The four powerful instruments, three imagers and a spectrograph, successfully aligned with the main mirror (6.5 meters in diameter), the deployment of which ended in early January, two weeks after liftoff from the James Webb Telescope (JWST) from French Guiana.

Each has reached its "operational temperature", and is now ready for its scientific commissioning, detailed Thursday NASA in a press release.

While waiting for the first images of scientific observations, scheduled for the summer, the instruments have confirmed that they are able to "capture sharp and well-targeted images".

Like these images of stars and gas from the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small dwarf satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, taken by the Mirim instrument.

NASA-provided images of stars and gas from the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite dwarf galaxy in the Milky Way Handout NASA/STScI/AFP

"This first image was immediately magnificent because we saw the quality of images we were looking for" tweeted the scientific manager of the Mirim at the CEA, Pierre-Olivier Lagage.

“Everything is going well and now I am sure there will be + transformational + science. I am completely certain that with the JWST we will advance science by leaps and bounds”, added the astrophysicist, moved .

"These remarkable test images demonstrate what people across countries and continents can achieve when there is a bold scientific vision to explore the universe," said Lee Feinberg, Elements Manager for the Webb Optical Telescope. at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The main mirror of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in May 2017. Chris GUNN NASA/AFP/Archives

Worth 10 billion dollars, James Webb is awaited by astronomers around the world and should make it possible to observe in particular the first galaxies, formed only about 200 million years after the Big Bang.

© 2022 AFP

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