Telescope to be launched on giant stadium-sized balloon

ハッブル 2.0? 科学者たちは、NASAの老朽化した望遠鏡に代わるものとして、来年、スタジアムサイズのヘリウム気球によって運ばれる上層大気に望遠鏡を打ち上げる予定です。

  • The new SuperBIT telescope will launch on a balloon from New Zealand in 2022
  • It will go up to about 28 miles above the surface then circumnavigate the Earth
  • Overnight the telescope will capture images of distant objects in the universe
  • During the day it will recharge its solar panels and come down every few months
  • When it comes back to Earth the camera and telescope will be upgraded
  • It will cost about $5 百万 (£3.6 million) to launch and operate initially
  • 来年は、スタジアムサイズの気球に固定された上層大気に望遠鏡が打ち上げられます。, ハッブルに匹敵する画像を撮ることができるようになります, プロジェクトの背後にある科学者は主張します.

    SuperBITという名前, 飛び上がる 28 地球の表面から数マイル上にあり、宇宙の画像を撮りながら地球を一周します.

    4月に運用デビューします 2022 いつから展開されるか ニュージーランド トロント大学のチームと NASA.

    望遠鏡には 0.5 直径メートルのミラーであり、新しいNASA超高圧気球設計のおかげで一度に数ヶ月間空中に留まることができます.

    ジェイムズウェッブ望遠鏡とは異なり, 11月に発売し、赤外線で作業, SuperBITは、ハッブルと同様の光の周波数で動作します, 科学者たちをプロジェクトの後ろに置き、老朽化し​​た天文台の自然な後継者としてそれを宣伝する.

    約 $5 百万 (£360万), の一部 $1.5 十億 (11億ポンド) 打ち上げにかかるハッブルコスト, 定期的に修理またはアップグレードのために降ろすことができます.

    The SuperBIT balloon in flight, above NASA's Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, テキサス, 六月に 2016 during tests to prepare for the main mission in 2022

    The SuperBIT balloon in flight, above NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility, テキサス, 六月に 2016 during tests to prepare for the main mission in 2022

    A SuperBIT optical and ultraviolet composite image of the 'Pillars of Creation', trunks of gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula, 7,000 light years away in the direction of the constellation of Serpens

    A SuperBIT optical and ultraviolet composite image of the ‘Pillars of Creation’, trunks of gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula, 7,000 light years away in the direction of the constellation of Serpens


    A super pressure balloon maintains a positive internal pressure in relationship to the environment it is in, such as the upper atmosphere.

    The NASA Super Pressure Balloon is a sealed structure that is filled with a measured and specific amount of Helium lifting gas.

    The balloon rises after launch, and the Helium expands as the ambient atmospheric pressure goes down.

    It is designed to fly at a specific pressure altitude with a known mass of payload hanging from the balloon.

    When the balloon reaches the desired float altitude, the extra Helium is not vented off, but fills out the shape and pressurises the balloon.

    The amount of Helium first put into the balloon is determined by how much is needed to lift the entire flight system plus some extra Helium to provide an upward force.

    This extra Helium is enough to pressurise the balloon when it reaches the float altitude, but too much to over pressurise the balloon.

    The Super Pressure Balloon is designed to fly with a positive internal pressure at all times.

    When the sun heats the balloon during the day it has a higher internal pressure, and at night when the balloon cools, the differential pressure is much lower, but still above ambient.


    Durham, Toronto and Princeton Universities teamed up with NASA and the Canadian Space Agency to build this unique type of floating observatory, with the possibility of a whole fleet of airborne telescopes in the future.

    When deployed, attached to a football stadium sized helium balloon, it should obtain high-resolution images of distant galaxies, planets in our solar system and stars.

    Mohamed Shaaban, a PhD student at the University of Toronto, said light from a distant galaxy can travel for billions of years to reach our telescopes.

    ‘In the final fraction of a second, the light has to pass through the Earth’s swirling, turbulent atmosphere and our view of the universe becomes blurred,’ 彼は言った.

