back to article Photon fantastic: James Webb Space Telescope spies its first starlight

The first photons of starlight have travelled through the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and been detected by the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument. This is a milestone, albeit not yet the imagery expected once the alignment and commissioning of the observatory and its payloads is complete. It marks the transition of …

  1. Tom 7 Silver badge

    https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

    More pleasurable time wasting 3d graphics added.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

      A nice page showing progress.

      Also the temperature difference across the sun shield is astonishing by Earth standards, +51C facing the sun and -217C on the shade side!

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

        Try sharing a bed with a duvet stealing partner and a dog

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

          Or even just a duvet stealing partner.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

            I don't know, the dog is cute and loving....

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

              My dawgs are also (mostly) cute, and all are loving ... but they prefer to sleep in their crates. If I dare to get into bed at night before I close their doors, one or more of them will come nose-nose-nose me as a reminder.

        2. Xalran

          Re: https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

          I would go : Try to sleep in a tent between x-mas and new year in mountain, on snow...

          But I'm biased since I've done it, and despite having a nice -20°C graded sleeping bag the night was not a good one. But that was a time when I was a masochist ( and also somewhat a sadist, since I spread around my misery to the climbing club people that were willing to join ) when it came to winter mountaineering.

          One winter, we had cold enough that our camping gas source froze... so making breakfast involved tucking said frozen camping gas sources in the sleeping bag with us on top for half an hour to get them unfrozen enough to prepare a breakfast. In Central France [Sancy Massif], which is not really high mountains.

          Note: standard Camping Gaz bottles freeze at -32°C at that time... so obviously at some point the cold went below that during the nitght, we didn't think it would freeze, so we left them outside.

          ( since then the equipment has evolved a lot and this kind of thing does not happen ( well cannot happen ) except in extreme winter arctic conditions )

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

            I never bothered with cammed gas below -10°C, it's just so f... inefficient, liquid fuel stove is ok. That said, for an overnight trip, maybe.

          2. Craig 2

            -20°C graded sleeping bag

            My eyes were opened to the grading of sleeping bags when I realized that they were graded by "you wont die" sleeping in it at this temperature, rather than "nice and cosy" at this temp!

          3. TheRealRoland

            Re: https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

            While it didn't snow, i did by accident hit a -7C/19F night, once. was happy for the xped downmat, and the deep-freeze sleeping bag. Inside of tent was nice and frosted :-)

          4. jake Silver badge

            Re: https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

            I've done that in a couple places over several days. My spouse did NOT steal the duvet, we didn't bring one ... but we did have two appropriate sleeping bags zipped together to share body heat. Quite cozy, actually. Sierras at around 10,000 feet, cross-country ski camping in Yosemite's back country. The dawgs stayed home for that one.

            It's all in the equipment.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

              "The dawgs stayed home for that one"

              If they hadn't, they'd probably have tried to climb into the sleeping bags too

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

                "If they hadn't, they'd probably have tried to climb into the sleeping bags too"

                In that kind of weather? They'd have wanted to be carried in in their sleeping bags ... and then be placed, bag and all, into our bags. Not a lot of insulation on our primary breeds of choice.

                No, those aren't part of our pack ... but the pose is identical.

                Three or four whippets in a greyhound's bag is common around here ... funnier is one of the greys attempting to fit into a whippie bag. Lazy-arsed comfort loving heat seekers, the lot of 'em.

    2. Sven Coenye
      Boffin

      Re: https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/webbLaunch/whereIsWebb.html

      https://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2022/02/03/photons-incoming-webb-team-begins-aligning-the-telescope/

      No fancy 3D graphics but it does have step-by-step illustrations of the entire alignment procedure.

  2. jake Silver badge
    Pint

    And here I thought ...

    ... doing a four-wheel alignment on my car was a pain.

    Pints for the boffins :-)

    1. VeganVegan

      Re: And here I thought ...

      Agree. It’s even worse: at this point they don’t even know which blurry dot of light came from whcich mirror.

      That’s like aligning the wheels of an 18-wheeler, but you don’t yet know which wheel belongs to which position.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: And here I thought ...

        But still less grief than trying to align the cartridges of a domestic inkjet...

        1. Not Yb

          Re: And here I thought ...

          Not surprisingly, aligning the mirrors on the JWST will be cheaper than new ones.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Pint

    First light!

    Yay! And very reassuring to know that the mirrors face the right way :)

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I'm not worried any more

    I am certain that everything is going to go very well. The boffins have been polishing this telescope for decades, there will be no (bad) surprises.

