A short new video takes viewers behind the scenes with the MIRI or the Mid-Infrared Instrument that will fly on-board NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. MIRI is a state-of-the-art infrared instrument that will allow scientists to study distant objects in greater detail than ever before.
The three minute and 19 second video called "The MIRI Has Two Faces" is part of an on-going video series about the Webb telescope called "Behind the Webb." It was produced at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md. and takes viewers behind the scenes with scientists and engineers who are creating the Webb telescope's components. MIRI's "two faces" allow the instrument to look at the cosmos in pictures and through spectroscopy.
The James Webb Space Telescope contains four science instruments, but only one of them, the MIRI, sees light in the mid-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Mid-infrared light is longer in wavelength than that which the other Webb instruments are designed to observe. This unique capability of the MIRI allows the Webb telescope to study physical processes occurring in the cosmos that the other Webb instruments cannot see.