James Webb chose to observe a brighter star than others in order to facilitate his task.
Pictures of these photons were taken more than a week ago, specifically on the second of February, by the scientific instrument called (NIRCam).
The 18 points of illumination reflected in the 18 hexagonal parts of the large main mirror correspond to the light emitted by the star, and to produce a single clear image it is necessary to line up these parts gradually.
The process takes about a month, and then it must be repeated with other scientific instruments in the telescope that have not yet cooled down to become usable.
Stars with increasingly dim light will be used.
“The presence of the 18 (light points) close to each other in the center of the search area indicates that the mirrors are well aligned,” said scientist Marshall Perrin in a press conference.
James Webb also took a selfie with (NIRCamWhen looking at the black and white image published by NASA, the 18 small mirrors can be clearly seen thanks to the starlight reflecting on them.
The official in charge of optics for the telescope, Lee Feinberg, said that the NASA teams were greatly surprised by the selfie, and will use this image to verify the alignment with the scientific instruments.
“It’s too early to tell if there’s a major glitch” on the telescope, Feinberg said, noting that his wife will tell him when he gets home Saturday that it’s the first time she’s seen him smile since December.
James Webb, which cost NASA $10 billion and was launched from French Guiana on December 25, is 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
He had unlocked his tools in space in an unprecedentedly risky process.
The telescope is supposed to monitor the first galaxies that formed in the universe, and the atmosphere of the outer planets to monitor any environment that could be habitable.
It is expected that the first scientific images that will be captured by the telescope will be published in the summer.