    We are just going to witness the result of true dedication to one's craft.

    I can't wait for the first JWST pics.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I'm not worried any more

      Actually I now understand the reference to fractions of microns in a previous article . In effect they're polishing the mirror now. In spaaace.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: I'm not worried any more

        More like; you polished a mirror, broke it into bits and are trying to reassemble them so not only is there no gap but the surface is smooth

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Totally not a Cylon
      Pint

      Re: What’s in a name?

      He may have been 'just a bureaucrat' but he was head of Nasa at a key point and....

      just go look him for yourself,

      He's probably responsible for enabling most of the great space-science discoveries by pushing for spaceflight development.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: What’s in a name?

        Nasa have been doing a PR program for a few years of naming sites and missions after underappreciated former staff. Generally the first black / women / minority staff member who, given Nasa's history, were probably in fairly minor roles at the time.

        Oddly Sturmbannführer Von Braun doesn't seem to be getting much prominence.

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: What’s in a name?

          Sturmcancelführer von Braun

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What’s in a name?

        An astronomy professor at a distinguished university explained to me that the role had needed a good administrator - and James Webb had done the job well.

    2. Dr. G. Freeman

      Re: What’s in a name?

      Saving the name Carl Sagan for something/bigger cooler

      Like the Observatory we build on Mars.

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: What’s in a name?

        Famously Sagan objected to Apple using 'Carl Sagan' for the codename for one of its computers (the Power Mac 7100; I had one. Great machine. Butt-ugly, but incredibly powerful.) Carl sued. Apple changed the codename to BHA, for Butt Head (or Hole...) Astronomer. Carl sued again. https://www.engadget.com/2014-02-26-when-carl-sagan-sued-apple-twice.html

      2. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

        Re: What’s in a name?

        ,,,or a strain of NASA weed

    3. VicMortimer

      Re: What’s in a name?

      Sagan already has an asteroid (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2709_Sagan), a planet walk (https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/sagan-planet-walk), a unit of measurement (the Sagan Unit is a large number, at least 4 billion), a science collaboration web platform (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAGANet), a crater on Mars (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagan_(crater) ), and a weed strain (https://www.leafly.com/strains/carl-sagan).

      He would likely have been proudest of the asteroid and the crater, but happiest about the weed.

  6. HildyJ Silver badge
    Pint

    To put it in ElReg perspective

    If the telescope was 4 Democratic Republic of Congos, each segment would be 23 Belgiums and they are trying to adjust their height by about 0.2 Linguine.

    Go, slowly and carefully, boffins. Sip your pints.

    BTW, the mirror alignment on the Where is Webb only shows the initial mirror alignment after deployment, not the current process.

  7. Stratman

    Hats have been doffed.

  8. Sleep deprived

    Will this alignment have to be repeated in the future?

    Isn't this kind of ultra-precise alignment bound to be affected by solar wind, thermal effects or other perturbations?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Will this alignment have to be repeated in the future?

      Main issue is thermal movements, as the telescope points to different targets it will have a slightly different aspect to the sun and the sun-shield effectiveness will change slightly

      Plan is to check the mirror and re-align every 2weeks or so. Ideally they will create some sort of model of changes and be able to realign preemptively.

      (Not been in this game for nearly 20years, was amazed it has gone so well = never trust space missions)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Will this alignment have to be repeated in the future?

        "[...] never trust space missions"

        In any project - you can never trust Murphy.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Will this alignment have to be repeated in the future?

          In any project - you can never trust Murphy.

          Wrong, in every project you can trust Murphy to show up at the most inopportune moment, so never when you expect him.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Will this alignment have to be repeated in the future?

          Indeed

          Murphy's law ACTUALLY states "If an aircraft part can be installed 2 ways around and one way is the wrong way, you can guarantee someone will do it"

          The surprising part is that even when parts have been explicitly designed NOT to be installed 2 ways around, people have still managed to do it on spacecraft costing billions of dollars

          Harvard's law states that "Under rigorously controlled laboratory conditions the device will do what it damned well pleases"

  9. Zanzibar Rastapopulous

    Fake...

    They're always manipulated recoloured images that they publish from these things anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fake...

      The visible light leaving these distant corners of the universe arrives in the infrared, due to redshift.

      Would you prefer they published the images that way, so the page appears completely black?

      1. Zanzibar Rastapopulous

        Re: Fake...

