Over the next three years, NASA plans to use its three great observatories, Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra, to look into deep space. These telescopes will be using natural lenses to their advantage as they try to seek out galaxies 100 times fainter than what these observatories usually see.
The process of gravitational lensing means astronomers will observe six massive natural clusters, and because these clusters are so large, their gravitational fields can be used to magnify and brighten galaxies beyond them.
“The Frontier Fields program is exactly what NASA’s great observatories were designed to do; working together to unravel the mysteries of the Universe” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “Each observatory collects images using different wavelengths of light with the result that we get a much deeper understanding of the underlying physics of these celestial objects.” (Quote from NASA’s Press Release)
Researchers anticipate some difficulty with this program because the distortion caused by the natural lenses will make it challenging to decipher the properties of what lies beyond.