First Images From NASA’s Psyche

This mosaic was made from “first light” images acquired by both of the cameras on NASA’s Psyche spacecraft on Dec. 4, 2023. The field of view of this mosaic is about 8 degrees wide by 3.5 degrees tall. The images were acquired using the camera’s clear or “broadband” filter and an exposure time of six seconds. Imager A took the left half of the mosaic; Imager B took the right half.

The images are raw data that have not been calibrated other than having the background (or bias signal) subtracted. The stars imaged here are in a region of the sky in the constellation Pisces that happens to have very few bright stars. This region was photographed because that’s where the cameras happened to be pointed for this first simple functional imaging test.

The brightest star seen here is called mu Pisces, seen at far right and labeled mu Piscium. It has an astronomical magnitude – a measure of the brightness of an astronomical object – of 4.9. The other stars noted have magnitudes between 7 and 9. (Lower astronomical magnitudes signify brighter stars.)

Figure A (Slide 2 in gallery) is an annotated version of the image with stars labeled.

Future imaging tests will target specific bright stars and bright star clusters, as well as Mars, for calibration purposes.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

Date Added: 12-05-2023
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

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