        The fact is that nothing you will see is real. A mere artist's impression.

        1. Annihilator Silver badge

          Re: Fake...

          Nothing *you* see is "real" either, merely your retina and optic nerve being stimulated and your brain's interpretation of that in the visual cortex. What's your point?

          Frankly I think your existence is a hoax.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Fake...

            "All the world is faked except thee and me - and frankly I have doubts about thee"

        2. Little Mouse Silver badge

          Re: Fake...

          When the colouring is based on specific criteria (e.g. by mathematically shifting the wavelength to a more eye-friendly range), then the images are definitely not a mere "artist's impression". They're as "real" as any other processed photo (and all photos are processed in some way)

          Isn't it true though that some of the famous Hubble images were coloured to make them look that bit more impressive, rather than to add scientific value?

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Fake...

            >Isn't it true though that some of the famous Hubble images were coloured to make them look that bit more impressive, rather than to add scientific value?

            The press release / coffee-table calender shots yes.

            BUT the data was still taken in multiple bands for science and is analysed a channel at a time = ie in greyscale.

            The colors chosen for to represent each measured band for pretty picture s are chosen to look nice and not necessarily to match the actual wavelengths the data was taken in - so in that sense they are artistic impressions

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: Fake...

            "Isn't it true though that some of the famous Hubble images were coloured to make them look that bit more impressive, rather than to add scientific value?"

            Selling calendars is somewhat different from doing science. I can assure you that no scientific data was harmed during the production of your calendar.

        3. David Nash

          Re: Fake...

          So they wanted an instrument that can detect IR. Nothing wrong with that, right?

          How should it display what it found? in IR? so we can't see it?

          How about everywhere there was some IR, they show a dot?

          Is that "fake"? It's showing real information (where is the IR).

          What colour should the dot be?

          How about having it depend on the frequency of the IR.

          Is that fake? It's showing real information.

          Is my TV "fake" because it's showing radio waves as pictures?

          What's your point?

        4. jake Silver badge

          Re: Fake...

          "The fact is that nothing you will see is real. A mere artist's impression."

          Yep. That's why they call 'em "art prints". Duh.

          You can also access the actual data, which is not harmed producing the art.

    2. the small snake

      Re: Fake...

      Oh no, grey droner is droning here too.

      First of all is important to understand some differences between astronomical sensors and commodity camera sensors. First difference.

      Almost all commodity cameras have wide-wavelength-range (most of visible, often some IR) sensor with array of filters over it so each pixel gets different filtered set of wavelengths (Bayer sensor: there are some others). As well, for cameras, there will be an IR and possibly UV filter which covers whole sensor so these wavelengths do not get in. Filter array is nice because you can take a picture fast which is important for people who use these cameras. But you lose resolution from the sensor of course, and also you can only use the filters that are glued onto the sensor.

      (Some very few commodity cameras have either no colour filters over sensor making for a B/W image, or work in a different (and rather strange) way to make colour images as in Foveon sensor. It is also possible to physically scrape either the IR filter off a sensor or in fact the whole array of colour filters to produce a camera which can see IR or what is effectively a B/W sensor. People do this.)

      There is a way around both of these problems if what you are photographing changes rather slowly which astronomical things usually are. You make a sensor which does not have a filter array over it except perhaps filters to remove wavelengths 'off the ends' of the range you care abour. Instead it has in front of it a collection of filters which cover whole image area and which can be changed. Then if you want a colour image you take three exposures (or perhaps more) switching filters. At the end of this you can combine these three images to make one colour image. Each image has full resolution of the sensor so this is much better than a Bayer sensor can do, which is good.

      (Of course this is like soup version of what people do with raw files from commodity cameras: these have reasonably raw version of the data from the sensor, which can then be combined into colour image in various ways, or even effectively filtered by removing most/all of data from one channel to produce say red-filtered B/W effect.)

      So that is the first difference. Second difference.

      Sometimes (as almost always the case with JWST) you do not want to look at visible-light wavelengths are all. So you make the optical system and sensorso it is mostly / entirely sensitive to wavelengths which the human eye can not see at all. So now you still use filters of course to select only some wavelengths of interest or several sets of wavelengths, but if you want to see the image with your eye you can not display it at the original wavelengths. So you now must reconstitute it into visible wavelengths. (Alternatively could evolve to be able to see in IR or UV but this is not very practical: seeing in UV except very near UV has awkward problem of ionising radiation, cancer of eye, death; seeing in IR other than very near IR has awkward problem of low temperature, frozen eye, death. So easier to shift wavelengths to visible on the whole.)

