on arxiv.org publish Micrometeoroid strikes have caused minor damage to the large mirror of the telescope, but a meteorite impact on the left side of the telescope in mid-May caused permanent damage, according to a paper. NASA’s report states that between January and June, 5 of the 6 attacks of micro meteorites on this telescope caused negligible damage. But a meteorite has damaged the telescope. The incident took place between 22 and 24 May.
Damage assessment revealed that the impact damaged a mirror segment labeled C3, which left permanent damage to the telescope. This incident happened with the James Webb Telescope in its commissioning phase. This is said to be the phase when the telescope was setting up its instruments in space and testing them.
Due to the sixth collision, the wavefront error of the segment has increased from 56 nm to 178 nm. Experts have told that the mirrors of this telescope are in contact with space, so it is difficult to avoid the attack of micro meteorites. The good thing is that due to the collisions so far, the telescope has suffered negligible damage. The infrared imaging capability of the telescope has not been affected by these attacks. Pictures taken by the telescope and released last week confirm this.
According to the report, the small meteorite that hit the C3 segment on May 22-24 caused a change in the data of that segment, but the effect was too small for the whole telescope, because only a small part of the telescope was affected . Collisions with small meteoroids are reported to be a major problem for the James Webb Space Telescope’s 21-foot-diameter mirror, which is directly exposed to space, unlike the Hubble telescope.
Although it is as far away from the Earth, scientists had expressed the possibility of such attacks only once a month. This telescope was launched last year. It is believed that it will replace the Hubble Telescope, which has been serving in space for the last 30 years.