WFIRST, the Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope, is a NASA observatory designed to settle essential questions in the areas of dark energy, exoplanets, and infrared astrophysics. The telescope has a primary mirror that is 2.4 meters in diameter (7.9 feet), and is the same size as the Hubble Space Telescope's primary mirror. WFIRST will have two instruments, the Wide Field Instrument, and the Coronagraph Instrument.
The Wide Field Instrument will have a field of view that is 100 times greater than the Hubble infrared instrument, capturing more of the sky with less observing time. As the primary instrument, the Wide Field Instrument will measure light from a billion galaxies over the course of the mission lifetime. It will perform a microlensing survey of the inner Milky Way to find ~2,600 exoplanets. The Coronagraph Instrument will perform high contrast imaging and spectroscopy of dozens of individual nearby exoplanets.
WFIRST (ESA led and managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center) is designed for a 6 year mission, and will launch on a EELV out of Cape Canaveral.
JPL is making major contributions to this ESA mission and is leading the science team under Jason Rhodes.
- 2.4 m telescope used by both
- The Wide Field instrument
- The Coronagraph Instrument