      So when you or any human looks at these images they are seeing 'false colour' because otherwise you could not see them at all.

      That is second difference. One more difference.

      Sometimes, even when you are looking in visible light, you do not want to pick wavelength ranges which correspond to how some apes' eyes have evolved around a particular boring star. Instead maybe you want to look only at a very narrow range of wavelengths in the blue or something, where the thing you are interested in happens. Often you use things called 'grisms' for this which are effectively very fierce filters made using diffraction grating and prism. If you want to see these images then it is necessarily the case that they will not look like anything you would normally see because the filter is not like anything your eye can do. Again, such images are 'false colour'.

      The most important thing about all this is that these sensors are designed to produce data which is scientifically useful and only secondarily visually interesting. This is entirely different than purpose of commodity camera. It would be perfectly possible to launch commodity camera into space (like on Ingenuity, for instance, or the parachute cameras on Perseverance), but the results from these would be absurdly astronomically limited because commodity camera is designed only to make an image which corresponds to what the eyes of some apes see and those apes did not evolve to be able to see many interesting things.

      What astronomers need is the rawest possible data from the sensor combined with very flexible filtering (which must be done before the sensor but should be done in such a way as to not throw away sensitivity or resolution where possible), which covers the wavelengths they care about. This is what astronomical sensors & optical systems do. If they do pretty as well, that is good: if not, fine.

      In fact NIRCam does even better than this: each unit (there are two which image areas next to each other) has dichroic beamsplitter which splits incoming light into long & short wavelength beams. Then there are two sensors (per unit), one for long, one for short wavelengths, and each of these sensors has its own set of filters. As well as all this there is wavefront-sensing stuff which is needed for mirror alignment as going on now. You can see a picture of it all here.

  10. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

    Or as the traditional Yank saying goes...

    > The first photons of starlight have travelled through the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and been detected by the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam)

    "NIRCam till they glow."

  11. Francis Boyle

    Who else is getting ads for 4wd wheel alignment?

    Sorry mate, you may do big rigs but this one's probably a bit out of your league and you don't say anything about onsite service.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who else is getting ads for 4wd wheel alignment?

      Not me. But there again, I don't see many ads at all with Brave browser. No one is stealing my data allowance.

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Do your bit for ElReg

        I do exactly the opposite, to support ElReg. I whitelist theregister{.co.uk,.com} on my adblockers.

        You think these guys can work for free?

        Further, I actively enrich/beneficiate/inflate the $/unit Premium on that income stream, by gaming the now-toxic market practices of the online ad networks: I periodically make a point of clicking lots of their ads.*

        This lifts their click-thru rate. Which I believe is a key driver/multiplier of their ad-spaces' $$ value on the behind-the-scenes auction exchanges. So not only are they getting money for the volume of ads served, but they earn more per ad. Double-dipping. At no cost to myself bar some seconds of my time.

        I realise this is gaming the system. But the system's players have been proactively gaming users and websites for some time; eg, the networks by hijacking revenue, the advertisers by jamming shit-tons of pointless machine-jamming badly-coded JavaScript into their ads.

        I am quite happy to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's.

        .

        * Ctrl-Click all of them in a fast sweep: they open in background tabs while I get on with reading uninterrupted; when they've finished loading, I close the tabs to flush the usually toxic JavaScript they've all excitedly rammed into my ram. Rinse&Repeat on each article.

        Net skin off my nose: 0.

        Net benefit to ElReg: $positive.

        If enough of us did this, maybe ElReg could afford to rent Dabbsie an actual office.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Do your bit for ElReg

          Would you accept a reverse charge phone call if you knew it was just some marketer?

          Would you pay two quid a time to receive a non franked letter if you knew it was just an ad flyer?

          So why are you happy to spaff your data allowance and / or credit, paying to receive marketing crap?

          Once again, internet marketing is theft.

          Buy yes,every so often I have a session of ctrl-clicking to background open a good few ads, so long as I'm on a non metered connection.

          1. the small snake
            Alien

            Re: Do your bit for ElReg

            Would you accept a reverse charge phone call if you knew it was just some marketer?

            Perhaps yes, if it came with 300 minutes of free calls.

            Would you pay two quid a time to receive a non franked letter if you knew it was just an ad flyer?

            Perhaps yes, if it came with 100 first class stamps.

            So why are you happy to spaff your data allowance and / or credit, paying to receive marketing crap?

