The Hubble space telescope has been in orbit for decades, and while still extremely useful, it’s aging, and NASA is preparing to replace it. One of the key observations that the Hubble space telescope makes are images known as Hubble ultra-deep fields. The upcoming Roman space telescope will be much more capable of taking ultra deep field images than Hubble.
The Roman space telescope will be able to image 100 Hubble ultra deep fields at the same time. Hubble has been capturing ultra deep Field images since 1995. The first one aimed the space telescope at a blank patch of sky for ten days capturing a Deep Field image with thousands of previously unseen galaxies inside.
Since then, Hubble has made even longer exposures capturing more distant galaxies known as Ultra Deep Field. The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will snap similar pictures, but the sky covered area is 100 times larger than Hubble can cover. Despite covering such a massively larger area, the Roman space telescope will provide images with the same sharpness and resolution of Hubble.
Astronomers say that observations by Roman will collect millions of galaxies, including hundreds that date back to only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang occurred. These observations will help investigations in multiple areas of science, including the structure and evolution of the universe and how stars form over time.
Scientists say the vast field of view provided by Roman will be game-changing. The view will allow scientists to sample not just one environment in a narrow field of view but a variety of environments captured by a very wide view of the cosmos. Scientists expect to gain a better sense of where and when star formation happens.