Beyond Weber: Scientists conceive the future epic super space telescope

In 2011, an engineer was checking the huge mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope, which was about to accept the ultra-low temperature test at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
This is a shot that is captured by direct imaging. According to the US space network reported that in 2018, the latest development of the United States James Weber space telescope on the track, the United States, the United States, Will launch, at this moment, scientists have begun to look forward to the next generation of space telescope. This is because cutting-edge technology and large equipment will take years, and even decades to plan, build and launch, and scientists do not want to wait until the James Weber space telescope is about to retreat when you do a hurry to plan.

For the telescope, the larger the caliber, the greater the ability to collect light, so that scientists can observe the more faint objects. So it is not surprising that although the James Webb Space Telescope already has a stunning caliber of 6.5 meters, many scientists still want to be able to use a huge caliber design on the updated generation of telescopes after James Weber. “When we look for Earth 2.0, their brightness will be much lower than that of Hubble’s ultra-deep field image,” said John Grunsfeld, a former astronaut physicist and NASA chief scientist. “As a former astronaut, Glenfield has performed many times on the track to maintain the Hubble Space Telescope task, in fact he is also the world’s last touch Hubble telescope of human beings.

to be held in Mesa, Arizona in April of this year, “Astrobiology Science Conference” (AbSciCon), the Gelang Si Rumsfeld called for the construction of a future space telescope diameter of about 12 meters. Such an epic device if it is possible to build a launch, it will greatly help us to really see the solar system, the stars around the other stars to run the planet, will also help us explore the original origin of the universe, and the distant stars With the planetary goals to carry out an unprecedented in-depth study. “I do not want the time we will say that if there is a bigger telescope, it will be possible to make some important discoveries.” We need to plan ahead. “

Super telescope

In the current debate among the parties, as James Weber telescope after the renewal of the future telescope, one of its strong competition program is the so-called “Large UV / Optical / Infrared Survey Telescope” (LUVOIR). This is an envisioned multi-band large space telescope that can observe the extrasolar planets, planets and evolution and explore the secrets of the early universe. According to the preliminary design, the primary mirror diameter will reach an astonishing 30 to 45 feet (about 9 to 14 meters), this caliber design has reached the vision of the future space telescope.

during the meeting, LUVOIR Telescope Science Technology defined group co-convener Debra Fei Xue (Debra Fischer) said:. “This is indeed a remarkable vision” She will evaluate this super telescope envisaged For the “21st century space observatory”.

As originally envisioned, the LUVOIR telescope will have the ability to observe the newborn stars within the distant galaxy and plot the dark matter distribution map in the space near the universe. It will also be able to authenticate the first episode of stars in the very early universe and shoot fountains or volcanic eruptions on the frozen small satellites of Saturn and Jupiter directly. From its operational orbit, the LUVOIR telescope will be able to acquire Pluto and other Kuiperian celestial images with a resolution of about 200 meters per pixel.

For scientists attending the AbSciCon conference, their greatest expectation for the LUVOIR telescope is, of course, its ability to observe extrasolar planets. According to the current design, this super telescope will allow scientists to directly obtain and analyze the distant extrasolar planetary atmospheric composition spectrum, so as to search for traces of life. The closest target for the Earth is Kepler-452b, which runs around a star that is similar to the sun, but about 60 percent more mass than the Earth. As a result, astronomers are still trying to find extrasolar planets closer to the Earth and want to be able to analyze their atmospheric composition. “Scientists are currently looking at the distribution of rockets around the stars,” says Fisher, a large telescope like LUVOIR, The artificial coronal instrument that shades the stars will be a powerful tool to carry out this research. According to the general probability estimates, a 4-meter caliber telescope should be able to find about six extrasolar planets near the Earth, and if the telescope’s caliber increases to 8 meters, it will be expected to find 25 close to the Earth And if it is a space telescope of 16 meters in diameter, then we will be able to find up to 100 extrasolar planets that are close to the Earth.

These figures are very important, because not every environment and the Earth’s planet is similar to the development of life. So our telescope can observe this kind of starThe more the number of balls, from which to find a real livable conditions, the greater the probability of the planet. “If the probability of a livable planet is 10% up and down, then there will be 30 candidates in our hands, and we can choose the planet with the highest possible probability.”

On the other hand, time is also an important consideration. According to Grantsfield, a one-hour extrasolar planetary search was performed using a 16-meter-wide space telescope, which would result in a 10-hour space telescope with a caliber of 4 meters. This means that in the same life cycle, the efficiency of the larger diameter telescope will be more prominent. “We will be able to cover more of the candidate goals and choose the real Earth 2.0 from it.”

Thanks to the rapid development of science and technology, Glen Both Scief and Fischer have stressed that the design of the future space telescope is likely to change dramatically over time, or even unimaginable changes. On this point, the Hubble Space Telescope is a good example. When the human first space telescope was launched in 1990, the scientists have yet to find any extrasolar planets exist. But in this day and age, space telescopes must have the ability to explore the extraterrestrial elements of the planet, which is the original telescope designers can not foresee the demand. The future, LUVOIR telescope will also be very likely to repeat this story. “It might be asked to answer some of the questions we’ve never heard of before.”

On-track maintainability

In the long service of 27 years, Hubble Space Telescope in Earth orbit, but to help people insight into the deep universe. At the beginning of the instrument failure, astronauts can take the space shuttle to space and Hubble telescope maintenance and technical upgrading work, so that not only to maintain a good long-term working condition, and even through the update equipment, and constantly improve the observing ability The “I think the maintainability of the space telescope is a very critical point, so that you can keep the device up to the telescope, so that it continues to upgrade.”

Glansfield said: > In 2010, the US Congress passed a bill calling for future US flagship astronomical observations to be maintainable. But the James Webb Space Telescope, which is about to launch next year, will not have such maintainability because it is far ahead of 2010. The James Weber telescope will be placed on the second Lagrangian point of 1.5 million km away from the Earth, and any on-orbit maintenance work is impossible at such a distance.

As for LUVOIR, there is no final conclusion. Whether it will eventually be approved and really shaped will also need to see it with another very powerful project – “livable extrasolar planetary mission” (HabEx) between the results of competition. The attention of the HabEx project focused on direct imaging of the extraterrestrial planets around the sun-like stars and observing the nature of their atmosphere.

The HabEx telescope will use direct imaging technology to enable it to directly capture the face of distant planets. But its use is not entirely confined to extrasolar planetary research, it will be able to carry out a variety of objects inside and outside the Milky Way. (Morning wind)

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