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Death knell for space telescope - Hubble doomed

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JohnnyAnnalog

Member
Dec 6, 2003
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Originally posted by: rgwalt
Originally posted by: Insane3D
We need to save money for our upcoming moon base...

Think about building a huge scope on the dark side of the moon. Problems affecting earth telescopes, like restriction on mirror size due to weight, would be greatly reduced on the moon.

R
The problem is some what resolved by having powerful computers that compensates distortion.

The 20 meters optical mirror is only 10 cm thick.
 

cw42

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2004
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Originally posted by: 0roo0roo
well giant earth based telescopes with mirrors that cancel out atmospheric distortion and stuff are taking over right?
Mirrors can never "cancel out" atmospheric distortion, they're mainly able to increase the resolution and size of an image. The size of the lens on the Hubble is very small compared to many of the ground based telescopes today, yet it able to produce MUCH clearer images because there is no atmosphere in space. You'd be suprised how much interference is caused when trying to view things out in space when here on earth.
 

matt426malm

Golden Member
Nov 14, 2003
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Originally posted by: rgwalt
Originally posted by: Insane3D
We need to save money for our upcoming moon base...

Think about building a huge scope on the dark side of the moon. Problems affecting earth telescopes, like restriction on mirror size due to weight, would be greatly reduced on the moon.

R
Plus the ability to puild a rediculously large array, with no geologic vibration activivty on the moon. Maybe on the scale of miles across. I just don't think that can be done on the earth no matter how far infereometry and adaptive optics advance. So in conclusion you could build one mother of a telescope on the moon.

Plus say an 80-day exposure like the hubble does.
 

JohnnyAnnalog

Member
Dec 6, 2003
49
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Originally posted by: cw42
Originally posted by: 0roo0roo
well giant earth based telescopes with mirrors that cancel out atmospheric distortion and stuff are taking over right?
Mirrors can never "cancel out" atmospheric distortion, they're mainly able to increase the resolution and size of an image. The size of the lens on the Hubble is very small compared to many of the ground based telescopes today, yet it able to produce MUCH clearer images because there is no atmosphere in space. You'd be suprised how much interference is caused when trying to view things out in space when here on earth.
Bubble have myriad of problems because there is no atmosphere to protect its instrument from the sun radiation. That why there are projects to built very large mirrors on earth.
 

Ikonomi

Diamond Member
Dec 19, 2003
6,056
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Originally posted by: XZeroII
Originally posted by: arcas
Hubble is terribly outdated and has been far surpassed by ground-based telescopes. Adaptive optics, where you deform the mirror in real-time, has largely solved the problem of atmospheric distortions. Hubble's only advantages these days are: it doesn't have to deal with daylight or light pollution, there are no cloudy nights in space and with an appropriate camera it can image in wavelengths that are blocked by our atmosphere (say, ultraviolet).

For visual wavelengths, there are several earth-based telescopes that have far greater resolution than Hubble. For example, the huge Keck 1 and Keck 2 telescopes in Hawaii each have a 10 meter deformable mirror and, individually, they each offer greater resolving power than Hubble. But the plan is for Keck 1 and Keck 2 to be linked together to form the largest optical interferometer ever built. When that's finished, it will have much higher resolution; enough to view planets orbiting other stars. And here's the kicker: these telescopes cost less than the cost of a single Hubble repair mission.

I do fear that the renewed push for a moon landing and then Mars will have an adverse effect on other NASA projects. NASA does have a more advanced space telescope in development which isn't scheduled for launch for another 3 or 4 years. Hopefully projects like this aren't simply canned because they don't fit this administrations new vision. Remains to be seen how this'll play out.
The president has NOTHING to do with our space plans. He mearly comes up with ideas, then presents them. His plans for a moon base are just that, plans. He has no power over NASA except to say to them that he really wants something.
It actually pissed me off when, on the news last night, they attributed Hubble's retirement to Bush's new spacey plans. A replacement telescope was being considered long before Bush started his new public-friendly space campaign, and NASA and other astronomers have been talking about the successor to Hubble for years. Just seems like he's trying to ride the whole Kennedy vibe or something.

Anyway, last I read they were talking about putting another telescope into orbit, and it was really badass. I should find all that information again.
 

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