Observatory in Italy records James Webb telescope arriving at its destination

Thanks to the Virtual Telescope Project, a service provided by the Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory, based in Rome, Italy, several scientists were able to see the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) arrive at its destination, a Lagrange L2 point. in the Earth-Sun system, which is about 1.5 million kilometers away from our planet.

Managed by PhD in astrophysics Gianluca Masi, the program consists of several robotic telescopes, remotely accessible in real time via the Internet, used for both research and leisure and available to everyone. This is because, despite the technologically advanced instrumentation, the system is considered very easy to use.

According to the website Space.com , the person responsible for the capture was a 17-inch PlaneWave telescope, which had already been tracking Webb on his journey, which began on Christmas morning last year.

James Webb Space Telescope among a sea of background stars. The stars appear blurred because the telescope was tracking the movement of the JWST, which appears as a small white spot. Image: Gianluca Masi/The Virtual Telescope Project

In the image above, you can see the (very) distant James Webb Space Telescope surrounded by stars in the immensity of the universe. Okay… it doesn't look like a very exciting image, and for the uninitiated, it might just be a bunch of white dots speckled on a black background. Perhaps, if we got a little closer, we could see the equipment a little more clearly.

Image: Gianluca Masi/The Virtual Telescope Project

Yes, it's that tiny bright white dot highlighted by the arrow. Believe me: what, for our inexperienced eyes, may not mean much, for science is a full plate.

Read more:

  • James Webb Space Telescope reaches final orbit in space
  • The technological innovations that James Webb leaves for humanity
  • Envy filter: NASA scientists take selfie using James Webb telescope mirrors

James Webb Space Telescope has five months of fitness ahead

NASA and the agency's main contractor on the JWST project, Northrop Grumman, said in a statement on Monday what to expect in the next five months of the telescope's commissioning period, which includes aspects such as precisely align mirrors, power up and test instruments, and do some engineering imaging.

“We expect the first scientific images from JWST to come back in about five months,” said Amber Straughn, deputy chief scientist for science communication projects at Webb.

During the years he's been working, Webb has an ambitious mission to study the early universe, find out how fast our universe is expanding, and look at objects ranging from galaxies to exoplanets.

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