One of James Webb telescope’s instruments reached -266 degrees Celsius from which it can operate normally

The James Webb Telescope, which is more than 1.5 million km from Earth, at its special point of view, has successfully passed an important stage: the instrument that needed to be cooled the most has reached the temperature from which it will be able to it works normally, says NASA.

On April 7, the Mid-Infrared Instrument or MIRI, developed by NASA and the European Space Agency, reached a temperature of -266 C.

MIRI is one of the four main observation instruments, and in the shade of the sun visor it had cooled to -183 C, but it was not enough for optimal operation, so an electrically powered cryocooler was needed to continue cooling with a few dozen good degrees.

Such low temperatures are necessary because all four instruments “see” in the infrared spectrum, unlike Hubble, which “sees” the universe in the visible and ultraviolet spectra.

Distant galaxies, stars hidden in dust “cloaks” and planets outside our solar system emit infrared light. But so do other hot objects, including electronics and optical hardware on the Webb telescope. Cooling the detectors of the four instruments and the surrounding hardware suppresses these infrared emissions.

MIRI detects longer infrared wavelengths than the other three instruments, which means it needs to be even cooler.

Also read: James Webb Telescope fully deployed in space

Further calibrations are needed and new test images of stars and galaxies will be made to complete the calibration until the telescope begins serious scientific observations this summer.

On January 24, almost a month after launch, the James Webb space telescope reached its final orbit, 1.5 million km from Earth, from which it will be able to observe the first galaxies in the universe, NASA confirmed.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was built to show us how the first “lights” were “turned on” over 13.4 billion years ago in a super-dark universe. The telescope will give us more information about the first flashes of the “dawn” of the universe, when the first stars and galaxies began to populate it. It is hoped that Webb, thanks to the huge mirror and the ability to see in the infrared, will allow a much clearer view of distant galaxies.

A second category of observations will be in the field of exoplanets, which we expect to see more clearly than ever before. Interestingly, when the construction of the telescope was first seriously discussed, the existence of exoplanets was not known, but since then more than 4,000 have been cataloged. The new telescope will be able to examine the atmosphere of exoplanets to detect bio-signatures indicating the presence of water, methane or other substances.

The James Webb Telescope can give us new information about primordial galaxies, exoplanets, dark energy, and black holes at the creation of the known universe.

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