The largest telescope ever put into space, NASA’s James Webb telescope, just took a selfie in outer space of its primary mirror. The image was captured by an externally mounted engineering camera, with a special lens within its NIRCam instrument.
“Bonus image! When it’s time to focus, sometimes you need to take a good look at yourself,” wrote the James Webb team on Twitter.
The James Webb Space Telescope is nearing completion of the first phase of the months-long process of aligning the observatory’s primary mirror using the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument. “The special lens is meant for engineering, not science, and allows NIRCam to capture an “inward-looking” image of the primary mirror,” another post in the thread said.
“What you are seeing is the actual primary mirror of Webb as it observes its engineering target, a bright star. All the mirror segments are seeing starlight, but the bright segment is bright because, from NIRCam’s view, the segment is directly aligned with the star,” another tweet in the thread read.
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