After completing two additional mirror alignment steps in March 2022, the team confirmed the James Webb Space Telescope’s optical performance will be able to meet or exceed the science goals the observatory was built to achieve.
This “selfie” was created using a specialized pupil imaging lens inside of Webb’s Near Infrared Camera, or NIRCam, instrument, which was designed to take images of the primary mirror segments instead of images of the sky. This configuration is not used during scientific operations and is used strictly for engineering and alignment purposes. In this image, all of Webb’s 18 primary mirror segments are shown collecting light from the same star in unison.

Now, we’re counting down to the release of the Webb Telescope’s first full-color images and spectroscopic data during a broadcast beginning at 10:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 12.

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