CNES projects library

July 17, 2020


MIRI is an infrared instrument embarked on the space telescope James Webb. It will supply images in a range from 5 to 28 microns of wavelength.

MIRI (Mid InfraRed Instrument) is a scientific instrument aboard the new space telescope JWST (Jawes Webb Space Telescope).

In 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will take over from the Hubble Space Telescope, which will have reached the end of its operating life. But unlike its forerunner operating in the visible and ultraviolet portions of the light spectrum, JWST is designed to analyse infrared radiation. It will also be considerably more powerful than Hubble, enabling it to observe even more-distant and therefore more-ancient objects. With JWST, it will be possible to view the first galaxies that formed in the Universe, and even to witness their birth. The giant telescope will also observe many other objects such as galaxies and exoplanets in detail, and look inside their atmospheres.

JWST’s four instruments will include MIRI (Mid-InfraRed Instrument), developed under the led of ESA and the national space agencies by a Consortium of European laboratories. MIRI consists of 2 main parts: spectrometers developed by the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and an imager MIRIM developed in France under CNES’s responsibility by CEA (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique); LESIA (Laboratoire d'Etudes Spatiales et d'Instrumentation en Astrophysique, Meudon), LAM (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille) and IAS (Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Orsay).

The JWST mission is led by NASA in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

JWST, with its improved performances, hopes to see the " first lights of the Universe ", that is he is going to scrutinize the sky approximately 13 billion years in past. He can also observe the formation of stars in the molecular clouds, the formation of solar systems around other stars and see planets similar or bigger than Jupiter around stars.

JWST will not be in orbit around the Earth as Hubble, but will be placed in orbit around the point of Lagrange L2 of the Earth -Sun system.