Friday, February 19th, 2016

NASA will build a new telescope

Narada Desk | February 19, 2016 1:42 pm Print


Ever wondered if aliens live in outer space? NASA has announced to build a new and better telescope that will have a view that is 100 times bigger than that of Hubble Space Telescope.

The telescope is called the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).

This will help researches to reveal the secrets of dark energy and matter that could not be found out in the evolution of the universe.

“WFIRST has the potential to open our eyes to the wonders of the universe, much the same way Hubble has,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, DC.

“This mission uniquely combines the ability to discover and characterise planets beyond our own solar system with the sensitivity and optics to look wide and deep into the universe in a quest to unravel the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter,” he explained in a statement.

A survey will be conducted by the observatory in the large regions of the sky in near-infrared light to answer fundamental questions about the structure and evolution of the universe and expand our knowledge of planets beyond our solar system – known as ‘explanets’.

The telescope will carry a Wide Field Instrument for surveys, and a Coronagraph Instrument designed such as to block the glare of individual stars and reveal the faint light of planets orbiting around them.

“WFIRST is designed to address science areas identified as top priorities by the astronomical community,” added Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s astrophysics division.

Comparing these data across many worlds will allow scientists to better understand the origin and physics of these atmospheres, and search for chemical signs of environments suitable for life.

WFIRST also can precisely measure the shapes, positions and distances of millions of galaxies to track the distribution and growth of cosmic structures, including galaxy clusters and the dark matter accompanying them.

The observatory will begin operations after travelling to a gravitational balance point known as “Earth-Sun L2” which is located about one million miles from Earth in a direction directly opposite the Sun, NASA said.