gather light from distant objects and deliver it to its instruments without issue.
Thomas Zurbuchen, who’s associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate of NASA, explained as the space agency’s website quotes:
More than 20 years ago, the Webb team set out to build the most powerful telescope that anyone has ever put in space and came up with an audacious optical design to meet demanding science goals,
Today we can say that design is going to deliver.
NASA itself said not long ago that its JWST has enough fuel to remain in the Earth’s orbit for more than 10 years. This can only mean another reason to believe that the American space agency has done a great job regarding the space telescope!