These five images of single stars, taken at different times with the narrow-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft, show the effects of haze collecting on the camera's optics, then successful removal of the haze by warming treatments.
The image on the left was taken on May 25, 2001, before the haze problem occurred. It shows a star named HD339457.
The second image from left, taken May 30, 2001, shows the effect of haze that collected on the optics when the camera cooled back down after a routine-maintenance heating to 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). The star is Maia, one of the Pleiades.
The third image was taken on October 26, 2001, after a weeklong decontamination treatment at minus 7 C (19 F). The star is Spica.
The fourth image was taken of Spica January 30, 2002, after a weeklong decontamination treatment at 4 C (39 F).
The final image, also of Spica, was taken July 9, 2002, following three additional decontamination treatments at 4 C (39 F) for two months, one month, then another month.
Cassini, on its way toward arrival at Saturn in 2004, is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Cassini mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C.