NASA launches image of James Webb injury from micrometeoroid impact

NASA launches image of James Webb injury from micrometeoroid impact

Right in the kiss.

A look at Blow

NASA has released images of the mirrors of the James Webb Space Telescope after they were hit by a larger than expected micrometeoroid.

While the size of the space particle, which affected the observatory in May, was larger than the team had prepared for, the damage is fortunately isolated to only one of the observatory’s 18 mirrors, as seen in images included in a not-yet-being. peer-reviewed study by NASA and its Canadian and European counterparts (the damage can be seen at the bottom right of the second image below).

But the team is not out of the woods yet. Researchers at NASA are still trying to measure the true impact of the micrometeoroid that it may have on observatory operations.


Micrometeoroid hits were expected to be a common occurrence long before the telescope was launched.

“Inevitably, every spacecraft will encounter micrometeoroids,” the report said. “During commissioning, wavefront sensing detected six localized surface deformations on the primary mirror attributed to shocks from micrometeoroids.”

These deformations occurred at a “rate of about one per month,” according to the report, which is “in line with pre-launch expectations.”

The 19 impacts so far have not had much of a detectable effect on operations – except one. The micrometeoroid “caused significant irreparable change in the total number for that segment.”

The good news is that “only a small portion of the telescope area was affected,” according to NASA.

Curved mirrors

Now researchers are trying to get ahead of the problem by investigating whether the C3 collision was a “rare event” that happens “only once in several years”, or whether pre-launch modeling was wrong in terms of the frequency of this type of significant hit.

Despite the collisions, the groundbreaking observatory is still exceeding expectations “almost across the board”, NASA notes, with the sensitivity of the instruments higher than expected on the ground.

Through the development of the telescope, the researchers took into account the slow degradation from micrometeoroid influences.

Although the collision is certainly a hair-raising moment that came even before scientific operations were able to start, scientists are still confident that we still have years if not decades of fantastic observations to look forward to.

READ MORE: Micrometeoroid damage to the James Webb Space Telescope was imaged for the first time [Astronomy]

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