It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

ATLAST - FInally a Successor To the Hubble Space Telescope?

page: 1
9
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 05:52 PM
link   


One of the more frustrating things for people following the hunt for exoplanets and search for life in the universe is that the most interesting planets, super-Earth and terrestrial sized planet within the habitable zone (also called Goldilocks zone) of a star can not be seen directly to be studied in detail.

As such all we will be getting for most of them, even the closest are size (radius), mass, orbit, and maybe age, until newer instruments are built and brought online in the next couple of decades.

Therefore it is good news that another such telescope, a massive 8 to 16 meter space telescope (compared to Hubble's 2.4 meter size) may be lofted in the not too distant future:

From Astronomy Now:


Planning for a new giant space telescope armed with an unfolding mirror with a diameter of 8-16 metres should begin now to provide the true successor to Hubble by the 2030s, according to the President of the Royal Astronomical Society, Professor Martin Barstow of the University of Leicester.


Barstow presented the case for the Advanced Technology Large Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST) at this week's National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) at the University of Portsmouth. ATLAST would operate at optical and ultraviolet wavelengths, just like the Hubble Space Telescope currently does. However, Hubble has been in space for 24 years and is not expected to outlast the decade, while the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) set to launch in 2018 is an infrared telescope designed for probing dusty regions of the Universe and seeking the earliest galaxies, and not for taking the pretty pictures that Hubble excels at.

"ATLAST is the next logical step beyond the JWST," Barstow tells Astronomy Now. "It will be a multi-purpose telescope, so it will be able to study stars and galaxies, but one of the crucial things that it will be able to do is probe the habitable zones around stars like our own Sun and directly detect any Earth-like exoplanets that may be out there."


Existing only as a concept design study produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute in the United States -- the agency that manages the science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope -- ATLAST still has a long way to go before being approved and funded by any space agency. Given the exorbitant costs that JWST has racked up, those in charge of the purse strings may be reluctant to immediately fund another large space telescope. As such, the ATLAST project first has to recruit friends in the astronomical community, to which end Barstow presented ATLAST's case to an audience of exoplanet researchers at NAM. "The big question is, are we alone?" he says. "If we can detect Earth-like exoplanets and identify things in their atmospheres such as oxygen, methane and ozone, it would be a pretty clear signature that there is some kind of biological activity going on."

Hubble's mirror is 2.4 metres across, while the largest space telescope launched thus far has been the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Telescope, which was armed with a 3.5-metre wide mirror. JWST will beat that, with a 6.5-metre mirror that will be the first test of the technology that allows the segmented mirror to fold up during launch and then unfurl once in space. ATLAST will require the same technology -- its mirror would be so big that no currently-working launch vehicle is big enough to house it, although several are planned for the coming decades, including NASA's Space Launch System that will take the manned Orion capsule into space.


So this may be the instrument which ultimately, at last, determines if we are not alone.




posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 06:42 PM
link   
That looks pretty good.

Im currently excited [although its going to be ten years] about the euro ELT they are about to build in Chile, they say the mirror will be the size of a football pitch (this thing is just HUGE not just "extra large").

Will have to add this new space scope to my list of things to keep an eye on (get it?)



posted on Jun, 26 2014 @ 07:48 PM
link   

originally posted by: Biigs
That looks pretty good.

Im currently excited [although its going to be ten years] about the euro ELT they are about to build in Chile, they say the mirror will be the size of a football pitch (this thing is just HUGE not just "extra large").

Will have to add this new space scope to my list of things to keep an eye on (get it?)
foot balls don't have pitches. that's like a football bat.



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 06:29 AM
link   
a reply to: JadeStar
The unfolding mirror sounds like an engineering challenge.
They had enough problems with the mirror on Hubble and it didn't even unfold.
But if they can make it work it should be a big step up from the Hubble.



