NASA Has Released New Images Of The Damage The JWST Received After The Micrometeoroid Hit


While James Webb Telescope is busy showing its wonders, unfortunately, the observatory has been hit by a micrometeoroid as seen in the recent images released by NASA. The incident occurred in May, and as described by the team, the meteor was “larger than expected” and damaged one of the 18 mirrors of the telescope. NASA is certainly not sitting on its hands as the scientists are busy exploring the root cause of the problem and are examining whether this collision was a “rare event” or whether there were some anomalies left when predicting the frequency of such kinds of collisions.

The images have been demonstrated in a yet-to-be peer-reviewed study, but the scientists and engineers at NASA are still concerned about the future operations of the telescope. They have some fears regarding the functions of the telescope that might be affected due to this collision. Despite this incident, the recent heart-throbbing images of the universe unveiled by the telescope are enough for our satisfaction that the observatory is performing pretty well and is even going beyond expectations.

Even before the telescope was launched, such types of micrometeoroid hits were anticipated by the scientists and regarded as a “common occurrence”, but this time, the strike was far beyond the expected parameters, which made the scientists concerned. However, it has been written in the report, “Inevitably, any spacecraft will encounter micrometeoroids. During commissioning, wavefront sensing recorded six localized surface deformations on the primary mirror that are attributed to impact by micrometeoroids.”

The report further stated, “These deformations occurred at a rate of roughly one per month, which is consistent with pre-launch expectations.” In addition to that, there have been 19 hits by micrometeoroids on this observatory, but they were so minor that they didn’t cause any significant damage. But this recent hit has “caused a significant uncorrectable change in the overall figure of that segment.” Fortunately, NASA released a statement saying, “The good news is that only a small portion of the telescope area was affected.”

Hence, despite all these fears, scientists are still confident that the observatory has been developed with such improvised technology that “we still have years, if not decades,” to experience some of the most outstanding observations of the universe.


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