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Optical telescopes interferometry.

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posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 10:24 AM
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This thing interests me - if we have three or more smaller telescopes working synchronized together we can obtain an image with much higher resolution than by single big one. Now let's say we would use this for space exploration - I have heard that with 3 synchronized telescopes with size app like Hubble - one on Earth orbit, one on Jupiter orbit and one on Pluto orbit - we could see the 75-80 meters large details on Alpha Centauri. Can something like this not be used to search small planets? All currently found planets are only big giants (because we are not capable to see smaller objects). Of course it would be difficult to have the telescope near Pluto for 80 meters resolution so maybe the Earth- Moon distance would be enough for small planet detection,don't you think? Has NASA considered some project like this? I know we have such telescopes on Earth, but on Earth their distance is still too small.

[edit on 16-6-2005 by longbow]




posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 10:42 AM
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I'd think that interplanetary communications would be the greatest problem with a setup like this, with current capabilities that is.

You'll need to sync the 3 telescopes correctly and doing so at the interplanetary distance would be rather difficult to say the least.
Especialy when you want the telescopes to return decent amounts of results to make the enterprise of putting them there worth it.



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by thematrix
I'd think that interplanetary communications would be the greatest problem with a setup like this, with current capabilities that is.

You'll need to sync the 3 telescopes correctly and doing so at the interplanetary distance would be rather difficult to say the least.
Especialy when you want the telescopes to return decent amounts of results to make the enterprise of putting them there worth it.


I am no expert in this, but cannot the telescopes motions and actions be precisely preprogrammed? Or they need to communicate instantly?



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 04:39 AM
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Originally posted by longbow
Now let's say we would use this for space exploration - I have heard that with 3 synchronized telescopes with size app like Hubble - one on Earth orbit, one on Jupiter orbit and one on Pluto orbit - we could see the 75-80 meters large details on Alpha Centauri.

I'd like to know where you got that one from. If placed enough tens, hundreds or thousands of kilometers apart, it might indeed be possible to have a theoretical resolution of 75 to 85 kilometers on Alpha Centauri. However, with a size like Hubble, I think you'd have to be lucky if the amount of light gathered from a 80 by 80 kilometer squared piece of surface on Alpha Centauri is even one single photon. Two things are important for a telescope: its resolution and the amount of light it gathers. You might want to read:

www.space.com...

You can also calculate the diameter of a telescope (or the amount of distance telescopes using interferometry should be placed apart) to resolve 80 by 80 kilometer details as far as Alpha Centauri by looking up the formula for the resolution limit and filling in the values.



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