Follow the Next Steps in the Webb Space Telescopes Journey

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the subsequent of NASA’s massive observatories; in line with the Hubble Space Telescope, the Compton Gamma-ray Observatory, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope. JWST combines the qualities of two of its predecessors, observing in infrared gentle, like Spitzer, with high quality decision, like Hubble. Credit: NASA, SkyWorks Digital, Northrop Grumman, STScI

After two weeks of advanced structural deployments, Webb has reached an vital milestone and is now totally deployed in area. To discover out what to anticipate in the coming months and easy methods to comply with, we hear from Alexandra Lockwood, scientist for the Webb Science Communications Project at the Space Telescope Science Institute:

“Words can’t describe the satisfaction and pleasure the Webb workforce is feeling proper now. From engineers and scientists to IT workers, graphic designers and administrative workers (and extra!), We are all delighted with the observatory’s unbelievable success up to now. While we nonetheless have an extended approach to go earlier than we get the science, the engineering feats which were achieved, on Earth and now in area, are spectacular. They are a testomony to the arduous work and experience of the worldwide Webb workforce.

“Now that the action-packed deployment sequence is full, we’re coming into a a lot slower, however deliberate, part of the commissioning course of. Over the subsequent two weeks, we will likely be transferring every of the 18 main mirror segments and the secondary mirror out of their launch positions. Then, 5 months of commissioning will embody 1) extra cooling of the complete observatory, and the infrared instrument in explicit, 2) the verification after which alignment of the secondary segments and 18 mirrors in a single system coherent optics, first with the NIRCam instrument after which with all devices individually and in parallel, and three) the calibration of every of the 4 devices and their many scientific modes. The novelty and number of science that this observatory can produce requires that hundreds of issues be verified in advance. But relaxation assured, this summer time will sizzle with the sizzling (or chilly?) Sightings we are going to share quickly!

“The workforce is dedicated to retaining you knowledgeable, even throughout the typically gradual and painstaking levels of this commissioning course of. This weblog will likely be up to date weekly, and generally extra typically. Please come again to listen to extra standing updates, in-depth explanations of Webb’s science and expertise, and even some enjoyable info about the workforce!

“We are delighted to be taking this journey to #UnfoldTheUniverse with you. “

—Alexandra Lockwood, Scientist, Webb Science Communications Project, Space Telescope Science Institute

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