In a new
attempt to find Alien life and unravel the mysteries of the cosmos along the
way, the space agency, NASA has announced the construction of a new telescope
that will have a field of view one hundred times bigger than that of the famous
Hubble Space Telescope.
In what is
called a new FRESH start for NASA’s search for Intelligent alien life, and with
a fresh new budget in their bag, NASA is certainly on the correct path to
understanding our place in the universe, and along the way, find our cosmic
neighbors and the secrets of the universe.
It is called
the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope or (WFIRST) –they could have picked a
shorter name don’t you think?.
telescope will hopefully shed ‘light’ on the enigmas and secrets behind dark
energy and dark matter, and explore our universe while understanding the force
that makes up the universe.
It is set to
launch in the mid-2020’s. The space observatory will also be looking for new
Alien worlds (potentially habitable) outside of the limits of our solar system,
and hopefully, discover the ultimate proof that we are not the only
civilization in the vast universe.
launching WFIRST – NASA’s newest favorite toy – the James Webb Space Telescope
is set to launch in 2018. WFIRST is tagged as the next mayor astrophysics
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.
mission uniquely combines the ability to discover and characterize 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.
goal of the Observatory is to survey large regions in the sky using infrared
light in hopes of answering the fundamental questions of the structure and
evolution of our universe, in order to expand our knowledge and understanding
of planets located outside our solar system.
planets elsewhere in the universe, the WFIRST observatory will be equipped with
a Wide Field Instrument for surveys, and a Coronagraph Instrument, designed
specifically to block the glare of specific stars, in order to reveal the faint
light of planets around them.
clocking the light from the host star, the Observatory’s Coronagraph Instrument
will make it possible to obtain detailed measurements of the chemical makeup of
planetary atmospheres, something that could detect habitable planets similar to
designed to address science areas identified as top priorities by the
astronomical community,” added Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s astrophysics
One of the
most important characteristics of WFIRST is the telescope’s sensitivity and
wide view which will enable scientists to search at a larger scale, exoplanets
by monitoring the brightness of MILLIONS of stars in the central region of the
Milky Way. WFIRST will
also measure the distances of thousands of supernovae, which will allow
astronomers to map in detail, like never before, how much cosmic expansion has
increased with time.
WFIRST can also measure with extreme detail the shape, position and distances
of millions of galaxies and track the distribution and growth of cosmic
observatory will commence its highly anticipated mission after travelling to a
gravitational balance point known as Earth-Sun L2, located approximately one
million miles from Earth, in a direction opposite to the Sun", NASA said in a
reference: Space Telescope Science Institute
Credit: Space Telescope Science Institute