China is expected to launch its Xuntian Telescope by the end of 2023 which will have a 300 times wider view than the NASA Hubble Space Telescope.
China is all set to launch its flagship telescope, which is expected to start its scientific operations by around 2024 at the China Space Station. It is known as the Chinese Space Station Telescope (CSST), or Xuntian which means ‘survey to heavens’, aimed to carry out sky surveys, capturing a general map or general images of the sky. Well, it will be way too different from NASA’s two famous telescopes, the James Webb Space Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescopethe CGTN report suggested.
Recently, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope revealed its first scientific images from its perch some 1.5 million kilometers (one million miles) from Earth at Lagrange Point 2. On the contrary, the Xuntian telescope will be close to Earth as it will orbit near China’s space station. That means it will be relatively close to the planet for easy service and maintenance. The report suggests that CSST is expected to have a nominal mission lifetime of 10 years, well, this could be extended based on the requirement.
China’s Xuntian telescope set to beat Hubble Space Telescope
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has spent around 32 years until now ever since its launch. During its long service time, Hubble has discovered new galaxies, stars, planets, comets, asteroids, and a lot more. On the other hand, the Xuntian telescope will fly near the China Space Station. Moreover, the most interesting part is that the Xuntian will retain the similar 2.5-billion-pixel resolution camera but with a better field of view. To be precise, Xuntian has a field of view 300 times greater than the Hubble Space Telescope, the CGTN report mentioned. With this massive field of view, it will be able to survey around 40 percent of the sky during its 10 years of operation.
“The Xuntian is likely to be the largest space telescope for astronomy in the near-ultraviolet and visible scope in the decade before 2035,” the report quoted Zhan Hu, principal scientist of the Xuntian optical facility. It is expected to be launched by the end of 2023.