Video Reveals Secrets of Webb Telescope’s MIRI

By | January 3, 2010

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/414519main_MIRI_noCryostat.jpgIt’s going to take infrared eyes to see farther back in time than even the Hubble Space Telescope, and that’s what the James Webb Space Telescope’s MIRI or Mid-Infrared Instrument detectors will do. Now there’s a new short movie that shows what the MIRI detectors are all about and what they can do.

“The MIRI is one of four science instruments aboard the Webb telescope that is designed to record images and spectra at the longest wavelengths that the Webb telescope can observe,” said Matt Greenhouse, Project Scientist for the science instrument payload. “The mid-infrared spectrum covers wavelengths in the range of 5 to 28 micrometers or microns (about 10 to 50 times longer than our eyes can see). Light in this portion of the spectrum is invisible to our eyes but is produced by all room-temperature objects and carries key information about the local and early universe,” Greenhouse said. Light at these wavelengths is blocked by water vapor in the earth’s atmosphere and can only be efficiently observed using a telescope in space.

A new video about the MIRI detectors is part of an on-going series called “Behind the Webb” about the James Webb Space Telescope. It was produced and created by the Space Science Telescope Institute (STScI) of Baltimore, Md. and is available at http://webbtelescope.org/webb_telescope/…

via NASA – New Video Reveals Secrets of Webb Telescope’s MIRI.

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