- Introduction
- Project organization
- Project timeline
- Mission background

MIRI - Mid Infrared Instrument

MIRI is an infrared camera and spectrometer for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

It will operate between wavelengths of 5 to 28,7 microns incl. H2 - line, a region which is difficult or impossible to observe from the ground.


MIRI will have three advantages over other infrared instruments. Firstly, its location in space will remove the blocking and large background noise effects of the atmosphere which limit ground-based telescopes. Secondly, MIRI will be cooled to a very low temperature, thusreducing the emission from the telescope and greatly improving its sensitivity. Thirdly, the JWST will provide a far larger mirror then any other infrared space telescope, giving improved angular resolution and high sensitivity for weak objects.

MIRI is crucial for the JWST science program which includes goals such as detecting the first episode of star formation, determining the formation history of galaxies, clarifying the processes of star and planet formation, seeking out new planets that can later be investigated for their potential to support life.

MIRI is realized by combining the talents of a large group of European and American institutes.

NOVA, the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy, is responsible for the design and building of the Spectrometer Main Optics Module (SMO). Most of the work for the SMO will be performed by ASTRON, TNO / TPD has made an important contribution for the optical design.

SMO and SPO (Spectrometer Pre Optics) together form the Spectrometer. The SPO is developed under leadership of the Astronomy Technology Centre (ATC) in Edinburgh.

ASTRON's MIRI project pages (password required) : Go

Webmaster: voegele@astron.nl
Visit the old version of the website: GO