Over the last few centuries, advances in astronomy have transformed the way humans perceive the universe (Thronson & Massimo 47). New transformations into the understanding of how our universe came into existence and how it regularly transforms have been made possible by the invention of the space-based telescopes. In the present, the field of astronomy is flourishing as more explorations and discoveries are being made. In the last decade, several astonishing discoveries, which have amazed most humans, have been undertaken. The discoveries include evaluation of the universe’s expansion rate, location of giant stars, location of black holes, and location of dead stars. As such, the discoveries could not have been realized if the multi-wavelength examination of the Universe was not invented. The technology makes use of radio, Infrared, optical, ultraviolet, and X-ray telescopes.
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Based on the above illustrations, it is apparent that humans have unraveled a number of mysteries about our solar system. However, it should be noted that billions of other discoveries are yet to be made in the future. To achieve this, our range of observations should be expanded through the opening up of new electromagnetic spectrums. New spectrums will be opened up if sophisticated telescopes are designed in the future. The telescopes will enable astronomers to observe distant and fainter objects with clarity. Equally, the instruments will enable humans to observe and analyze larger terrestrial bodies with better resolution.
If these instruments are designed, astronomers will be able to explore exoplanets within the next 50 years. For over the last century, debates about the existence of life in the exoplanets have attracted heated debates (Telescopes of the Future 4). The current telescopes are not able to prove or disprove the theories associated with the existence of life on exoplanets. In this respect, telescopes that are more sophisticated will be able to shed more light on these debates.
Despite the fact that the current telescopes have offered astronomers with a number of information about distant planets and their exoplanets, it should be noted that they have not been able to provide clear images because of the blinding glare from the stars (Telescopes of the Future 5). Thus, the future telescope must enable the astronomers to block out the blinding glare from the stars. To achieve this, the next-generation space telescope should be designed in the near future. In this respect, this future grand telescope must be more sophisticated than the HST telescopes.
Because the future telescopes must target at the red-shifted early universe and the exoplanets, the next-generation space telescope should be able to target specific electromagnetic spectrums. To focus on the red-shifted early universe, a telescope that will focus on the 2-5 µm EM spectrums should be designed (Telescopes of the Future 5). To focus on the exoplanets, telescopes that focus on 10-20 µm EM spectrums should be designed. These regions are currently unexplored due to unsuitable telescopes.
The proposed telescope should have a prime mirror measuring 8 meters in diameter. Similarly, the instrument should be able to work in temperatures up to 50 K. Despite its augmented mirror surface area, the telescope should weigh much less than the HST because it will have to be transported millions of kilometers from the earth’s surface. The instrument will have a focal length of 116.6 meters.
The above project will be very expensive to undertake. As such, the whole project will require approximately $8.8 billion (Boss 55). Therefore, an international collaboration with organizations such as NASA will be needed.
Boss, Alan. The crowded universe: the race to find life beyond earth. New York: Basic Books, 2011. Print.
Telescopes of the Future. 2001. Web.
Thronson, Harley, and Massimo Stiavelli. Astrophysics in the next decade the James Webb Space Telescope and concurrent facilities. Dordrecht: Springer, 2009. Print.