High-Definition Space Telescope

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The High-Definition Space Telescope (HDST) is a proposed space observatory that would be located at the Sun-Earth Lagrange 2 point. The HDST was proposed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) on July 6, 2015.[1]


The HDST would be composed of 54 mirror segments with an aperture of 12 m (39 ft), offering images 24 times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope.[2]

The HDST is proposed to be parked at the Sun-Earth Lagrange 2 point, orbiting the Sun about a million miles from Earth. HDST would be large enough to find and study the dozens of Earthlike planets in our nearby neighborhood. It could resolve objects only 300 light-years in diameter — the nucleus of a small galaxy or a gas cloud on the way to collapsing into a star and planets, in the observable universe. The HDST would also be capable of resolving structures 330 light-years across in the universe when it was just 3 billion years old.[1]

HDST would be equipped with an internal coronagraph, a disk that blocks light from the central star, making a dim planet more visible, and perhaps eventually a starshade that would float miles out in front of it to perform the same function.[3] Initial cost estimates are approximately $10 billion. [3] The case in favor of the telescope is made in a report entitled "From Cosmic Birth to Living Earths", on the future of astronomy commissioned by AURA, which runs the Hubble and other observatories on behalf of NASA and the National Science Foundation.[4] The AURA group is starting the selection process with the report, by which major scientific projects are chosen and funded. Every 10 years, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences surveys the astronomical community and produces a prioritized wish list for the next decade. This survey, which happens next in 2020, provides a guide for Congress and NASA.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "AURA Releases Study of Future Space Telescope". Retrieved 2015-07-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "High Definition Space Telescope — Hubble's Successor?". Retrieved 2015-07-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  4. "AURA Report". From Cosmic Birth to Living Earths. Retrieved 2015-07-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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