from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The Hubble space telescope isn't the only piece of equipment above our planet that can look deep into the universe at the direction of astronomers, but it's certainly the most famous. The next telescope that's expected to be as well-known as the Hubble is the James Webb Space Telescope, but it's not scheduled to launch until 2018. Here are just a few more telescopes that could be hovering above us and keeping astronomers busy.
- The US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) donated a couple of huge space telescopes to NASA. Instead of spying on earthlings, these telescopes could be outfitted with equipment to look for ETs in distant star systems. [url]
- A starshade fitted to a helium blimp could help astronomers pick out exoplanets more easily. The starshade blocks light from a parent star so that its orbiting planets can be detected directly. [url]
- NuSTAR is an orbiting space telescope that's looking for sources of high-energy X-rays that potentially come from black holes or radioactive material in supernova remnants. This telescope is still calibrating, but it should start collecting some cool data soon. [url]