DECRYPTION – The calibration of the 18 main mirrors is complete, and the machine produces images as sharp as possible.
It is a simple star which stands out against the blackness of space. In itself, the image is nothing exceptional. But looking more closely at the background, you can see dozens, hundreds of little bright spots. Each is actually a galaxy, sometimes billions of light-years away! “It’s only a calibration image, a few tens of seconds of pause, but it already contains thousands of galaxies”explained Jane Rigby, chief scientist of the Webb telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Center, during a press conference.
But what’s most interesting about the shot is what it tells us about the instrument that took it: the Webb Space Telescope (JWST), perhaps the most complex and expensive craft never thrown by man, now has perfect eyesight! The long process of deploying the telescope, then aligning its 18 main mirrors, is complete.
“The optical performance of the telescope is truly phenomenal, all…