NASA takes delivery of first instrument for James Webb telescope
NASA has taken delivery of the first of four instruments to fly aboard its James Webb Space Telescope.
Known as MIRI, the mid infra-red instrument is designed to observe light with wavelengths in the range of 5 to 28microns, which is longer than human eyes can detect. It is the only instrument of the four with this particular ability to observe the physical processes occurring in the cosmos.
"MIRI will enable Webb to distinguish the oldest galaxies from more evolved objects that have undergone several cycles of star birth and death," said Matt Greenhouse, project scientist at Webb's science instrument payload, the Integrated Science Instrument Module."MIRI also will provide a unique window into the birth places of stars which are typically enshrouded by dust that shorter wavelength light cannot penetrate."
MIRI's sensitive detectors will allow it to observe light, cool stars in very distant galaxies; unveil newly forming stars within the Milky Way; find signatures of the formation of planets around stars other than our own; and take imagery and spectroscopy of planets, comets and the outermost bits of debris in our solar system. Its images will enable scientists to study an object's shape and structure.
"MIRI will help us understand what's out there at the edge of what we can see," said Mike Ressler, the instrument's project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "The shorter wavelength instruments will discover the glow of the farthest known objects, but we need MIRI to help identify what they are - supermassive black holes, newborn galaxies or something we've never seen before."
This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the