The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope – A New Portrait of the Cosmos

Date: 2021-08-26 02:46:14

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The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (shortened as Roman or the Roman Space Telescope, and formerly the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope or WFIRST) is a NASA infrared space telescope currently under development. Roman was recommended in 2010 by the United States National Research Council Decadal Survey committee as the top priority for the next decade of astronomy. On February 17, 2016, WFIRST was approved for development and launch.

The Roman Space Telescope is based on an existing 2.4 m wide field of view primary mirror and will carry two scientific instruments. The Wide-Field Instrument (WFI) is a 300.8-megapixel multi-band visible and near-infrared camera, providing a sharpness of images comparable to that achieved by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) over a 0.28 square degree field of view, 100 times larger than imaging cameras on HST. The Coronagraphic Instrument (CGI) is a high-contrast, small field of view camera and spectrometer covering visible and near-infrared wavelengths using novel starlight-suppression technology.

To help uncover the mystery of dark energy, the Roman Space Telescope will make incredibly precise measurements of the universe. These measurements, like the distance and position of galaxies, can be compared to other measurements — such as the cosmic microwave background from the WMAP mission — to determine how dark energy has changed over time. The Roman Space Telescope can also measure the slight distortions in light from distant galaxies as it passes more nearby mass concentrations. These data will build a three dimensional picture of how mass is distributed throughout the universe, and provide independent confirmation of its structure.

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