Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec)

Illustrations of the capabilities of the Near Infrared Spectrograph. Source:

The Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) is one of Webb’s four scientific instruments. NIRSpec is one of Webb’s versatile tools for near-infrared spectroscopy. In addition to standard single-slit spectroscopy to gather spectra of specific objects, NIRSpec also has an integral field unit to investigate spatial variations in spectra and a microshutter array to capture individual spectra of dozens of objects at once. This highly efficient design is part of what makes Webb ideal for studying extremely distant, faint galaxies. NIRSpec was built for the European Space Agency by Airbus Industries with the microshutter array (MSA) and detector sub-systems fabricated by NASA.

Source: JWST user documentation