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.


About the Hubble telescope

  • It is NASA’s large, space-based observatory which has revolutionised 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.