James Webb Space Telescope Mirror Alignment Continues


One of the most important missions that NASA has launched in recent memory was the new James Webb Space Telescope. The telescope has been in orbit far from Earth for many weeks, and scientists continue to perform various tasks to get the telescope ready to perform observations.

NASA recently confirmed the Webb team has worked through the second and third of seven total phases of mirror alignment. The phases it has completed are known as Segment Alignment and Image Stacking.

With those two phases finished, the Webb team will now begin making more minute adjustments to the telescope’s mirrors. Reports indicate the Segment Alignment stage was critical and had to be completed before overlapping light from all mirrors, allowing them to work in unison.

While the mirrors are better aligned now than they were previously, they are still acting as 18 individual telescopes rather than one large unit. Further alignment will get all mirror segments working in unison.