Observation by Nick James: JWST Ariane upper stage at 2.1 million k...

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Nick James


Nick James


2022 Jan 26 - 21:59


2022 Jan 26 - 22:50



  • ASI6200MM + Celestron HD11



Chelmsford, UK

Target name



JWST Ariane upper stage at 2.1 million km

About this image

The faint dot at the centre of this image is the upper stage of the Ariane that launched JWST on Christmas day. At the time this image was taken it was 2.1 million km away at around magnitude 20. JWST itself is now in an L2 halo orbit after the MCC-2 burn which took place on Monday. It was around mag 16 when I imaged it just after this image. My astrometry shows it around 33 arcsec away from the position predicted from earlier measurements. This large error is the accumulated effect of the velocity change at MCC-2. From now on JWST will need small station keeping burns approximately every month to keep it in the L2 halo orbit. The upper stage will continue to move away from the Earth in a heliocentric orbit. 

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