Chinese space telescope will see 350 times more than Hubble

The Xuntan telescope is a structure the size of a bus, the length of which is equal to the height

three-story house. Its aperture is two meters, slightly smaller than that of the Hubble Space Telescope, but its field of view is 350 times larger.

The field of view is the region of the sky that the telescopecan see at a time. Hubble's field of view is about 1% the size of a fingernail at arm's length, so the telescope, which is over 30 years old, only observed a tiny part of the sky," Liu Jifeng, deputy director of China's National Astronomical Observatory (NAOC), said in an interview with Xinhua.

The researchers explain the optical capabilities of two different telescopes by looking at a herd of sheep: Hubble sees one sheep, while Xuntan sees thousands of animals, all in one high resolution.

Observatory officials say thatXuntan uses a three-mirror anastigmat approach, which helps the telescope achieve superior image quality over a large field of view. In addition, according to the researchers, the design of the telescope gives it advantages for panoramic observations, since it can scan a large part of the universe quite quickly.

The main focal camera is equipped with thirty81-megapixel detectors that will capture images and spectra of approximately 17,500 square degrees of mid-to-high galactic latitude and mid-to-high ecliptic latitude sky across multiple bands.

In addition, according to scientists, the telescopewill supply additional instruments for applied research, such as mapping star-forming regions of the Milky Way, observing exoplanets, and capturing rapidly changing objects such as comets and asteroids.

The space telescope is scheduled to launch before the end of 2023.

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