NASA want's to study the dark matter in the universe with its new probe

NASA says it will send a new probe meant to understand the nature of mysterious dark energy, which makes up of about three-quarters of the universe and drives its endless expansion. The agency has proposed a Wide-field Infrared Survey Telescope mission, which is tentatively scheduled to launch in the mid 2020s. The mission will also give NASA the opportunity to discover new alien planets—as many as 3,000, NASA said. Researchers use a number of methods to detect planets. NASA’s Kepler, for example, focuses on the dimming of light that occurs when a planet cross the face of its host star. But the WFIRST, which is equipped with 300-megapixels per image and 100 times Webb’s field of view, would use a technique that relies on gravitational microlensing. Via Space, astronomers will use WFIRST to note when a big object passes between Earth and a background stare. “The foreground’s object’s gravity bends and amplifies the light from the background star, acting like a magnifying glass,” the news outlet explained.

A mission NASA is designing to probe the nature of mysterious dark energy could discover thousands of alien planets as well. NASA’s proposed Wide-field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission aims to help researchers better understand dark energy, the puzzling stuff that makes up about three-quarters of the universe and drives its accelerating expansion. But WFIRST — which is tentatively scheduled to launch in the early to mid-2020s — should also prove to be an adept planet hunter, complementing the activities of the space agency’s prolific Kepler space telescope, researchers say. “We predict WFIRST will have 3,000 individual planet detections, the same order of magnitude as Kepler,” Scott Gaudi, of Ohio State University, said in April during the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Habitable Worlds Across Time and Space Symposium in Baltimore. Scientists detect planets around other stars using several different methods. Kepler notes the tiny, telltale dimming of light that occurs when a planet crosses, or transits, the face of its host star from the spacecraft’s perspective. But WFIRST would rely on gravitational microlensing. In this technique, astronomers watch what happens when a big object passes between Earth and a background star. The foreground object’s gravity bends and amplifies the light from the background star, acting like a magnifying glass.

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