A Turntable animation of Webb's Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI).
The Mid-Infrared Instrument has both a camera and a spectrograph that sees light in the mid-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, with wavelengths that are longer than our eyes see.
MIRI was built by the MIRI Consortium, a group that consists of scientists and engineers from European countries, a team from the Jet Propulsion Lab in California, and scientists from several U.S. institutions.
The nominal operating temperature for the MIRI is 7K. This level of cooling cannot be attained using the passive cooling provided by the Thermal Management Subsystem. Webb carries an innovative "cryocooler" that is dedicated to cooling MIRI's detectors. Instead, there is a two-step process: A Pulse Tube precooler gets the instrument down to 18K; and a Joule-Thomson Loop heat exchanger knocks it down to 7K.