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Video Explains Impact of 'Micrometeorite' That Hit James Webb Space Telescope

The incident will not disrupt plans to release the first images from the new telescope July 12.

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The James Webb Space Telescope has been hit by a 'micrometeorite' in one of its 18 mirrors. But NASA issued a statement assuring the public that it had prepared for these sorts of contingencies and nothing about the mission has been compromised, including the targeted July 12 release date for the first images.

Learn more in this video posted by Sierra Casten, who uses the TikTok handle @givesierraspace.


"I have so much emotional energy invested in JWST," writes a commenter. "Must protect!!"

"The correct response," replies Casten.

One viewer of the video asks, "Is L2 a bad place for equipment like this? Maybe L2 is a magnet for debris like this?"

"Nope!" replies Casten. "They still plan to send future telescopes there! Maybe they will find a way to add extra protection to future ones, though."

"Cant wait to see them," says a user, presumably referring to the images from JWST that are scheduled to be released July 12.

"Me too!" writes Casten. "I'm so glad they aren’t going to be delayed."

"How far away was that star they were watching?" wonders a reader. "It’s such a clear image of it with its planet. I’m so excited to see what all comes of this telescope."

"Oh that image was not from JWST," replies Casten. "That was an artist rendition of an exoplanet passing in front of its star."

One user offers a pessimistic view: "That Webb scope ain’t gonna last five seconds, man."

"They actually made it pretty dang durable!!!" Casten writes. "They knew this was a possibility and have backup plans."

"You're making feel anxiety about this again," one reader says with concern. "Like a Hubble situation where all the images were blurry because of the lense."

"They are able to correct for it no problem," Casten writes back.

"Your video on this is so much more reassuring than the first one I saw," says another user. "I was feeling sad until I saw this."

To which Casten replies, "Glad I could end on a happier note!"

Another reader breathes a sigh of relief and says, "Oh man, I was going to be sad if it was broken!"

"Visualize Apollo 11 taking those micrometeorites when they went to the moon," surmises another reader.

"Well, space ain't so empty after all," says another.

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