Astronomy 10 year wish list: Big money, big telescopes and the biggest questions in science

Astronomy wish list

Here are some very interesting examples from hundreds of items on the wish list.

First, the report shows spending US $ 1 billion on developing technology to build the next generation of “big sights” in the air. The flagship of these missions-to be released in the 2040s with an eye-popping price target of $ 11 billion-is an optical telescope with a 20-foot (6-meter) large lens. This mirror is eight times larger than Hubble’s and is designed to study Earth -like stars in other solar systems – or even see life. The report also plans to build two small telescopes to work on infrared and X-ray waves, each with a cost of $ 3 billion to $ 5 billion.

But orbital forces are not the only goal of the show. The report is requesting funding to build a large optical telescope on Earth with a diameter of 80 to 100 feet (25 to 30 meters). That’s five to seven times the number of lights on today’s largest telescope. Two people are competing to build the telescope, which will cost nearly $ 2 billion.

The report also calls on the National Science Foundation to spend $ 3 billion on a new generation of 263 radio telescopes to cover the entire U.S. This telescope group can produce radio images with 10 times the heart and 20 times. times the best of a first house. scientists can penetrate the universe and discover things never seen before. Another item on the wish list is a $ 650 million pair of microwave telescopes in Chile and Antarctica to document the afterglow of the Big Bang.

This kind of money is necessary to fulfill the scientific goals of this space.

State of the art

Science is more than just searching for knowledge. As part of recent decadal research, astronomers and astrophysicists have taken the time to look inward and evaluate the state of the industry. This includes focusing on diversity and integration, the growth of the workplace and the contributions of astronomers to education and publicity.

These schools are white, with those from minorities making up only 4% of the faculty and students. In relation to the report, the groups spoke of remedial measures due to a lack of diversity and equity. These ideas include better education to reduce high attrition scores for young students, and funding for bridge programs to help young people establish their early careers and careers. treating abuse and discrimination as a scientific crime.

If it becomes a small part of the wish list, it will not only increase our knowledge of the world, but also – as a matter of fact – lead to a more diverse and loving community and community. astrophysics.The Conversation


Chris Impey, Honorary College of Astronomy, University of Arizona


This article is republished under The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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