NASA announced in a press release on Wednesday that since Dec. 7, a malfunction of the NWeb space telescope software put it in safe mode and this issue has continued continuously. Finally, another operation was performed on this telescope, due to which this telescope resumed its activity from the beginning of this week.
- The James Webb Space Telescope’s view of the atmosphere of an exoplanet
- Discovery of two bright galaxies by the James Webb telescope in the early universe
Web Space Telescope software glitch details
The Webb telescope has been in Safe Mode several times over the past two weeks, during which all non-essential observatory systems are shut down, meaning no scientific operations are being carried out, NASA said in a statement about the operation. However, NASA says the problem has been resolved and “the observatory and instruments are all safe”. Until yesterday, NASA did not publicize this problem and did not publish a report.
The Webb Space Telescope is a $10 billion space observatory that images the universe at infrared and near-infrared wavelengths. It’s an advanced telescope that has captured our attention in its first six months of scientific observations, revealing iconic structures like the Pillars of Creation in a new light spectrum.
A NASA release said there was a “software error in the telescope’s attitude control system,” the device that directs the observatory where to observe. The telescope moved away from the micrometeor avoidance zone in the spring to protect the telescope’s mirrors. This maneuver was performed after a space rock hit, which damaged one of the mirror panels.
NASA said that this safe mode was extended to several days and eventually caused the telescope to not be able to make special observations this month. But now, the telescope is fully operational and Webb’s team is working to reschedule observations affected by the glitch.
Yesterday, the Webb Telescope released a postcard: an image of spiral galaxy NGC 7469, which resembles a wreath. This galaxy is 220 million light-years away, and to the sharp eye of the web, it looks quite peaceful. Large sharp diffraction spikes radiate from the center of this galaxy, where a supermassive black hole resides.
In addition to seeing known objects in new ways, Webb has captured light from the earliest corners of the universe, light that was too weak for older observatories.
One of the main scientific goals of the Web is to probe ancient light sources (the first stars and galaxies) to understand how those objects arose and evolved through deep time.