The invention of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) which was launched into space back in 2021 marked a period of a turnaround in the world of science as it was expected to help discover the origin of the universe as it is.
With billions of dollars spent on the invention and its prospect, NASA isn’t settling for the space observatory as there is apparently another space telescope in work that is expected to take things even further beyond our grasp.
The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (or simply Roman) is a new invention being developed by the space agency and is set to be launched as soon as the year 2027.
Roman will be so powerful that it will be able to look at vast areas of space at once in order to help cosmologists understand the universe on a much larger scale.
One of the exceptional functionality of this futuristic space telescope is the ability to help astronomers conduct their research in great detail something which existing space telescopes such as Hubble and the JWST are also capable of thanks to their powerful sensory devices which allows scientists the ability to see far into the past.
However, Roman is going to be different as it will be aimed at getting a broad view of space.
As demonstrated below, the difference between Hubble and Roman is the vastness that the latter can cover compared to the former.
“The Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes are optimized for studying astronomical objects in-depth and up-close, so they’re like looking at the universe through pinholes,” said Aaron Yung of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, who recently lead a study predicting the capabilities of Roman, in a statement.
“To solve cosmic mysteries on the biggest scales, we need a space telescope that can provide a far larger view. That’s exactly what Roman is designed to do.”
The space telescope will be used for conducting surveys in order to estimate how many exoplanets exist in the whole galaxy as well as check the distribution of galaxies in order to understand Dark Matter.
Roman will be built to capture images very quickly which will be its main advantage and will be able to map the entire universe up to 1,000 times faster relative to Hubble.
“Roman will take around 100,000 pictures every year,” said Jeffrey Kruk, a research astrophysicist at Goddard. “Given Roman’s larger field of view, it would take longer than our lifetimes even for powerful telescopes like Hubble or Webb, to cover as much sky.”
Who is Nancy Grace Roman?
Nancy Grace Roman (1925-2018) was an American astronomer often referred to as the “Mother of Hubble” for her work in developing the Hubble Space Telescope. She was the first Chief of Astronomy at NASA and played a significant role in shaping the field of space astronomy.
Roman was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and showed an early interest in science and astronomy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in astronomy from Swarthmore College and her Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Chicago.
In 1959, Roman joined NASA and was tasked with developing and managing the agency’s astronomical programs. She worked on the Orbiting Solar Observatory program, which was the first mission to observe the Sun from space. She also worked on the Cosmic Background Explorer mission, which studied cosmic microwave background radiation, and the Hubble Space Telescope project.
Roman was a strong advocate for space-based astronomy and was instrumental in securing funding for the Hubble Space Telescope. She retired from NASA in 1979 but continued to be active in promoting space science education and outreach throughout her life.
Roman received numerous honors for her contributions to astronomy, including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Women in Aerospace Lifetime Achievement Award, and the National Medal of Science.
Her enormous contribution to the space agency has earned her a space observatory named after her. Roman Space Telescope is expected to speed up space research for many years even after its launch.