First image of ECLAIRs

The ECLAIRs instrument has produced its first image. After years of development by the APC, CEA, IRAP and CNES teams, and after several months of integration during which the different elements of the telescope were progressively assembled around the detection plane, the ECLAIRs instrument has just produced its first image. This is a major step in the characterization of the instrument.

Image captured by the instrument (left), area of the mask imaged (in the center, clear area), image of the sky reconstructed by the onboard trigger (right, with the source in the center of the field of view).

This first image shows the coded mask shadow projected on the detection plane. The sources being placed at a few tens of centimeters and not at infinity, the mask is magnified and only its central part is imaged.

This image was obtained with the telescope installed in a vacuum tank, in order to be able to cool the detection plane to -25 °C. Two radioactive sources installed in the tank illuminated the detector through the mask. Outside the tank, the computer in charge of driving the camera and acquiring data will also allow the detection of gamma-ray bursts when the instrument is in flight.

This image also kicks off the last phase of calibration of the instrument. This phase, which mobilizes all the technical and scientific teams, including in 3×8 and 7 days a week for some, will continue until the end of May.

IRAP Contact

  • Jean-Luc Atteia,

More news


“James Webb Space Telescope images are extraordinary”

Astrophysicist at CNRS and responsible for one of the observation programs on this telescope, Olivier Berné comments on the very first images of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), published […]



The origin of the Betelgeuse stellar wind revealed by the first 3D images

Except for the lightest elements (H, He and Li), atoms are formed inside the stars, throughout its life, by nuclear reactions. But they need to escape. Among the most efficient […]



Adoption of the Comet Interceptor space exploration mission

The Comet Interceptor space mission has just been adopted by the European Space Agency (ESA) to be the next mission to explore the Solar System. Developed in collaboration with the […]