Vohunska leča za temno energijo

Očitno se je misiji Wfirst, ki bo raziskovala naravo temne energije, končno nasmehnila sreča. Za gradnjo teleskopa bodo namreč po vsej verjetnosti lahko uporabili lečo iz bivšega vohunskega satelita. Leča je enake velikosti kot je v Hubblovem teleskopu, le da ima krajšo goriščno dolžino (saj je zbiral podatke obrnjen navzdol proti zemlji). Kar pomeni da je idealen za široko prečesavanje neba kot bo počela Wfirst. Sedaj morda Wfirst poleti že leta 2020. Članek je v nytimes

The phone call came like a bolt out of the blue, so to speak, in January 2011. On the other end of the line was someone from the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates the nation’s fleet of spy satellites. They had some spare, unused “hardware” to get rid of. Was NASA interested?
...Sitting in a room in upstate New York were two telescopes the same size as the famed Hubble Space Telescope, but built to point down at the Earth, instead of up at the heavens.
NASA, struggling to get human space exploration moving again, had spent the previous year trying to figure out how good these telescopes were and what, if anything, they could be used for. Working with a small band of astronomers for the past couple of months, Dr. Grunsfeld, famous as the Hubble telescope’s in-orbit repairman, has now come up with a plan, which was presented to the public on Monday at a meeting at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington.
It is to turn one of the telescopes loose on the cosmos, pointing in its rightful direction, outward, to investigate the mysterious dark energy that is speeding up the universe’s expansion.

Oznake: , ,