Here are the top 5 advanced astronomical observatories that will start operating this year | Sciences

Here are the top 5 advanced astronomical observatories that will start operating this year | Sciences
Here are the top 5 advanced astronomical observatories that will start operating this year | Sciences

After James Webb dazzled scientists with his accurate images of the depths of the universe, this year will witness the start of operating a new group of giant and advanced telescopes, which are expected to contribute in turn to the development of our view of the universe and shed more light on its dark and distant sides and its stormy beginnings.

Here are the most important of these new observatories:

Euclid will create a 3D map of the universe

This year, the European Space Agency will launch a new space telescope, the Euclid telescope, to observe the evolution of the universe over the past 10 billion years.

The new space observatory has a diameter of 1.2 meters and will be equipped with 3 imaging systems represented by a high-quality visible panoramic imager (VIS) and two infrared spectroscopy devices.

This observatory, which operates in the spectrum between visible and near-infrared light, will orbit the sun at the “Lagrangian 2” (L 2) point, where the Earth’s gravity and the sun are equal, for a period of 6 years and take pictures to create a three-dimensional map of the universe.

The Euclid Observatory will monitor the evolution of the universe over the past 10 billion years (ESA)

Euclid’s mission, which will last 7 years, aims to understand why the expansion of the universe is accelerating and the nature of the source responsible for this acceleration, which physicists refer to as dark energy.

Dark energy accounts for about 75% of the energy in the universe today and, along with dark matter, dominates the matter and energy content of the universe.

According to the European Space Agency, the quality of Euclid’s images will be at least 4 times higher than those achieved by ground-based observatories. Euclid will perform near-infrared spectroscopy of hundreds of millions of galaxies and stars, allowing scientists to investigate the chemical and kinetic properties of many targets in detail.

A Japanese satellite to discover X-ray sources in the universe

This year will also see the launch of the Japanese X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Satellite (XRISM). Its mission will be to detect X-rays emitted from distant stars and galaxies, with the aim of determining how the great structures of the universe are formed and the distribution of objects and energy in the universe.

NASA/Japanese X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Satellite (XRISM). / Use with mention of the source
Japanese X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Satellite XRISM (NASA)

This satellite project was carried out by the Japanese Space Agency in cooperation with NASA and its European counterpart. It carries a wide-field X-ray imaging device and a high-resolution X-ray spectrometer.

The Japanese satellite will make high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy observations of the hot gas-plasma winds blowing through galaxies in the universe.


The data he will obtain will enable him to determine the flows of mass and energy, and reveal how celestial bodies originated and evolved.


Large Global Survey Telescope

In July, the Large Global Survey Observatory, Vera C. Rubin, in Chile will begin taking its first images of the universe.

The telescope – which has a diameter of 8.4 meters and has a wide field of vision thanks to its three mirrors – will be able to survey the entire southern sky in just 3 nights.

Image 3: Vera Lupine Observatory/Massive Survey Vera Lupine Observatory will survey the entire southern sky in just three nights/Available use
The Vera Rubin Comprehensive Survey Observatory will survey the entire southern sky in just 3 nights (Vera Rubin Observatory)

The observatory is equipped with cameras with a resolution of more than 3 billion pixels, the largest of its kind in the world, along with a data processing system and a public online sharing platform.

The data captured during this survey will allow researchers around the world to address a number of important questions about the properties of energy and dark matter, how the Milky Way formed, as well as the properties of small bodies in the solar system, including the paths of potentially dangerous asteroids to our planet.

China’s largest radio observatory and Hubble

For its part, this year China will start operating the world’s largest steerable telescope, the Xinjiang Ketai Radio Observatory (QTT) in Xinjiang.

This observatory, which has a diameter of 110 meters, will enable it to scan 3 quarters of the sky, including the center of the galaxy and the south of the center of the galaxy. It will image pulsars, star formation, and the large-scale radio structure of the universe.

Image 4: China Space Agency/Xinjiang Ketai Radio Observatory (QTT) in China/Use with citation
Xinjiang Ketai Radio Observatory (QTT) in China (Chinese Space Agency)

With its high sensitivity and unprecedented diameter, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is overseeing the project, expects the new observatory to make significant contributions to our knowledge of the universe, by detecting more fast radio bursts, searching for dark matter, black holes and gravitational waves, and for evidence of life in the universe.

For its part, the Chinese Space Agency is advancing its astronomy program by developing a range of space telescopes. China’s first space telescope, Xuntian, is expected to be ready for launch before the end of this year.

This observatory is equivalent to the Hubble Telescope in terms of the diameter of its mirror, but it will operate in a larger spectral range that extends from infrared to ultraviolet light, and it can be repaired from the Chinese space station.



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