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NASA Flight Tests Unique Jumbo Jet; Plane's Airborne Telescope

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posted on Dec, 29 2009 @ 11:39 PM
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NASA Flight Tests Unique Jumbo Jet; Plane's Airborne Telescope Will Be Used to Unlock Secrets of the Cosmos





ScienceDaily (Dec. 22, 2009) — A NASA jumbo jet that will help scientists unlock the origins of the universe with infrared observations reached a milestone Dec. 18 when doors covering the plane's telescope were fully opened in flight.

Link to full story


Ok get out of town !! A flying telescope !!

I can't wait till this thing starts producing some images . It seems that they have high hopes for this project as they have it scheduled for a 20 year life span .




posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 12:00 AM
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But, how could they possibly get anything good? I mean if they are going at a bout 400 MPH, and they are trying to look and concentrate on one star, or one nebula, then how could they get a good enough look?



posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 12:16 AM
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reply to post by kingoftheworld
 


Miss by an inch, miss by a mile. I am sure it takes rapid photos.



posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 12:25 AM
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reply to post by gandhi
 


IF it takes " fast photos " then the telescope would be limited and would make it difficult to capture deep space pictures . The telescope would need to stay focused on the object for some time to obtain proper exposure to insure a nice shot . Unless they have some new tech that greatly reduces needed exposure time , which is very possible I suppose , chances are they have some kick ass giro tracking system , perhaps even being directed by orbiting satellites .



posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 01:00 AM
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Why would you even do something like that!

What's the point, in a plane when they have the best sat alights in space doing the work.




posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 02:09 AM
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I agree....it just doesn't feel logical to make such a telescoop. Thre are enough telescoops in the world and in space that would do a better job.......I think.



posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 02:12 AM
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As strange as it sounds , it is a go .

But yah , what's up with that ??



posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 03:07 AM
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Its probably a precursor to a telescope to watch the people from on high, under the guise of space telecope, yeah right one bit of turbulance and the pictures wasted.
talk about a waste of money.

no aliens here but look over there we have a jumbo jet with a telescope in.....suckers.


jra

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 06:03 AM
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Originally posted by kingoftheworld
But, how could they possibly get anything good? I mean if they are going at a bout 400 MPH, and they are trying to look and concentrate on one star, or one nebula, then how could they get a good enough look?


It worked before with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory which flew from 1974 to 1995. It made some major discoveries like the first sighting of the rings of Uranus and finding an atmosphere on Pluto. So if that plane could do all that, just imagine what SOFIA can do with it's 2.7m diameter mirror.

An airborne telescope like this has a number of advantages and disadvantages over ground based and space based telescopes. It seems like a very useful tool for astronomy in my opinion.



posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 09:12 AM
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Perhaps they use some sort of 'rig' along the lines of what tv cameraman use when 'running the lines' at ball games etc to keep a steady picture ? Once locked on to the object it will yaw and so on to stay focused upon whichever celestial body they may be studying ? Hell who knows i might be talking sh1t ?



posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 09:21 AM
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Originally posted by kingoftheworld
But, how could they possibly get anything good? I mean if they are going at a bout 400 MPH, and they are trying to look and concentrate on one star, or one nebula, then how could they get a good enough look?

More than likely, it has an extremely precise and very active tracking system. Any move made by the plane is compensated for by the active tracking.

The Hubble telescope is moving at about 17,000 mph relative to the Earth. Hubble typically has exposure times of several hours -- and when it takes its "deep field" photos, it needs to stay fixed on a spot in space for weeks at a time. Because of this, the Hubble also needs to have a very good tracking system (or precise compensators).

Granted, even though Hubble is moving 17,000 mph, its motion is "smoother" than that of a jet flying at 400 mph -- However, the concept of the active tracking system is still the same.

[edit on 12/31/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 09:36 AM
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Originally posted by jra

Originally posted by kingoftheworld
An airborne telescope like this has a number of advantages and disadvantages over ground based and space based telescopes.


I'm actually very curious about this. Would you please tell us what the advantages and disadvantages are? I understand why it is an advantage over a ground telescope. I just don't understand how it would be better than a space based telescope. Is it a matter of cost?



posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 01:45 PM
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I cant see what difference being say 35,000 ft in the air will be or is this to combat light pollution or something ? I find it a little baffling ? Anyone any answers ? We could do with JimOberg here ?



posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 01:57 PM
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reply to post by ProRipp
 


Probably regular pollution mostly - they stick observatory's up on mountains for that reason, crystal clear crisp cold air - presumably the air at 10's of thousands of feet will be good for a scope... They can make systems to compensate for the movement.



posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 05:32 PM
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Originally posted by Now_Then
...they stick observatory's up on mountains for that reason, crystal clear crisp cold air...

I think this is the main reason for wanting a high-altitude observatory. At 35,000 feet the air is even thinner than a mountain top -- and thinner air means less atmospheric disturbance and less scintillation (less twinkle).

Plus, a plane could stay in "the dark" longer than a fixed mountain-top observatory simply by flying west.

Here is a gif of what the Earth's atmospheric disturbance does to a telescope viewing the Moon from a ground-based observatory:
upload.wikimedia.org...
At 35,000 feet there is far less atmosphere to cause this disturbance.


jra

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 07:03 PM
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Originally posted by Dave.Las.Vegas.Promotions
I just don't understand how it would be better than a space based telescope. Is it a matter of cost?


Cost is part of it, but other advantages would be the ability to mount different instruments to it when ever you want. Instead of having to wait for some expensive servicing mission every X number of years to upgrade the parts. I think that's a pretty significant advantage.

EDIT:

Here's a 12 page .pdf file titled milestones in airborne astronomy: from the 1920 to present for anyone interested.

[edit on 31-12-2009 by jra]



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