Hubble 3.0 (ATLAST) Will Analyze Exoplanets Within 200 Light Years
As far as designing and building a space telescope is a lengthy process, astronomers are now working on a new space telescope Hubble 3.0 (ATLAST), even before Hubble 2.0 (the James Webb Space Telescope) is launched. The Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope planned to launch between 2025 and 2035 will be able to characterize the atmospheres and surfaces of habitable exoplanets within 200 light years. ATLAST will be crammed with Advanced Technology and a very Large Aperture (the term stands for the amount of light-gathering capacity that a telescope has). The Large Binocular Telescope, which is the largest optical telescope on Earth right now, has an effective aperture of 12 meters; ATLAST is striving for a 16-meter aperture that will ensure higher angular resolution and better sensitivity limit. The telescope is initially designed to make measurements of the atmospheres and surfaces of potentially habitable exoplanets, with a 16-meter mirror ATLAST will search for the spectral signatures of life.