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The James-Webb telescope works “better than expected”!

On the occasion of the 241e meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the director of the division astrophysicsastrophysics from NasaNasa Mark Camplin gave more details on the good performance of the télescope spatial James-Webbtélescope spatial James-Webb, of which he was the scientific director. The conclusion is as follows: despite the multiple impacts of micrometeorites noted on the mirrormirror primary, the JWST continues to operate” better than expected ».

Indeed, for any telescope, the resolutionresolution remains limited by the diffractiondiffraction radii, which is proportional to the wave lengthwave length and the diameter of the mirror. In the case of the JWST, this limit is 1.1 micronmicron, which is much better than the two microns theoretically expected. The resolution is much finer than expected and the sensitivity of the instrument NIRCamNIRCam (near-infrared observation) is also 35% better. Precision is gained with the stability of the space telescope. The JWST is 6-7 times more stable than expected when pointing at an object and twice as stable when tracking an object in movementmovement.

In conclusion, the JWST still has a better resolution despite being repeatedly bombarded by micrometeorites: 21 impacts were noted as having an effect, but all remain within the margins of error, including that of May 2022. The JWST has been in science mode since July 11. The second call for submissions is about to close. Scientists will have to wait until November for the next call.

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