The James Webb Space Telescope has successfully turned on all scientific instruments, including its main near-infrared camera (NIRCam).
SciTechDaily notes that this is one of the important steps, which also includes turning off the heaters to begin the long process of cooling the instruments and aligning the telescope mirrors. These processes will take several months to begin full operation of the device.
The heaters kept the telescope’s optics warm to protect it from water and ice condensation. The team must turn them off to allow the instruments to cool to a temperature that will allow infrared detectors to detect distant objects.
The mission expects the NIRCam main camera to cool to -244 degrees Fahrenheit (-153 degrees Celsius) later this week. Scientists will then begin the process of aligning the 18 segments of the telescope mirror so that they work as a single mirror surface.
The landmark will be the star HD84406, which will lead the telescope tools. She will be photographed by a NIRCam camera. The telescope will then create 18 blurred points of light, resulting in a focused image of one star.