One of Hubble's Tools Fails: Observatory loses a sharp ultraviolet eye

By Ron Cowen, 15:51 PM April 15, 2008

Last week, an instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope stopped working, shutting astronomers' only sharp ultraviolet eye on the universe.

On Aug. 3, a malfunction—possibly a short circuit—developed in a 5-volt power supply that drives moving parts in the observatory's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). That device's only other power supply had stopped working in 2001.

"It's as if STIS suffered a stroke and is now paralyzed," says senior Hubble project scientist David S. Leckrone of N...

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