James Webb Space Telescope:
NASA’s new space telescope has captured its first starlight and even taken a selfie of its giant, gold mirror.
- All 18 segments of the primary mirror on the James Webb Space Telescope seem to be working properly a month-and-half into the mission.
- The telescope’s first target was a bright star 258 light years away in the constellation Ursa Major.
- Over the next few months, the hexagonal mirror segments will be aligned and focused as one, allowing science observations to begin by the end of June.
- The $10 billion infrared observatory – considered the successor to the ageing Hubble Space Telescope – will seek light from the first stars and galaxies that formed in the universe nearly 14 billion years ago.
- It will also examine the atmospheres of alien worlds for any possible signs of life.
- Webb’s 6.5-metre, gold-plated mirror is the largest ever launched into space.
- Webb blasted off from South America in December and reached its designated perch 1.6 million kilometres away last month.