NASA's Hubble telescope relying on single-gyro 'pointing mode' to capture galactic images

UPI
NASA has released the fist galactic image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope's new one-gyroscope pointing mode. An issue with one of the gyros took the telescope offline for several weeks. Photo by David Thilker (Johns Hopkins University)/ NASA, ESA, STSci

June 19 (UPI) -- NASA on Tuesday released a Hubble Space Telescope image captured by using a new pointing mode that uses just one gyroscope. The telescope resumed operations June 14 after a gyro issue took it offline for several weeks.

The new image is of NGC 1546, a nearby Dorado constellation galaxy.

According to NASA scientists, Hubble is expected to be capable of most of it science observations using the new single-gyro pointing mode.

"Hubble's new image of a spectacular galaxy demonstrates the full success of our new, more stable pointing mode for the telescope," said NASA's Dr. Jennifer Wiseman in a statement. "We're poised now for many years of discovery ahead, and we'll be looking at everything from our solar system to exoplanets to distant galaxies."

The image shows "dust lanes" slightly above and backlit by the galaxy's core. NASA said brilliant blue regions in the image are active star formations sparkling through the dust.

The image was captured from Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3. Some background galaxies also are seen in the image.

It's one of the first images taken using the new pointing mode.

NASA said earlier this month that an ongoing gyroscope issue forced a suspension of operations after the telescope automatically entered safe mode.

One of the three Hubble gyroscopes gave faulty telemetry readings. In 2009, six new gyros were installed and three of those remain operational.

Hubble was launched in 1990 and recently marked is 34th anniversary observing the universe.