One of the instruments on the James Webb Space Telescope has encountered a technical problem. The next-generation telescope operates at a fast and furious pace, sending stunning scientific observations togalaxies and even . Anomaly is an acceleration in Webb’s performance, knocking out a specific mode of observation.
The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) is equipped with a camera and spectrograph designed to look at the universe in certain infrared wavelengths that we humans cannot see. MIRI is adept at peering into star-forming regions of galaxies.
MIRI uses four observation modes. “On August 24, a mechanism that supports one of these modes, known as medium-resolution spectroscopy (MRS), showed what appeared to be increased friction during a science observation setup,” NASA said.
Comparison of images from the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes: See the difference
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The mechanism that encountered the problem is used to select between different wavelengths when Webb makes observations in MRS mode. The telescope team convened a review board on September 6 to look at the problem and decide how to move forward. NASA emphasized that the telescope is healthy and the other three MIRI observing modes are operating normally.
Webb had already suffered a previous incident when a. The much older Hubble Space Telescope has survived during its long life in space. Challenges are almost inevitable, so it’s good news that most of the Webbs are working as intended.