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NASA will name the new WFirst telescope to Nancy Grace Roman

First female astronomer to head NASA, "mother" of Hubble - 2 VIDEO

NASA, the US space agency, named its next generation space telescope currently under development, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFirst), to Nancy Grace Roman, the first female astronomer to head NASA, ie which paved the way for space telescopes focused on the wider universe. The newly-named "Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope" -or more briefly "Roman Space Telescope"- will be launched in the mid-1920s. It will investigate long-standing astronomical mysteries, such as dark energy that would occupy 70% of the universe and whose existence has been hypothesized to explain the expansion of the universe, and will search for planets distant beyond our solar system.

Considered the "mother" of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope launched 30 years ago, Roman tirelessly supported the development of new tools that would allow scientists to study the universe from deeper space. When he died in 2018, she left a huge legacy to the international scientific community, writes the American agency. "It is thanks to Nancy Grace Roman's leadership and vision that NASA has become a pioneer in astrophysics and launched Hubble, the most powerful and productive space telescope in the world", said current agency administrator Jim Bridenstine, and he added: "I can't think of a better name for WFirst, which will be the successor of the Hubble and Webb telescopes".

Former Senator Barbara Mikulski, who worked on NASA on the Hubble and WFirst space telescopes, said: "It is fitting that while celebrating the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, NASA has dedicated the new telescope to Nancy Roman. a deserved recognition, which emphasizes the incredible achievements of women in science, and brings us even closer to hidden figures and distant galaxies".

The 300 megapixel wide angle instrument of the "Roman Space Telescope", which has a primary mirror with a diameter of 2.4 meters, will display an area of the sky 100 times larger than that displayed by Hubble. This means that a single image of the new space telescope will detail the equivalent of 100 Hubble images.

In the first video below, NASA explains the new telescope. The second one describes the figure of Nancy Roman explains Hubble.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency