NASA’s deep space telescope is having instrument trouble caused by “increased friction”

NASA paused observations with one of the JWST modes. | Photo Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

There’s a kink in one of the instruments in NASA’s powerful James Web Space Telescope, the agency said Tuesday. After around two months of sending back beautiful, precise photos from deep in space, the team behind the telescope detected an issue with one of the four observing modes on JWST’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI). Observations using that mode are on pause while the team learns more.

MIRI, the telescope’s mid-infrared instrument, can see wavelengths of light invisible to the human eye. It’s good for seeing clear details of things like newly forming stars. It was used to take the image of the galaxy group “Stephan’s Quintet,” for example.

NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI/Handout via Xinhua
Images of Stephan’s…

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