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June 14, 2022
Micrometeoroid Strikes Mirror segment on James Webb Telescope
Building large space telescopes requires extreme precision in order to ensure operational functionality and accurate data reporting, two things which are vital in achieving the telescopes scientific mission. The mirrors on the telescope serve an especially important function because they are what allow us to see far into space. The James Webb telescope is the largest and most advanced telescope today and its mirrors are incredibly advanced, excelling in their light reflection purpose. The expert engineers used vacuum deposition to coat the James Webb's mirrors with a thin layer of gold, which optimizes the mirror's ability to reflect infrared light. Vacuum vapor deposition is an incredibly precise technique in which solid objects are coated in atomically thin layers of materials. Unfortunately, only months into the James Webb telescope's mission it was recently reported that one of its mirror segments was struck by a micrometeoroid. Read more here.