NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI)

The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) provides imaging and spectroscopic observing modes covering the wavelength range from 4.9 to 28.8 micron. MIRI scientific goals include, but are not limited to, direct imaging and spectroscopy of young exoplanets and their atmospheres, identifying and characterizing the first galaxies in the Universe, and probing warm dust and molecular gas in young stars and protoplanetary disks. 

MIRI offers four different observing modes:

  1. Imaging
  2. Low resolution slitted and slitess spectroscopy
  3. Medium resolution integral field unit (IFU) spectrosopy 
  4. Coronagraphy

MIRI was developed through an equal collaboration between European and U.S. partners:

  • The MIRI optical system was built by a consortium of European partners from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. They were led by Gillian Wright (the European Principal Investigator) and Alistair Glasse (Instrument Scientist).
  • EADS-Astrium (now Airbus Defence and Space) provided the project office and management. The full instrument test was conducted at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
  • The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) provided the core instrument flight software, the detector system (including infrared detector arrays obtained from Raytheon Vision Systems), collaborated with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems on the cooler development and testing, and managed the U.S. effort.

The JPL Instrument Scientist is Michael Ressler and the MIRI Science Team Lead is George Rieke.

For detailed instrument information, please review the MIRI JWST User Documentation (JDox).