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SPACE GLITCH

Nasa experts baffled over James Webb Space Telescope ‘camera anomaly’

NASA scientists have observed some mechanical trouble affecting a critical dial onboard the James Webb Space Telescope.

The space agency formed a review board to investigate the incident.

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The James Webb Space Telescope launched on Christmas Day in 2021Credit: Getty Images - Getty

On board the James Webb Space Telescope is the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) for capturing the shorter wavelengths that human eyes can't see.

MIRI has four modes for capturing different ranges of infrared light.

One of the systems that supports the medium-resolution spectroscopy mode demonstrated "increased friction" according to a Nasapress release.

"This mechanism is a grating wheel that allows scientists to select between short, medium, and longer wavelengths when making observations using the MRS mode," Nasa said of the troubled part.

The gadget is used to spot crumbs in the universe that come together to form planets.

Observations using the affected medium-resolution spectroscopy (MRS) are on pause.

The James Webb Space Telescope is parked more than one million miles from Earth's surface, so fixing the wheel via spacewalk is out of the question.

"MIRI’s other three observing modes — imaging, low-resolution spectroscopy, and coronagraphy — are operating normally and remain available for science observations," the press release concluded.

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