Publish dateWednesday 20 July 2022 - 09:43
Story Code : 255899
NASA’s powerful telescope damaged by space rock
James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the world’s largest and most powerful space telescope by NASA, has suffered massive damage from a micrometeoroid strike in late May.
Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)_Monitoring, In a new paper published in the wake of Webb’s incredible first images last week, a group of scientists outlined the performance of the space telescope. They reported problems that “cannot be corrected”.

Writing about the projected lifetime of the Webb telescope, the researchers said, “At present, the largest source of uncertainty is long-term effects of micrometeoroid impacts that slowly degrade the primary mirror.”

The scientists informed that since the launch, the Webb telescope has been struck by six micrometeorites. While five of the meteorites did a negligible amount of damage, a sixth caused some damage to the JWST. 

Notably, as the damage has taken place on one of the panels, it will not impact the Webb telescope’s image-taking abilities at all. However, the engineers who designed Webb know that its mirrors and sun-shield will unavoidably slowly degrade from micrometeoroid impacts. 

Moreover, scientists also expect Webb’s detectors to be gradually damaged by charged particles. They believe that its sun-shield and innovative five-layer insulation will degrade from space weathering. Since its mirror is exposed to space, the researchers also said that micrometeoroid strikes are difficult for Webb to avoid.

The $9.7 billion space telescope was launched in 2021. Earlier this month, NASA revealed the first of many images that it captured of deep space.
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