Hubble vs Roman Space Telescope Image Size Comparisons

  • Released Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
  • Updated Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 at 12:19AM
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The Nancy Grace Roman Space 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. The Roman Space Telescope 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.

An accurate comparison of Hubble and WFIRST image sizes and angular resolution.  WFIRST's coverage of the Andromeda Galaxy, shown here from Hubble's PHAT survey, is what the satellite will actually capture in a single image.

An accurate comparison of Hubble and WFIRST image sizes and angular resolution. WFIRST's coverage of the Andromeda Galaxy, shown here from Hubble's PHAT survey, is what the satellite will actually capture in a single image.

An accurate comparison of Hubble and Roman Space Telescope image sizes and coverage. Hubble took 432 pointings of its Wide Field Camera 3 to cover roughly the same area that Roman can cover with 2.

Animated comparison of the relative fields of view for Hubble and the Roman Space Telescope. The two missions will have very similar resolution, but Roman will have 100 times the field of view.

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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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