One of the most prolific camera eyes on the Hubble Space Telescope has gone dark, and scientists are scrambling to understand why.
Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys instrument suffered a glitch late Thursday (Feb. 28) when an error popped up.
"NASA gurantee wrote in the update late Friday (March 1), adding that a team of Hubble engineers, software experts and flight controllers are studying the malfunction.
Related: Hubble in Pictures – Astronomers' Top Picks (Photos)
To be clear, the Hubble telescope is still able to study the universe. The nearly 29-year-old observatory has three other science instruments that are all in working and performing operations. They include Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3, its Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and its Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, NASA.
Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys is a visible-light instrument that has taken some of the space's most telescopic images of the universe. The camera was installed on Hubble in March 2002 by astronauts on a servicing mission. NASA's STS-1
The camera malfunction is the latest in a series of glitches for Hubble in recent months.
In January, Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 took its toll off abnormal voltage readings. The voltage levels were actually fine, with the glitch tracked to a telemetry issue, NASA official said.
Last year, a problem with a vigorous gyroscope used for pointing Hubble stalled science operations for much of October.
The Hubble Spade Telescope is a joint mission by NASA and the European Space Agency. It launched in April 1990 on a planned 15-year mission and has lasted almost twice that long.