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 07:46 AM
link   
a reply to: JadeStar

Although this new telescope is fantastic, I thought the James Webb was the designated "successor" to our old friend Hubble. Is that still on track for 2017, and why would it be designed so it can't be repaired, which seems like the Webb planners aren't looking ahead to new spacecraft designs which may or may not come into development at any moment. Thanks.


edit on 27-6-2014 by Aleister because: (no reason given)

edit on 27-6-2014 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 08:34 AM
link   

originally posted by: Arbitrageur
a reply to: JadeStar
The unfolding mirror sounds like an engineering challenge.
They had enough problems with the mirror on Hubble and it didn't even unfold.
But if they can make it work it should be a big step up from the Hubble.


Ironically if the Hubble used folding mirror technology the fix for it would have been far simpler



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 08:43 AM
link   

originally posted by: Aleister
a reply to: JadeStar

Although this new telescope is fantastic, I thought the James Webb was the designated "successor" to our old friend Hubble. Is that still on track for 2017.


Its a successor only in that it is a general purpose space telescope, however it operates in the infrared. It is not a visible light telescope like Hubble. ATLAST would be. James Webb is on track for a 2018 launch.



and why would it be designed so it can't be repaired, which seems like the Webb planners aren't looking ahead to new spacecraft designs which may or may not come into development at any moment. Thanks.


Because it will not operate in Earth orbit like the Hubble. It will operate far beyond the distance of the Moon at the second Lagrange point (L2) where a lot of our new telescopes will be heading.

Here's a diagram of the distances involved:




By the way there is a Forbes article about ATLAST here: A New Call To Build A Massive Alien-Seeking Space Telescope
edit on 27-6-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 08:45 AM
link   

originally posted by: stormbringer1701

originally posted by: Biigs
That looks pretty good.

Im currently excited [although its going to be ten years] about the euro ELT they are about to build in Chile, they say the mirror will be the size of a football pitch (this thing is just HUGE not just "extra large").

Will have to add this new space scope to my list of things to keep an eye on (get it?)
foot balls don't have pitches. that's like a football bat.


One of the few people not watching the World Cup I see...



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 09:37 AM
link   

originally posted by: JadeStar
Ironically if the Hubble used folding mirror technology the fix for it would have been far simpler
I'm not so sure about that, sometimes things that are folded can have problems unfolding, like the Antenna on Sky Terra 1:

www.spacenews.com...

Boeing began deploying the antenna Nov. 30 but quickly encountered a glitch that industry officials said is of unclear origin. Boeing has declined comment on the problem beyond saying the antenna’s deployment has been delayed. Once the problem was discovered, Boeing said, the company assembled a team to assess what maneuvers could be performed to correct the problem.

Several industry officials said the full deployment — an hours-long process of having the folded antenna deployed at a distance from the satellite’s body by a boom, followed by an unfurling — appeared to have hit a snag.
If you don't have to unfold a mirror, then you don't have to worry about running into glitches with the unfolding process.

A one piece 8-16 meter mirror may be impossible to launch with existing rocket technology, so folding is probably the only alternative for something that large.

edit on 27-6-2014 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 09:39 AM
link   
a reply to: Aleister

The JWST is still on-track. Keep in mind that the JWST design began back in 1996, long before we had any serious plans of going beyond low earth orbit again in the near future. The shuttle would not have been able to service it like Hubble, and there wasn't any indication that an "SLS" type heavy lift rocket would be available by the time it was launched. Even by the time things got well underway with it in 2002, the Columbia disaster hadn't happened yet and all indications were that the shuttle would be the only US manned spacecraft flying to the space station for the foreseeable future. The shuttle had a design life of 100 launches for each orbiter, the orbiters only reached about a third of that by their retirement (collectively over a hundred launches, but individually around 30 or so each). Each shuttle successor that had been discussed in the 90's was also a low earth orbit type of vehicle itself, such as the failed VentureStar SSTO (single stage to orbit). Had the X-33 succeeded and the VentureStar been built (Lockheed was selected to build the X-33 in 1996 right when the JWST was first being proposed), we probably wouldn't be talking about going to visit asteroids, the moon, or Mars today. We'd be talking about getting to low earth orbit in a reusable space plane much like the shuttle, but without boosters or external fuel tanks and for a fraction of the cost. That was the dream at the time, so at the time it made sense to design JWST to operate for as long as possible but without the possibility of being serviced.



posted on Jun, 27 2014 @ 07:13 PM
link   

originally posted by: JadeStar


One of the few people not watching the World Cup I see...


