In almost all cases, the damage is such that the work of the space telescope is not jeopardized. NASA adjusts the data transmitted by the affected mirrors slightly, so that there is no effect on the observations. On the other hand, one of the collisions was that the telescope became less accurate. However, the performance of the device is still better than expected.
Moreover, such effects were expected, although NASA now doubts whether the probability calculations are correct. “It could be an unfortunate early impact from a high-velocity micrometeorite, which occurs only once every few years, or it could be that the telescope is more susceptible to damage from micrometeorites than was calculated prior to launch,” she said. agency in a statement.
An image of a dying star taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.
NASA will now re-examine how to reduce the risks of micrometeorites. It can help, for example, to reduce the appearance of a space telescope in the direction it normally comes.
Despite the effects, the James Webb Space Telescope can still take pictures, like this one from the Carina Star Nebula.
Micrometeorites are tiny dust particles no larger than a thousandth of a millimeter in size, which can cause a great deal of damage due to their high velocity.
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