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Cryogenic Expansion Blurs Hubble Images

Photonics Spectra
May 1997
Expanding nitrogen used to cool infrared detectors inside the Hubble Space Telescope's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer has caused one of the instrument's cameras to go out of focus. NASA scientists detected the foul-up shortly after installing the new device on Hubble in March. The good news is that the nitrogen is boiling off quickly, and scientists think the camera's focus will soon return to normal. The bad news is that the instrument's lifetime, over four years, was limited by the amount of coolant.


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