NASA scientists have created a new telescope technology called “microshutters,” tiny doorways the width of a few hairs that will allow the telescope to view the most distant stars and galaxies humans have ever seen.
The microshutters will be built into the James Webb Space Telescope, which replaces the Hubble Telescope, whose main camera malfunctioned and shut down Tuesday. The new technology will enable the Webb telescope to detect fainter objects in space that are more distant and possibly older.
The entire microshutter array measures only 1.5 inches, the size of a postage stamp, but it has 62,415 tiny shutters, each measuring a tiny 100 x 200 microns. It is designed to operate at a frigid -388Â°F (40 Kelvin), the temperature of the Near Infrared Spectrograph.