NASA James Webb Space Telescope Cameras First Target
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope managed to arrive at its final destination, approximately 1-million miles away from Earth, on January 24th, and now, it has activated all of its cameras. More specifically, the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) has been turned on and is ready to capture images of the HD 84406, a star that is located 241-light-years away from Earth, part of the Ursa Major constellation or the ‘Great Bear.’ Read more for a video and additional information.

Scientists will use NIRCam to observe HD 84406 while mirror segments move in nanometer-scale steps to create a perfectly smooth surface. However, it won’t be until late April when the individual science instruments start fully training their eyes on objects in the near and distant universe. Expect the first proper images to be photographed and revealed to the public in late June or early July.

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At the beginning, we will have 18 individual blurry images. At the end, we will have one nice sharp image. If NIRCam failed, we wouldn’t be able to align the mirror. That’s why it’s essentially two cameras in one. There is full redundancy. If one fails, we still have the other,” said Mark McCaughrean, a scientist at the JWST Science Working Group and senior advisor at the European Space Agency (ESA).

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