It is three times larger than Hubble.
American astrophysicists are excited about the possibility of launching a space telescope to search for planets with life.
Astro2020, the long-awaited report detailing the future of astronomy/astrophysics in the next 20 years, was released today.
This report was part the Decadal Survey. It is a list that space experts have used to make recommendations for new telescopes. Scientific American reports such as the James Webb Telescope, in the early 2000s, also included the Decadal Survey. The astronomy community has been pushing for its successors even before it was launched.
We are at the edge of a new golden age of discovery on both the ground and in space. Heidi Hammel, vice-president for science at the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy said in a statement. True to its title, this report outlines solid pathways to answer that question. We can be the generation that answers them.
Astronomers have recommended a new fleet of telescopes to probe the galaxy at a wider frequency range than the narrow focus of the narrow band.
The successor to NASA's innovative but rapidly aging Hubble space telescope could be the most ambitious telescope. The telescope, yet to be named, would be three times larger than Hubble and cost $11 billion.
According to the report, it could be constructed by the end of the decade and launched in the middle of the 2040s.
This massive telescope is designed to image potential habitable exoplanets, and probe their atmospheres looking for signs of extraterrestrial existence. It is clearly a top priority for many astronomers.
READ MORE: Hunting for Alien Life is Top of Next-Gen Wish Lists for U.S. Astronomy (Scientific American)
Continue reading about space telescopes: NASA admits that the Hubble Space Telescope is broken again
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