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The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was launched into space just last year and the POT is already thinking about put a new telescope into orbitbut to search for life on other planets.
As reported in Science magazine, NASA is planning an optical telescope just as big as the Webb, but with a new big goal: look for signs of life on Earth-like planetsperhaps in the early 2040s.
At a meeting of the American Astronomical Society this week, Mark Clampin, director of NASA’s division of astrophysics, explained to attendees that many details about the telescope have been establishedbut he anticipated that, like the JWST, it will be located at L2, a gravitational balance point 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
Unlike the JWST, however, the new telescope will be designed to receive robotic maintenance and upgradeswhich could allow it to function for decades, improving with age.
Although Clampin didn’t give too many details about the new alien life finder telescope, this device It already has a name: Habitable Worlds Observatory (HWO).
Decennial Survey of Astronomy
According to Science, the decennial survey of astronomya, a community-led wish list that guides funding agencies and lawmakers, in the next few years that should get a new telescope up and running capable of detecting signs of life on 25 nearby Earth-like exoplanets, the minimum necessary to confirm statistically if life is common in the Galaxy.
According to the specifications, should be a 6 meter telescope sensitive to ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared wavelengths, with a cost of 11,000 million dollarswhich should carry out general astrophysics, in addition to the search for life on other planets.
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