NASA released test picture from a groundbreaking telescope that RIT will use

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ROCHESTER N.Y. — NASA on Wednesday released an image of a star surrounded by galaxies, taken during a test of what could be the highest resolution telescope ever built.

Scientists from the Rochester Institute of Technology will use the telescope to photograph and collect data on galaxies. RIT professor Jeyhan Kartaltepe is the leader of a project to survey half a million galaxies using the James Webb Space Telescope.

The team of nearly 50 researchers for the COSMOS-Web project also includes other RIT faculty members and graduate students. Kartaltepe spoke with News10NBC’s Jennifer Ly in December about the impact the astronomy survey could have.

Rochester-based company L3Harris tested the flight of the telescope in 2018. An optical systems engineer from the company spoke with News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey about the technology that enables the telescope to take groundbreaking images.

The image released on Wednesday shows that the telescope has a high sensitivity for capturing background images, which were galaxies and stars. NASA said every parameter for the telescope is performing at or above expectations. The satellite launched on Christmas Day 2021 and has been 30 years in the making.