Big Telescope in the making by 2030s


After the successful launch of Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) which was made on April 18th, 2018, i.e., Wednesday, a majority of the focus has shifted to building up of next-generation space telescopes that will be reaching space in the coming years. Among them would be James Webb Space Telescope which is ready to be launched in 2020. However, some other advanced level telescopes are scheduled to be launched no earlier than the 2030s.

The subject of the recently concluded survey was based on the topic of the latest telescope that could be sent to space. The name of the workshop was “2020 Decadal Survey for Astrophysics” which involved four very newly developed flagship mission concepts. These four missions are currently under the scanner. When these missions are sent to space, they will start from here missions such as Hubble, Kepler, Spitzer, and Chandra left. However, the current tasks will have much more significant sensitivity and also the efficiency level. As a result, it is expected that they will unfold a new dimension for the study of the universe and many other secrets which are yet to be unlocked.

The team submitted a vast area of scientific targets to the “2020 Decadal Survey for Astrophysics”. The observations involved studying the various black holes which are present in the Universe to examining many exoplanets that are around our universe. The team also analyzed the different bodies of that are present in the solar system. Al these ideas were minutely examined by the scientific community, and subsequently, four missions were selected to be worth of.

The concepts which were selected involve large ultraviolet/ Optical/ infrared/ Surveyor (LUVOIR). It is a large telescope which is developed in the lines of Hubble Space Telescope. The earlier mission was inspected by Goddard Space Flight Center; the current task involves a space telescope with a substantial segmented primary mirror that is almost 15 meters in diameter.

If LUVOIR is compared with JWST, which is currently the most advanced space telescope, involves a mirror which is about 6.5 meters in diameter. As per the features of JWST, LUVOIR’s mirror will have the characteristics of flexible segments that would spring up once it is sent to space. The actuators and the motors present in the telescope will automatically adjust and thereafter align the sections so that the perfect focus light capturing ability is maintained mainly for the distant objects.