NASA Hubble Space Telescope is set to get a major rival and that too from China.
Hubble Telescope has spent 32 years and discovered new galaxies, stars, planets, comets, asteroids and a lot more. And it’s still counting! Now, China is preparing to explore the universe and unravel the cosmic mysteries as it is set to launch its flagship space telescope soon.
It is named as the Chinese Space Station Telescope (CSST), or Xuntian which means ‘survey to heavens’.
Authorities in Beijing claimed that it will compete with NASA’s Hubble Telescope, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
However, it should be known that NASA has already launched and placed in orbit a brand new one recently and it is called the James Webb Space Telescope. It is much better than the Hubble Telescope and can see much farther back in time and space than Hubble can.
Xuntian Telescope vs Hubble Telescope
How will China’s flagship telescope challenge the NASA Hubble Telescope? In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Liu Jifeng, deputy director of the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC), explained that while the telescope’s aperture is two metres, it has a field of view 350 times greater than Hubble’s. On the contrary, NASA Hubble Space Telescope includes a 2.4-meter (94-inch) primary mirror, a smaller secondary mirror, and multiple recording devices that can detect visible light, ultraviolet light, and infrared light.
China’s flagship telescope, set to launch at the end of 2023, is aimed at exploring new insights into faraway galaxies, mysterious dark matter and dark energy, as well as the universe’s past and future evolution. The Chinese Survey Space Telescope (CSST), also known as the Chinese Space Station Telescope (CSST) as well as the Xuntian Space Telescope, is a space-based optical observatory that allows astronomers to conduct sky surveys and capture a general map or photos of the sky. The CSST is a bus-sized facility with a three-story building’s length.
The CSST has a three-mirror anastigmat design that allows it to achieve exceptional image quality over a wide field of view. It’s also a Cook-type off-axis telescope with no obstructions that, when correctly sampled, may reach superior precision in photometry, location, and shape measurements.
Beijing’s space agency, the China National Space Administration (CNSA), has planned to place the telescope in the same orbit as its space station, Tiangong, which will be operational by the end of 2023. The Xuntian telescope will likely be the largest space observatory monitoring the cosmos in near-ultraviolet and visible light.