Euclid's 'dark universe' telescope is defrosting a million miles away

Just as drivers scrape ice off car windshields during the winter, say scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA). Euclid The observatory is trying to “defrost” the telescope – from a million miles away.

Layers of ice, roughly the width of one strand of DNA, accumulated on Euclid's mirrors. The agency said in a statement on March 19 (Tuesday) that although the ice is small, it appears to have caused a “small but gradual decrease” in the amount of starlight captured by the telescope. The telescope is continuing its science observations for now while scientists begin heating the low-risk optical parts of the spacecraft to begin the defrosting process. The agency said these low-risk areas correspond to sections of the telescope where released water is unlikely to impair other instruments.

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