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Dark Energy and New Worlds: NASA's WFIRST Mission

Presented by: Amber Straughn (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
Category: Education and Outreach   Duration: 1 hour and 10 minutes   Broadcast date: June 27, 2017
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Our everyday experience with gravity is that of an attractive force: it pulls things closer. But we’ve discovered a very peculiar property about our expanding universe: the expansion is accelerating, as if some repulsive force is pushing it apart. Why and how does this unknown 'dark energy' push the cosmos? This strange, fundamental question is one that NASA’s WFIRST telescope is designed to address. That same technology will also allow us to learn more about exoplanets in new ways, and will provide us with images that are ~100x larger in area than Hubble and Webb. The WFIRST mission will set the stage to usher in a new era of understanding about our universe.