NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam)

The Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) is JWST’s primary imager in the wavelength range from 0.6 to 5 μm. It consists of two, nearly identical, fully redundant modules, which point to adjacent fields of view on the sky and can be used simultaneously.  Each module uses a dichroic to also observe simultaneously in both the short wavelength channel (0.6–2.3 μm) and long wavelength channel (2.4–5.0 μm).  

  For detailed instrument information, please consult the NIRCAM JWST User Documentation (JDox). 

In addition to imaging with a wide range of narrow, medium, and broad filters, NIRCam also offers wide field slitless (grism) spectroscopy and coronagraphic imaging modes, as well as time-series and grism time-series observing modes for high accuracy photometric monitoring and spectrophotometric monitoring, respectively.   NIRCam also obtains wavefront  sensing measurements critical for periodic alignment and phasing of the segments of JWST's primary mirror.

NIRCam was built by a team at the University of Arizona and Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center, led by Principal Investigator Marcia Rieke from the University of Arizona.

NIRCam imaging covers the two adjacent fields of total area 9.7 arcmin².  Long and short wavelengths are observed simultaneously.
NIRCam imaging covers the two adjacent fields of total area 9.7 arcmin².  Long and short wavelengths are observed simultaneously. Because of the changing size of the PSF, the short wavelengths use four detectors in each module while the long wavelengths are covered by one detector.