Test & Measurement

New Telescope Will Investigate Dark Energy with Cutting-Edge Image Sensors

The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is NASA's upcoming space telescope designed to perform wide-field imaging and spectroscopy of the infrared sky. One of WFIRST's objectives will be looking for clues about dark energy - the mysterious force that is accelerating the expansion of the universe. Another objective of the mission will be finding and studying exoplanets. WFIRST uses the same 2.4 meter telescope size as Hubble, but with 18 cutting-edge fourth-generation image sensors compared to Hubble's single first-generation sensor. As a result, each WFIRST image will cover over 200 times as much as a Hubble Wide Field Camera 3/IR image and be 300 megapixels in size. Hubble images reveal thousands of galaxies; a single WFIRST image will uncover millions.