NASA unveils the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope
NASA unveiled a mosaic of the first images captured by the revolutionary James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, today. The image represents the early stages of the telescope’s 18 main mirror segments properly aligning before JWST reaches its full potential.
The image is blurry, but this is actually a good starting point in the long process of adjusting JWST’s mirrors to take ultra-sharp photos of the distant Universe. The 18 points of light that appear in the image all represent the same isolated star, known as HD 84406, seen by a different primary mirror segment. Light collected from each primary mirror segment was reflected back to Webb’s secondary mirror, then measured using one of the telescope’s key imaging instruments, the Near Infrared Camera, or NIRCam. This sensor will be used throughout the telescope’s alignment process to determine and correct any optical errors.