Technology

Last test phase of NASA telescope; amazing first images

Published on 09/05/2022 at 16:28

Each of the 18 mirror segments of the new telescope is larger than Spitzer’s. (Photo: Canadian Press)

Cape Canaveral. — NASA’s new space telescope is in the final stages of testing and scientific observations are expected to begin in July, astronomers said on Monday.

The James Webb Space Telescope has transmitted the latest test images from a nearby satellite galaxy, and the results are staggering compared to images taken by NASA’s old infrared observatory, the Spitzer Space Telescope.

Each of the 18 mirror segments of the new telescope is larger than Spitzer’s.

“Only when you really see the type of image it creates do you really perceive it and say to yourself, wow! Just think about what we’re about to learn,” said Marcia Riquet of the University of Arizona, principal scientist at the James Webb Near-Infrared Camera.

Launched last December, the $10 billion Webb Telescope is the largest and most powerful astronomical observatory ever sent into space. It will look for the light emitted by the first stars and galaxies almost 14 billion years ago and watch for any signs of life.

Scientists are keeping the identity of Webb’s first official target a secret.

Located 1.6 million kilometers from Earth, Webb is considered the successor to the aging Hubble Space Telescope.

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