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Space Telescope: NASA Plans Telescope With 100 Times Hubble's Scope [WATCH]

Feb 19, 2016 12:53 PM EST
NASA's proposed new telescope
This is an artist's rendering of WFIRST, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope, which NASA plans to have 100 times the viewing scope of the Hubble Space Telescope.
(Photo : NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Conceptual Image Lab)

It is apparently a time for telescope news, for looking broadly at the universe and discovering new planets. Both China and the United States have announced new plans.

China, which is building a huge, land-based pan-shaped telescope, FAST, is also displacing more than 9,000 people in the mountain area where it is being constructed, according to a report from the state-run Xinhua News Agency. The people will be "reimbursed" 10,000 yuan (roughly $1,530) for having to move, according to the report and an article in CNet. The telescope will likely be the world's largest radio telescope and will be used to listen to the universe.

NASA has announced plans to build what they are calling the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).
It will have a view of much more of the universe than the existing Hubble Space Telescope -- 100 times the Hubble's awareness of stars, planets and other space real estate, according to a release.

Researchers in the video below say that this will make it easier to learn more about dark energy and dark matter, and to locate new planets. Seeing so much more will also allow scientists to further the search for places in space that could be suitable for life.

The domestic space agency decided on Wednesday to move ahead with the plan. Plans will be led by the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California will be in charge of managing the 7.8-foot telescope and will deliver the coronagraph--which helps to image and fill out the characteristics of planets near other stars.

"In addition to its exciting capabilities for dark energy and exoplanets, WFIRST will provide a treasure trove of exquisite data for all astronomers," Neil Gehrels at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center said in the release. "This mission will survey the universe to find the most interesting objects out there." (Scroll down to read further...)

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

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