October 6, 2022


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One of the Webb Telescope tools has a glitch

One of the Webb Telescope tools has a glitch

Space sphere optics engineer Larkin Curry reflects in the secondary mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope, photographing line-of-sight for instruments used during an important test of the telescope's optics.

a secondary web mirror view, Taken while testing the cryogenic telescope.
picture: Aerospace ball

The Webb Space Telescope has been faithful cheery Incredible photos from the universe since then ‘Perfect’ alignment Earlier this year – bNothing is quite perfect, even $10 billion telescope. It appears that one of Web .’s monitoring mechanisms is Having a little troubleand mission engineers Working on a solution.

On August 24, a mechanism used to support Webb’s medium resolution spectroscopy (MRS) saw “increasing friction” as it prepared for scientific observation, NASA He said In a blog post on Tuesday. The space agency called a meeting of the Anomaly Review Board on September 6 to “evaluate the best path forward.” Where the council analyzes the problem and develops strategies to solve itNASA has paused observations using precisely this the situation.

The MRS monitoring mode is part of Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), which uses a camera and spectrometer to see light in the mid-infrared portion of the spectrum. (Longer wavelengths of what human eyes can see). MIRI has four monitoring modes: Imaging, coronary imaging, low resolution spectroscopy, and medium resolution spectroscopy. MRS is useful for Watching Signals from the interaction of light and matter, Such as emissions from particles and dust in the disks that make up planets.

The glitch in question affected a mechanism that acts like a “grinding wheel” for the MRS observation mode, allowing scientists to choose between short, medium and long wavelengths when making observations with that specific mode, according to NASA.

For now, this status is on hold while NASA tries to fix the problem. “The observatory is in good health, and the other three monitoring modes in MIRI – imaging, low-resolution spectroscopy, and coronagraph – are operating normally and remain available for scientific observation,” the space agency wrote.

Webb has recently wowed us with images of neighboring planets Mars And the JupiterBut the telescope is also preparing to offer unprecedented views of the distant universe from its position in space A million miles from Earth. Webb is expected to work for about 20 years Or for longer, so hopefully she can work around some technical glitches during her journey.

more: Stop, NASA just turned the first Webb telescope images into sounds

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