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The Mid-infrared Instrument for JWST and Its In-flight Performance

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posted on 2023-06-20, 09:36 authored by Gillian S Wright, George H Rieke, Alistair Glasse, Michael Ressler, Macarena García Marín, Jonathan Aguilar, Stacey Alberts, Javier Álvarez-Márquez, Ioannis Argyriou, Kimberly Banks, Pierre Baudoz, Anthony Boccaletti, Patrice Bouchet, Jeroen Bouwman, Bernard R Brandl, David Breda, Stacey Bright, Steven Cale, Luis Colina, Christophe Cossou, Alain Coulais, Misty Cracraft, Wim De Meester, Daniel Dicken, Michael Engesser, Mireya Etxaluze, Ori D Fox, Scott Friedman, Henry Fu, Danny Gasman, András Gáspár, René Gastaud, Vincent Geers, Adrian Michael Glauser, Karl D Gordon, Thomas Greene, Thomas R Greve, Timothy Grundy, Manuel Güdel, Pierre Guillard, Peter Haderlein, Ryan Hashimoto, Thomas Henning, Dean Hines, Bryan Holler, Örs Hunor Detre, Amir Jahromi, Bryan James, Olivia C Jones, Kay Justtanont, Patrick Kavanagh, Sarah Kendrew, Pamela Klaassen, Oliver Krause, Alvaro Labiano, Pierre-Olivier Lagage, Scott Lambros, Kirsten Larson, David Law, David Lee, Mattia Libralato, Jose Lorenzo Alverez, Margaret Meixner, Jane Morrison, Migo Mueller, Katherine Murray, Matthew Mycroft, Richard Myers, Omnarayani Nayak, Bret Naylor, Bryony Nickson, Alberto Noriega-Crespo, Göran Östlin, Brian O’Sullivan, Richard Ottens, Polychronis Patapis, Konstantin Penanen, Martin Pietraszkiewicz, Tom Ray, Michael Regan, Anthony Roteliuk, Pierre Royer, Piyal Samara-Ratna, Bridget Samuelson, Beth A Sargent, Silvia Scheithauer, Analyn Schneider, Jürgen Schreiber, Bryan Shaughnessy, Even Sheehan, Irene Shivaei, GC Sloan, Laszlo Tamas, Kelly Teague, Tea Temim, Tuomo Tikkanen, Samuel Tustain, Ewine F van Dishoeck, Bart Vandenbussche, Mark Weilert, Paul Whitehouse, Schuyler Wolff

The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) extends the reach of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to 28.5 μm. It provides subarcsecond-resolution imaging, high sensitivity coronagraphy, and spectroscopy at resolutions of λ/Δλ ∼ 100–3500, with the high-resolution mode employing an integral field unit to provide spatial data cubes. The resulting broad suite of capabilities will enable huge advances in studies over this wavelength range. This overview describes the history of acquiring this capability for JWST. It discusses the basic attributes of the instrument optics, the detector arrays, and the cryocooler that keeps everything at approximately 7 K. It gives a short description of the data pipeline and of the instrument performance demonstrated during JWST commissioning. The bottom line is that the telescope and MIRI are both operating to the standards set by pre-launch predictions, and all of the MIRI capabilities are operating at, or even a bit better than, the level that had been expected. The paper is also designed to act as a roadmap to more detailed papers on different aspects of MIRI.


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School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Leicester


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