    Observatories on the ground are built at high altitude sites, with many constructed in Chile more than 2,000 metres above sea level, to overcome some of this.

    Until now only placing a telescope in space escapes the effect of the atmosphere completely, with balloons not able to remain aloft long enough.

    The Superpressure Balloon-borne Imaging Telescope (or SuperBIT) があります 0.5 metre diameter mirror and is carried to 40km altitude by a helium balloon with a volume of 532,000 cubic metres, about the size of a football stadium.

    Its final test flight in 2019 demonstrated extraordinary pointing stability, with variation of less than one thirty-six thousandth of a degree for more than an hour.

    Meaning the telescope is able to focus on a single point of light for long enough to gather considerable data and take stunning images.

    This should enable a telescope to obtain images as sharp as those from the Hubble Space Telescope, explained the team.

    ‘Nobody has done this before, not only because it is exceedingly difficult, but also because balloons could stay aloft for only a few nights: too short for an ambitious experiment,’ the developers explained.

    SuperBIT's final preparations for launch from Timmins Stratospheric Balloon Base Canada, 九月に 2019

    SuperBIT’s final preparations for launch from Timmins Stratospheric Balloon Base Canada, 九月に 2019

    When it launches from New Zealand in April it will be carried by seasonally stable winds, circumnavigate the Earth several times while imaging the sky all night, then using solar panels to recharge its batteries during the day.

    With a budget for construction and operation for the first telescope of $5 百万 (£3.62 million), SuperBIT cost almost 1000 times less than a similar satellite.

    Not only are balloons cheaper than rocket fuel, but the ability to return the payload to Earth and relaunch it means that its design has been tweaked and improved over several test flights.

    A SuperBIT optical and ultraviolet composite image of the 'Pillars of Creation', trunks of gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula, 7,000 light years away in the direction of the constellation of Serpens
    This Hubble image of the Pillars of Creation is made of a composite of visible light observations

    Test images made using the new balloon launched telescope (左) show the stunning Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebular, and right are the same pillars captured by Hubble


    MailOnline spoke to a number of eminent astronomers, to ask how important Hubble is to astronomy.

    Professor Peter Wheatley, University of Warwick Department of Physics:

    ‘Apart perhaps from Galileo’s first use of a telescope for astronomy in 1609, Hubble has been the most important telescope in the history of astronomy.

    ‘It’s ability to make pin-sharp images of nebulae and distant galaxies has been transformational. And being in space has also provided access to ultraviolet light from stars and galaxies that is blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere.

    ‘Hubble is also designed to be a very versatile telescope, with lots of different cameras, and this has allowed it to stay relevant as new branches of astronomy have become more important.

    '例えば, Hubble has made a major contribution to my own field, studying exoplanet atmospheres, even though the first exoplanet hadn’t even been discovered when Hubble was launched.

    ‘Much of its versatility and longevity has come from the series of servicing missions carried out by NASA astronauts.

    ‘These were extremely ambitious and challenging, and apart from the moon landings, I think these servicing missions have been the most impressive achievement of manned spaceflight.

    Affelia Wibisono, a researcher at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory:

    ‘The Hubble Space Telescope is definitely one of the most successful space missions ever.

    ‘It has revolutionised our understanding of the Universe – from discovering new moons around Pluto, to taking the first visual image of a planet orbiting a star that is not the Sun, from finding out that each galaxy has a black hole at its heart, to helping make a 3D map of dark matter – Hubble has made astronomers rewrite textbooks.

    ‘Without the Hubble Space Telescope, it would be much more difficult for me to do my work in studying Jupiter’s northern and southern lights.

    ‘Hubble has made more than 1.5 million observations which has resulted in tens of thousands of scientific papers, but I believe that one of the most important things that it has done is to inspire and cause wonder to anyone who has seen its stunning images.


    Satellites must work first time, so typically have expensive redundancy on board, including back up modules.

    They also tend to feature decade-old technology that had to be space-qualified by the previous mission.

