NASA has recently announced that it has a team of scientists and researchers working on a new telescope that will be launched into space sometime around 2030. This proposed telescope will be more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope, and its main goal will be to search for alien life. At least, planets that are the most likely to harbor alien life any way.
The High Definition Space Telescope
This newly proposed telescope is already being called the High Definition Space Telescope by those in charge of the project at NASA. It will be roughly the same size as the Hubble Space Telescope, but it will be 100 times more sensitive. This higher sensitivity will let the telescope take clearer pictures of many of the exoplanets that Hubble has already found, as well as be able to find even more — perhaps even alien life.
The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AUSA) released a report entitled “From Cosmic Birth to Living Earths,” about the future High Definition Space Telescope. AUSA represents several observatories on behalf of NASA and is also the lead of the Hubble Space Telescope Mission.
The HDST Mission
The new High Definition Space Telescope (HDST) will advance the mission that Hubble originally embarked on. Scientists know where around 2,000 exoplanets are thanks to the Hubble, so by programming where the telescope is to look, it will give a more accurate portrayal of the planets.
Exoplanets are any large, rock based objects, planets that orbit a star outside of the Sol solar system, our solar system. The proposed telescope will be equipped with a light dimmer which will be able to lessen the intense light coming from the stars that the exoplanets are orbiting, thus giving a significantly clearer picture.
With the more accurate data, scientists will be able to analyze the atmosphere on the distant planets and be able to tell if any of the planets are under the right circumstances to harbor life. On top of the clearer picture, the HDST will also go out millions of miles more than Hubble. This will let the telescope find new planets not just inside the Milky Way Galaxy, as the Hubble was only capable of doing, but also far beyond.
What This Means for Space Exploration
If all goes according to plan, this telescope will launch in 2030. It likely will introduce to humanity not just thousands of previously unknown planets, but also reveal planets that could be the home to alien life forms. While any alien life found will likely be bacterial or other microscopic organisms, it will still prove that life is not as rare as it seems and that the life on Earth was not a freak, one-time incident.
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