“Glitch Detected in James Webb Space Telescope Instrument, but Observatory Remains Operational and Healthy”
– The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) of the James Webb Space Telescope experienced a reduction in light registration in one of its observing modes, called Medium-Resolution Spectroscopy (MRS).
– Although the anomaly may require more exposure time in the affected mode, NASA confirms that MIRI’s science capabilities are not at risk, and the telescope’s other instruments remain unaffected.
The James Webb Space Telescope’s MIRI instrument recently encountered a glitch in its Medium-Resolution Spectroscopy mode. This mode is designed to capture infrared data from distant regions of the cosmos, where molecules and dust emissions are commonly found. While there was a reduction in signal specifically for MIRI imaging at longer wavelengths, NASA reassures that there is no risk to the instrument itself.
The anomaly may affect the amount of exposure time required when using the affected mode, potentially impacting scientific observations. However, MIRI’s other modes, including Low-Resolution Spectrography for object surfaces and Coronagraphic Imaging for exoplanet detection, are operating normally or under investigation respectively.
Despite this glitch, the James Webb Space Telescope remains in “good health.” NASA confirms that each of the observatory’s other scientific instruments, such as NIRCam, NIRSpec, NIRISS, and FGS, are unaffected by this issue. The telescope continues to decode the invisible universe and gather valuable data for astronomical research.