The Origins Space Telescope (OST) will address some of our most compelling questions: "How did we get here?", "How did the Milky Way and other galaxies form?", and "How do life-bearing planets form?"
OST will unveil the hidden side of galaxy and black hole evolution, trace the trail of water from molecular clouds to proto-planetary disks, revolutionize our understanding of planetary system formation, and complete the census of the outer reaches of the Solar System.
By delivering three orders of magnitude gain in sensitivity over previous far-infrared missions, high angular resolution to overcome spatial confusion in deep surveys, and new spectroscopic capabilities to detect water in planet forming disks and the key tracers of rapidly evolving galaxies and growing black holes in the early Universe, OST fulfills the recommendation of NASA's Astrophysics Roadmap,Enduring Quests, Daring Visions.
The science goals and associated measurement requirements for OST are being established by a community-based Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT). The STDT is supported by a NASA Center Study Office based at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, with partners at several other NASA Centers and industry teams. The Origins Space Telescope study team is developing a scientifically compelling, executable mission concept for presentation to the Decadal Survey in 2019.
OST will have a large presence at the Winter AAS meeting in Seattle, WA. See the full list of talks and posters on our News page.
The 9th meeting of the STDT took place on Oct 23, 24, 2018 at the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University
We've added a FAQ to the website. Take a look, and submit a question about OST for us to answer.
Tracing the Signatures of Life and the Ingredients of Habitable Worlds
Origins will trace the trail of water from interstellar clouds, to protoplanetary disks, to Earth itself facilitating understanding of the abundance and availability of water for habitable planets.
Unveiling the Growth of Black Holes and Galaxies Over Cosmic Time
Origins will reveal the co-evolution of super-massive black holes and galaxies, energetic feedback, and the dynamic interstellar medium from which stars are born.
Charting the Rise of Metals, Dust, and the First Galaxies
Origins will trace the metal enrichment history of the Universe, probe the first cosmic sources of dust, the earliest star formation, and the birth of galaxies.
Characterizing Small Bodies in the Solar System
Origins will chart the role of comets in delivering water to the early Earth, and survey thousands of ancient Trans Neptunian Objects at distances greater than 100 AU and down to sizes of less than 10 km.