Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope

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Scientists have created a gargantuan synthetic survey of a section of the universe that shows what we can expect from the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope’s future observations

About Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope:

  • The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope or Roman Space Telescope (RST) is a NASA deep space infrared observatory.
  • Though originally referred to as the Wide Field Infrared Space Telescope (WFIRST), NASA renamed the mission in 2020 after Nancy Grace Roman, NASA's first chief astronomer.
  • Objective: RST will help answer essential astrophysics questions about dark energy, dark matter, exoplanets, and infrared astrophysics.
  • It is set to launch around 2026 or 2027.
  • The mission is projected to last for five years.
  • RST will be situated at Lagrange point 2, a stable gravitational point between Earth and the sun located around 1 million miles (1.5 million kilometers) from our planet. 
  • Features of the Mission:
    • The primary mirror of the RST has a diameter of 2.4 meters, the same size as the mirror of the Hubble Space Telescope.
    • It will have a field of view that is 100 times greater than the Hubble infrared instrument, capturing more of the sky with less observing time
    • Roman’s gigantic field of view will enable the mission to create infrared images that are around 200 times larger than the Hubble Space Telescope.
    • It has two other instruments: the Wide Field Instrument and the Coronagraph Instrument. 
    • The Wide Field Instrument performs microlensing surveys to find exoplanets, and the Coronograph Instrument performs high-contrast imaging and spectroscopy of nearby exoplanets.


Key facts about the Hubble telescope:

  • It is NASA’s large, space-based observatory which has revolutionized astronomy since its launch in 1990.
  • Hubble’s domain extends from the ultraviolet through the visible (which our eyes see) and into the near-infrared.
  • It is larger than a school bus in size, has a 7.9 feet mirror, and captures stunning images of deep space, playing a major role in helping astronomers understand the universe by observing the most distant stars, galaxies, and planets.


Q1) What is a Space Observatory?

A space observatory is a device used for observing distant heavenly bodies like stars, planets, etc. When such studies are carried out on Earth, a lot of distortions occur which could hinder the process. Thus, these devices are launched in space to avoid turbulence.

Source: Astronomers are on verge of discovering over three crore new galaxies