James Webb telescope completes optical alignment

Huxter

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“Every step of the way, things have been going either exactly as planned or better than planned, which has just been an incredibly great feeling,” said Atkinson, who’s been with the Webb program for Northrop Grumman since 1998.

One of those better-than-expected performance points comes from the optical performance of the telescope. As Atkinson explained, “We’re getting an indication that the actual optical performance of the telescope is actually better than we expected.:clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

Kudos to all on the project - Well done!
 

Marc_G

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Another article on this:

Universe Today: Now, We can Finally Compare Webb to Other Infrared Observatories.
 

Antares JS

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Funkworks

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Countdown to first images (July 12th, in 41 days):
https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/countdown.html

What Will We See?

“The first images package of materials will highlight the science themes that inspired the mission and will be the focus of its work: the early universe, the evolution of galaxies through time, the lifecycle of stars, and other worlds.”
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/first-images-from-nasa-s-webb-space-telescope-coming-soon

Science themes (Universe, galaxies, stars, planets):
https://webb.nasa.gov/content/science/index.html
 

Huxter

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Oh Noooo, Mr Bill!


"(NASA said) on Wednesday (June 8) that the observatory has experienced its first few impacts from tiny pieces of space debris called micrometeoroids. But don't panic: Neither the observatory's schedule nor its scientific legacy is expected to suffer."
 

Funkworks

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Wonder if they will do comparison shots with Hubble?
The answer would be in here:

After a quick look-up, I found that JWST will be aimed at exoplanet 55 Cancri e:

Something Hubble has also done apparently:

But I'm not sure that particular observation involves images, maybe just spectrums. Generating a visual image may not always be a priority.
 

RocketPro

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This comparison to two previous infrared space telescopes is astounding.

This is a poor comparison. WISE (now NEOWISE) is a survey telescope with a very wide FoV so that it could survey the entire sky. It’s also a newer telescope than Spitzer so the resolution difference isn’t due to technology advances. JWST, for all of its amazing capabilities can never survey the entire sky.
 

Funkworks

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NASA shares list of target for first images:
  • Carina Nebula. The Carina Nebula is one of the largest and brightest nebulae in the sky, located approximately 7,600 light-years away in the southern constellation Carina. Nebulae are stellar nurseries where stars form. The Carina Nebula is home to many massive stars, several times larger than the Sun.
  • WASP-96 b (spectrum). WASP-96 b is a giant planet outside our solar system, composed mainly of gas. The planet, located nearly 1,150 light-years from Earth, orbits its star every 3.4 days. It has about half the mass of Jupiter, and its discovery was announced in 2014.
  • Southern Ring Nebula. The Southern Ring, or “Eight-Burst” nebula, is a planetary nebula – an expanding cloud of gas, surrounding a dying star. It is nearly half a light-year in diameter and is located approximately 2,000 light years away from Earth.
  • Stephan’s Quintet: About 290 million light-years away, Stephan’s Quintet is located in the constellation Pegasus. It is notable for being the first compact galaxy group ever discovered in 1877. Four of the five galaxies within the quintet are locked in a cosmic dance of repeated close encounters.
  • SMACS 0723: Massive foreground galaxy clusters magnify and distort the light of objects behind them, permitting a deep field view into both the extremely distant and intrinsically faint galaxy populations

Countdown and viewing information:

 
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