James Webb Space Telescope: a new image – 01 Jan. 2022
Despite a very hazy sky, we captured the James Webb Space Telescope again. Here it is our new image.
The image above comes from a single 180-second exposure, unfiltered, remotely collected with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at the Virtual Telescope Project. Our robotic telescope tracked the apparent motion of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is marked by an arrow in the center. We estimated a magnitude of 13.8 (unfiltered, R mags for the reference stars from the GAIA DR2 star catalogue): the same brightness as 24 hours earlier, but about 1.5 mags brighter than 48 hours earlier. Several operations connected with the deployment of the Sunshield are ongoing these days and this affects (incrementing it) the apparent brightness of JWST, while it should fade as it increases its distance from us.
At the imaging time, JWST was at about 740.000 km from us (almost 1.9 times the average lunar distance); its final destination is the L2 (2nd) Lagrangian point of the Earth-Sun system at 1.5 millions of km from us. As seen from the Sun, that L2 point is directly behind the Earth.
If you want to learn more about this amazing instrument, just check the detailed Nasa’s website.
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