Princeton researchers will play a leading role in a major NASA mission that will use a repurposed telescope to detect “exoplanets,” or planets beyond our solar system.

The mission, called Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope, is expected to transform the field of astronomy when it launches in 2024. Researchers who will help design and formulate WFIRST include N. Jeremy Kasdin, vice dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and David Spergel, Charles A. Young Professor of Astronomy on the Class of 1897 Foundation.

See below for an illustration of the Princeton team’s efforts to enable telescope imaging of exoplanets.

(Adapted from summer 2014 EQuad News. Click on image for full illustration on page 32.)