NASA has taken to its blog to give an update on the progress being made on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
The next-generation space telescope was launched on December 25, 2021, and after arriving in its designated location, it has been performing calibrations to meet the required levels of performance needed to achieve its science goals.
NASA writes on its blog that the space telescope performed two additional mirror alignment steps in March 2022 and that the Webb team can now confirm that the telescope's optical performance has now reached, and in some instances surpassed, the levels required for coming science missions. NASA explains that the below image was taken using a special lens inside of Webb's Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument, which was specifically designed to snap images of the space telescopes' mirrors and not the stars.
This lens is specifically for engineers and Webb's team back on Earth, that are constantly monitoring the condition of the space telescope and all its mirrors. The above image showcases all of Webb's 18 primary mirror segments, which are all collecting light from a distant star. NASA writes on its blog that the first full-color images, along with spectroscopic data, will be revealed in a broadcast held on Tuesday, July 12 at 10:30 AM.
Notably, the space agency writes on its James Webb Space Telescope Twitter that a team is currently interpreting some data that has been retrieved by Webb, with the caption stating that the team is "taking some of Webb's first science data".
In other news about Webb, NASA confirmed that a micrometeorite smacked into the world's most powerful space telescope. In other news about space telescopes, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope snapped an incredible image of a galaxy cluster that displays a phenomenon called gravitational lensing.
If you are wondering if Webb has released any images at all, the new observatory sent back its first image in February. You can check that out below.
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