'Tis true



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 08:05 PM
link   
The design philosophy of space telescopes is fundamentally flawed today. Instead of building a single contagious mirror, we should be aiming a large rings - like a thin Polo mint:

Polo

The most relevant thing is the diameter of the mirror, the volume only helps collect more light. By having a larger 'ring' you get a larger collecting area automatically, and better resolution by default. By building a multitude of outer ring hexagons, you gain more of everything!

Tomorrows telescopes should be designed with this larger outer ring concept, possibly with the technology to fill in the ring if finances allow.



posted on Jun, 28 2014 @ 08:25 PM
link   

originally posted by: JadeStar
One of the few people not watching the World Cup I see...


Is that the 'sport' where grown men bite each other, fall over blades of grass and blame each other, and pretend to be sporting professionals? lol



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 10:16 AM
link   

originally posted by: MarsIsRed

originally posted by: JadeStar
One of the few people not watching the World Cup I see...


Is that the 'sport' where grown men bite each other, fall over blades of grass and blame each other, and pretend to be sporting professionals? lol


Yes, and it's no different than basketball or the football with men running around in pads and helmets in terms of having nutcases.

But that's a topic for the World Sports forum



posted on Jun, 29 2014 @ 01:15 PM
link   
Put the money for the toys on the big thing
instead. Fund the "Entrprise" and well have
a "go´see"....
edit on 2014/6/29 by Miccey because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 04:05 PM
link   

originally posted by: Miccey
Put the money for the toys on the big thing
instead. Fund the "Entrprise" and well have
a "go´see"....


Even if we could magically build a warp ship like the Enterprise, you still gotta know where to go.

In Star Trek terms what we're all doing now with compiling a list of interesting places to target future telescopes and perhaps probes is what they called "Stellar Cartography".......



edit on 30-6-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)

edit on 30-6-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 30 2014 @ 04:57 PM
link   
the super earth 12 light years away has an irradiance similar to earth. meaning it's temperature is about the same as earth:

www.sciencedaily.com...


It receives about the same average stellar energy as Earth does and may have similar temperatures to our planet. These characteristics put it among the top three most Earth-like planets.



posted on Jul, 2 2014 @ 12:39 PM
link   

originally posted by: Biigs
That looks pretty good.

Im currently excited [although its going to be ten years] about the euro ELT they are about to build in Chile, they say the mirror will be the size of a football pitch (this thing is just HUGE not just "extra large").

Will have to add this new space scope to my list of things to keep an eye on (get it?)


Yes it is and I am VERY excited about it. More excited about it than the James Webb Space Telescope actually.

The funny thing about the E-ELT is it is a downsized version of what was called OWL the OverWhelmingly Large Telescope.

Here's a cool comparison of primary mirror sizes of the various telescopes including the TMT and E-ELT.



The space telescope called ATLAST referred to in the original post would be about the size of the 10m Keck telescopes pictured in the graphic above or slightly smaller (8m) or slightly bigger (16m)
edit on 2-7-2014 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 2 2014 @ 12:41 PM
link   

originally posted by: MarsIsRed
The design philosophy of space telescopes is fundamentally flawed today. Instead of building a single contagious mirror, we should be aiming a large rings - like a thin Polo mint:

Polo

The most relevant thing is the diameter of the mirror, the volume only helps collect more light. By having a larger 'ring' you get a larger collecting area automatically, and better resolution by default. By building a multitude of outer ring hexagons, you gain more of everything!

Tomorrows telescopes should be designed with this larger outer ring concept, possibly with the technology to fill in the ring if finances allow.


Look at the graphic in the post above this one.



posted on Jul, 2 2014 @ 12:57 PM
link   
a reply to: stormbringer1701

Pitch, in Britain at least, is a term to describe any playing field...



new topics

top topics



 
9
<<   2 >>

log in

join