The space agency reported that the James Webb Telescope was hit by a small, larger than usual meteor in late May NASA Wednesday. This damaged one of the telescope’s 18 mirrors.
NASA confirms that the telescope has been hit by at least four different micrometeorites since its December launch. They are usually small fragments of an asteroid, often smaller than a grain of sand.
The micrometeorites were small and fit the space agency’s predictions. It is inevitable that a telescope of this size will come into contact with micrometeorites.
But in late May, the telescope was hit by a small meteor that was larger than NASA was counting on. The exact size of the meteor could not be determined, but it did damage the telescope’s mirror.
The effect does not directly affect the operation of the James Webb telescope, but the mirror must be reset due to distortion. The mirrors are built in such a way that, in principle, they can withstand contact with space dust.
James Webb is the successor to the famous Hubble Space Telescope. The new telescope aims to search for planets on which life might be possible, distant galaxies and traces of the Big Bang. The total project cost will be around 8 billion euros.
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