Problem Detected on James Webb Space Telescope – MIRI Anomaly

WEB MIRI Spectroscopy Animations

James Webb Space Telescope MIRI Spectroscopy Animation: The beam of light coming from the telescope is then shown in dark blue entering the instrument through the pick-off mirror at the top of the instrument and acting as a periscope.
Then, a series of mirrors redirect the light to the underside of the instruments where a set of 4 spectroscopic modules are located. Once there, the beam of light is split into 4 beams by optical elements called dichroics, corresponding to different parts of the mid-infrared region. Each beam enters its integral area unit; These components split and reformat the light from the entire field, ready to be dispersed into the spectra. This requires light to bend, bounce and split multiple times, making it possibly one of the web’s most complex light paths.
To complete this amazing journey, the light from each beam is dispersed by the grating, creating spectra that then project onto 2 MIRI detectors (2 beams per detector). An amazing feat of engineering! credit: ESA/ATG Medialab

Mid-infrared instrument operations update

[{” attribute=””>James Webb Space Telescope’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) has four observing modes. During setup for a science observation on August 24, a mechanism that supports one of these modes, known as medium-resolution spectroscopy (MRS), exhibited what appears to be increased friction. This mechanism is a grating wheel that allows astronomers to select between short, medium, and longer wavelengths when making observations using the MRS mode. Following preliminary health checks and investigations into the issue, an anomaly review board was convened on September 6 to assess the best path forward.

The Webb team has paused to schedule observations using this special observation mode, while they continue to analyze its behavior. They are currently developing strategies to resume MRS observations as soon as possible. The observatory is in good health, and MIRI’s other three observation modes – imaging, low-resolution spectroscopy, and coronagraphy – are operating normally and available for science observations.

The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) of the James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) observes light in the mid-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, at wavelengths that can be seen by our eyes.

MIRI allows scientists to use several observational techniques: imaging, spectroscopy, and coronagraphy, to support the full range of Webb’s science goals, from observations of our own solar system and other planetary systems, to the study of the early universe. to do.

To pack all these methods into one instrument, engineers have designed a complex optical system in which the light from Webb’s telescope follows a complex 3D path before eventually reaching MIRI’s detectors.

This artist’s rendering shows this path to MIRI’s imaging mode, which provides imaging and coronagraphy capabilities. It also includes a simple spectrograph. We first take a look at its mechanical structure consisting of three protruding pairs of carbon fiber struts that will attach it to Webb’s instrument compartment at the back of the telescope.

The pick-off mirror, acting like a periscope, receives light from the telescope, shown in dark blue, and directs it to MIRI’s imaging module. Inside the instrument, a system of mirrors reformulates the light beam and redirects it until it reaches a filter wheel, where the desired range of mid-infrared wavelengths is separated into 18 different wavelengths. is chosen from a set of filters, each of which has its own specific function (the beam takes a light blue color in an animation).

Finally, another set of mirrors takes the light beam emerging from the filter wheel and recreates the image of the sky on MIRI’s detectors.

credit: ESA/ATG Medialab

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.