Space Research: the Webb Telescope Outshines All Expectations
On April 28, NASA and JPL announced that the alignment of the James Webb Space Telescope is now complete, and it has been confirmed that each of its powerful onboard science instruments is capable of capturing crisp, well-focused images, which were proudly posted by NASA on the website.
The team has decided to move forward with the next and final steps in preparation for its scientific operations, which are known as the science instrument commissioning. This is expected to take about two months. When fully operational, the telescope should be able to examine every aspect of our cosmos history, including a look at first galaxies formed 13.5 billion years ago, as well as the atmospheres of exoplanets, and hopefully answer questions about how planets formed and evolved.
As Lee Feinberg, the Webb optical telescope element manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, commented after seeing the test images received from a successfully aligned telescope, they “demonstrate what people across countries and continents can achieve when there is a bold scientific vision to explore the universe”.
For Scott Acton, who has worked on the mission as a sensing and controls scientist from Ball Aerospace, “these images have profoundly changed the way I see the universe. We are surrounded by a symphony of creation; there are galaxies everywhere! It is my hope that everyone in the world can see them.” (They can be viewed at https://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2022/04/28/nasas-webb-in-full-focus-ready-for-instrument-commissioning/)