            See above: there may be benefits which countervail the costs. Also there may not be: but the choice is not what you make it out to be.

            (Note: I do not work for internet advertisers at all do not have anything to do with any of them.)

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Do your bit for ElReg

              "there may be benefits which countervail the costs."

              Personally, I've never seen any. Near as I can tell, all Internet advertising comes postage due.

              1. the small snake
                Alien

                Re: Do your bit for ElReg

                I see. So how do you think The Register exists? Magic money beans perhaps? Or do you think it is state funded as I am sure you are good socialist? Or do you just not think very much?

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Do your bit for ElReg

                  "So how do you think The Register exists?"

                  I'm fairly certain I provided more profit for ElReg at the Cash&Carrion store (before it went TITSUP[0] back in 2008) that you'll ever provide them doing the pointy-clicky dance for shit you have absolutely no need for, much less any interest in.

                  "I am sure you are good socialist?"

                  Me? A socialist? That's a laugh. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I'm one of the vast majority of normal people who don't identify with any particular religion political bent.

                  [0] Totally Incapable of Transferring Selected User Packages

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Do your bit for ElReg

          If you're paying a flat rate, there is another way of gaming the ad systems' model:

          Sending something out which clicks on EVERYTHING

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Who else is getting ads for 4wd wheel alignment?

      Ads? What are these things you call "ads"?

      The big rig's tire alignment is easy. Only the front two typically need it. When any of the others are out of alignment, you have bigger problems,

  12. Chris G Silver badge

    Overtime and over budget

    But worth every minute and every dollar.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Overtime and over budget

      Of course it is over time and over budget, the whole project fell well within the realm of Cheops' Law.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Overtime and over budget

        Shouldn't that be updated to Khufu's Law?

  13. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    god's farts will be visible

    1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

      A kind of cosmic blue angel?

      1. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

        ... And On The Eighth Day

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyGgZzBMJB8

  14. Annihilator Silver badge

    Alignment odds

    Technically, there's an infinitesimal chance that the mirrors are already optimally aligned by sheer chance. Unlikely, admittedly, but if we launched trillions of similar telescopes, some of them would be aligned already and save us having to align the rest.

    Probably be a bit of a waste of resource though...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Alignment odds

      At launch they are probably driven onto fixed stops at one end if the adjustment range so vibration doesn't damage the mechanism. Don't know just what I would do

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Alignment odds

        That's right, they were in a transport configuration at launch and moved into approximate position during the coast to L2.

        The approximate positions could accidentally be correct though.

  15. Chris Coles

    JWST will confirm a Steady State Universe

    At long last we will have confirmation that, instead of being able to observe the remnants of big bang, we will be shown images that will confirm the universe stretches out to the limits of the JWST vision, exactly as we all see it at night from here on planet Earth.

    1. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

      Re: JWST will confirm a Steady State Universe

      I don't think that the JWST will suddenly make the cosmic background radiation disappear.

    2. the small snake
      Alien

      Re: JWST will confirm a Steady State Universe

      That would be an extraordinary finding. Especially since we have been able to see the remnant radiation from the big bang for 60 years (and you can do this almost at home if you want to). And also very surprising since we already can see very distant (early) galaxies and they are pretty different than nearby (late) ones which makes no sense at all in a steady-state universe. Indeed you can see this just by looking at Hubble UDF image.

      So if it found this it would directly contradict very well-tested existing observations. Perhaps this is because aliens have been injecting alternate facts into our telescopes all this while. Yes, probably that is it.

  16. Eclectic Man Silver badge
    Happy

    Image of JWST deployed main mirror

    ESA has posted this image to Flickr:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/europeanspaceagency/51874544307/in/dateposted/

    Caption reads:

    "Webb primary mirror selfie

    This “selfie” of the James Webb Space Telescope primary mirror was created using a specialised pupil imaging lens inside of the NIRCam instrument that was designed to take images of the primary mirror segments instead of images of space. This configuration is not used during scientific operations and is used strictly for engineering and alignment purposes. In this case, the bright segment was pointed at a bright star, while the others aren’t currently in the same alignment. This image gave an early indication of the primary mirror alignment to the instrument.

    Credits: NASA"

    Other images from ESA in their Flickr feed show how each sub-mirror images a star and when the mirrors are all aligned properly, and their individual curvatures corrected, should produce a single dot, rather than the multitude of blurred images currently visible. Its going to take a while, but hopefully it will be worth it.

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