NASA’s Roman Space Telescope Primary Mirror Complete – View from Hubble View 100 Times Greater Area

NASA's Roman Space Telescope Primary Mirror Complete - View from Hubble View 100 Times Greater Area

A member of the L3 Harris team removes a cloth from the primary lens of the Roman Space Telescope. Credit: L3 Harris Technology

The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope’s primary lens, which will collect and focus light from near and far cosmic objects, has been completed. Using this lens, Roman Hubble will capture the magnificent Space Vista with an area of ​​vision 100 times greater than the images.

Scott Smith, manager of the Roman Telescope, said: “It’s very exciting to have this milestone. NASAGoddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Success depends on each individual team, and this is especially true in our current challenging environment. Everyone has a role to play in collecting that first image and answering inspirational questions. ”

The Romans would look at vast areas of space and time to study the universe through dust and using infrared light, which the human eye cannot see. The detail of this observation is directly related to the size of the telescope’s lens, as a larger surface collects more light and measures better features.

The Roman mirror is 7.9 feet (2.4 meters) across. While it is the same size Hubble Space TelescopeThe main mirror, it is less than a quarter of the weight. Roman glass weighs only 410 pounds (186 kg) for major technological improvements.

The Roman Space Telescope primary mirror reflects the American flag

The primary mirror of the Roman Space Telescope represents an American flag. Its surface represents hundreds of times more fine than a typical domestic mirror. Credit: L3 Harris Technology

The primary mirror, along with other optics, will illuminate two of Roman’s scientific instruments. Wide field tool And coronegraph equipment. The first is essentially a large 300-megapixel camera that delivers sharp resolution similar to Hubble’s, which is about 100 times the field of view. Using this tool, scientists will be able to map the structure and distribution of invisible dark matter, study planetary systems around other stars, and see how the universe evolved in its current state.

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The coronograph demonstrates technology that blocks the brightness of stars and allows astronomers to depict planets directly in orbit directly around them. If the coronograph technology works as predicted, it will see planets that are about a billion times weaker than their host star and enable detailed study of giant planets around other suns.

The Romans will look in the opposite direction to the sun at a distance of about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from the earth. Roman’s barrel-like shape will help block unwanted light from the sun, earth and moon, and will help keep the spacecraft cool in space, ensuring that it will be able to detect infrared signs of fainting. .

Crane Operator Roman Space Telescope Primary Mirror

The crane operators lower the assist devices to move the primary lens of the Ron Space Telescope. Using this lens, Roman will provide a new perspective on the universe, helping scientists solve the cosmic mysteries associated with dark matter, dark energy and other planets around the stars. Credit: L3 Harris Technology

Because it will experience a temperature range between production and testing on Earth and applications in space, the primary glass is made of a characteristic ultrallo-expansion glass. When the temperature changes, a lot of material expands and shrinks, but if the primary mirror changes, it will distort the images from the telescope. The Roman lens and its support flex are designed to reduce flaking, which will preserve the quality of its monitoring.

The evolution of glass is much more advanced than it normally would have been at this stage because the mission offers the benefit of glass that was transferred from the National Reconnaissance Office to NASA. The team refined the shape and surface of the glass to meet Roman scientific objectives.

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The new hard glass plays a layer of silver less than 400 nanometers thick – 200 times thinner than human hair. The silver coating was chosen especially for the Romans because of how well it represents near-infrared light. In contrast, Hubble mirrors are coated with layers of aluminum and magnesium fluoride to optimize visible and ultraviolet light reflection. Similarly, James Webb Space TelescopeThe gold coating in the lenses of the lens is compatible with long-range infrared monitoring.

The Roman mirror is so finely polished that the b-breast tuck on its surface is only 1.2 nanometers long – more than twice as smooth as the mission requires. If the mirror were measured to the size of the earth, the bump would be a quarter of an inch high.

Bonnie Patterson, program manager at L3 Harris Technology in Rochester, New York, said: “The mirror was completely removed until the optical tip of the Roman Space Telescope. “Because it’s much softer than necessary, it will actually provide more scientific benefits than planned.”

Next, the mirror will be fitted for additional testing at L3 Harris. It has already been extensively tested on both cold and ambient temperatures. New tests will be performed on the lens attached to its support structure.

“Roman’s mirror is finished, but we’re not finished,” Smith said. “We look forward to seeing this mission begin and beyond, and look forward to seeing the miracles it unfolds.”

The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope is operated at Goddard, including NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and a research team from the Celtic / IPAC, Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, and a team of scientists from the United States. Is included.

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About the author: Raven Weber

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