- 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
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
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
Visit the old version of the website: GO