On January 24, the Webb Telescope reached it’s destination. It is now orbiting around the Sun at the second Lagrange point, nearly 1.5 million kilometres away from Earth.
Today, the telescope’s four instruments – including the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA’s) Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectograph (NIRISS) – and the Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) will be turned on one by one. Functionality checks will be performed over the coming days.
In the coming weeks, the FGS will play a crucial role in the alignment of Webb’s 18 golden hexagonal mirrors, as the Optical Telescope Element begins its critical fine-tuning in space. The instrument will also act as a stellar navigator, tracking bright stars to keep the telescope aligned, while NIRISS will be used to observe astronomical objects, such as exoplanets, brown dwarfs and rogue planets.