A test image released by NASA showed great potential from the James Webb Space Telescope, which recorded the longest and deepest infrared view of our universe. The image was released last Wednesday (6) and, according to the information, was captured by the instrument “Fine Guidance Sensor” (FGS), over a period of eight days.
The image is actually a composite of 72 records over 32 hours of exposure. Despite the beauty of the material – which you can see below -, experts from the Canadian Space Agency, which built the FGS, stressed that the instrument is not scientific and its purpose is to ensure that the telescope “looks” at its target. appropriately.
According to a descriptive statement from NASA, the image above corresponds to the star HD147980and was captured during what the agency called a “roll test” – basically, the camera was supposed to be pointed at the target in focus while the entire telescope rolled from side to side, just like a spaceship.
The result was an infrared image with color scales ranging from white to red, with white dots representing brighter objects and red ones darker. In the image above, the dots that look like plus (“+”) signs are stars. The others are entire galaxies.
“The darkest spots are exactly the kind of ‘faded’ galaxies that James Webb will study in its first year of scientific operations,” said Jane Rigby, Space Telescope Operations Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Flight Center in Maryland.
Despite the beauty of the image, there are errors in it: photography enthusiasts will recognize the points where the camera shook (the black points in the center). This happens when the telescope adjusts its position during exposures, saturating its detectors.
Interestingly, the photos captured by the FGS will have no scientific value and, in most cases, will be discarded minutes after being recorded. The real work of James Webb, however, should be shown for the first time next week: on the 12th, NASA will promote a live broadcast where it will show the first scientific image captured by the telescope, which is approaching the end of its period of instrument commissioning.
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