    Modern digital cameras improve every yearso the development team bought the cutting-edge camera for SuperBIT’s latest test flight a few weeks before launch.

    This space telescope will continue to be upgradable, or have new instruments on every future flight. Something only possible with Hubble every few years during the Space Shuttle era.

    患者が手術のために旅行する準備ができていることを示しています。」, the Hubble Space Telescope will not be repaired again when it inevitably failsit was originally expected to last for a decade but thanks to extensive repairs and upgrades, it has been going 30 年.

    In recent weeks Hubble stopped working due to a computer anomaly, only coming back online after ‘riskyremote repair work by the NASA team.

    にとって 20 years after Hubble fails, ESA/NASA missions will enable imaging only at infrared wavelengths or in a single optical band.

    By then SuperBIT will be the only facility in the world capable of high-resolution multicolour optical and ultraviolet observations, チームは言った.

    They have already secured funding to design an upgrade for SuperBIT’s mirror, taking it up to 1.5 metres and in future could see it reach two metres.

    で 1.5 metres they will be boosting light gathering power tenfold, combined with its wider angle lens and more megapixels, will gather images better than Hubble.

    The cheap cost even makes it possible to have a fleet of space telescopes offering time to astronomers around the world.

    ‘New balloon technology makes visiting space cheap, easy, and environmentally friendly,” said Shaaban.

    ‘SuperBIT can be continually reconfigured and upgraded, but its first mission will watch the largest particle accelerators in the Universe: collisions between clusters of galaxies.

    The science goal for the 2022 flight is to measure the properties of dark matter particles through these galactic scale collisions.

    Although dark matter is invisible, astronomers map the way it bends rays of light, a technique known as gravitational lensing.

    SuperBIT will test whether dark matter slows down during collisions.

    No particle colliders on Earth can accelerate dark matter, but this is a key signature predicted by theories that might explain recent observations of weirdly behaving muons that may change the ‘basic modelof the universe.

    ‘Cavemen could smash rocks together, to see what they’re made of,” added Prof. Richard Massey of Durham University.

    ‘SuperBIT is looking for the crunch of dark matter. It’s the same experiment, you just need a space telescope to see it.

    NASAsハッブル宇宙望遠鏡はまだ機能しており、 1.3 その使命が始まって以来、百万の観測 1990

    ハッブル望遠鏡は4月に打ち上げられました 24, 1990, フロリダのケネディ宇宙センターからのスペースシャトルディスカバリー経由.

    ミズーリ州で生まれた有名な天文学者エドウィンハッブルにちなんで名付けられました。 1889.

    彼は間違いなく、宇宙が膨張していることとその速度が膨張していることを発見したことで最も有名です。 – ハッブル定数を作り出しました.

    ハッブル望遠鏡は、ミズーリ州で生まれた有名な天文学者エドウィンハッブルにちなんで名付けられました。 1889 (写真)

    ハッブル望遠鏡は、ミズーリ州で生まれた有名な天文学者エドウィンハッブルにちなんで名付けられました。 1889 (写真)

    ハッブルは以上のものを作りました 1.3 その使命が始まって以来、百万の観測 1990 以上の公開を支援しました 15,000 科学論文.

    時速約17,000マイルで地球を周回します (27,300kph) 約で低軌道で 340 高度でマイル.

    ハッブルのポインティング精度は .007 アーク秒, これは、フランクリンDに焦点を合わせたレーザービームを照射できるようなものです。. ルーズベルトの頭が大まかに10セント硬貨に 200 マイル (320km) あちらへ.



    ハッブルの主鏡は 2.4 メートル (7 足, 10.5 インチ) 全体と合計は 13.3 メートル (43.5 足) 長いです – 大型スクールバスの長さ.

    4月のハッブルの打ち上げと展開 1990 ガリレオの望遠鏡以来、天文学の最も重要な進歩を示しました.

    5つのサービスミッションとそれ以上のおかげで 25 運用年数, 宇宙に対する私たちの見方とその中の私たちの場所は決して同じではありませんでした.