The Hubble space telescope is expected to become 10 times more powerful in viewing certain parts of the universe by utilizing the magnification capacities of clusters of galaxies that lie between it and the areas of focus. The gravity of each cluster of galaxies bends the light around it making the area a natural magnifying lens. Each natural lens is supposed to multiply the unassisted magnifying power of Hubble in viewing the part of the universe behind the lens. Per the article:
“Over most of the fields that we are looking at, galaxies will appear three or four times brighter than they are intrinsically. And there will be smaller regions where they’ll appear 10 times brighter and a subset of galaxies will appear 100 times brighter,” Lotz said.
When Hubble looks into space it looks back in time. It has already looked back almost 13.7 billion years to within 700 million years of the Big Bang. The galactic magnifying attempts might enable it to look back even more.
An unanswered question about our universe is that of why galaxies formed so soon after the Big Bang. Some scientists theorize that the early formation of galaxies suggests the existence of other universes that counteract ours to result in a balanced reality. Maybe by using the galactic lenses Hubble can better determine how soon after the Big Bang galaxies started to form and why.
Telescopes, whether on Earth or attached to long distance space vehicles, might be the economical and proficient way to explore the universe and search for life.
Buzz Aldrin has written about manned space flight to Mars but what is the point of it, if it is possible. Maybe it would inspire a new Rambo sequel ? President Kennedy inspired the race to the moon but I don't think President Bush Senior inspired a race to put a man on Mars.
A telescope 10 times more powerful is good news.
I agree that telescopes are the way to go. We know there is no life in our solar system and it tells us almost nothing about the Big Bang nor the creation of matter. We should focus on learning more about the universe as a whole and discovering other intelligent life in it. Spending billions to study our own solar system when there is so relatively little to learn from it would leave us vulnerable to the many who hold that our scientific endeavors are at the expense of the destitute of the world.
The idea that Hubble will look back beyond 13.7 billion years, that is beyond big bang is simply fascinating.