New Horizons has sent back some amazing, unexpected photos of Pluto. I'm sure there are people who would love to build a larger version of Hubble that could continue imaging Pluto at a similar resolution to what New Horizons did with LORRI.

Ignoring any impracticalities of actually funding and launching such a telescope, how big would it need to be?

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    $\begingroup$ About 3,633:1 the scale of Hubble, so a primary mirror of 8.7 km in diameter, if we say that HST resolved Pluto to 16x16 pixels in UV 110 nm and LORRI obtained maximum resolution images of 85x85 m per pixel in VIS of up to 750 nm (they got a bit better still). Either case, a really silly size where, if such telescope would be orbiting at HST altitude, it would regularly nearly completely block out the Sun and Moon as seen from Earth. This is probably off-topic here tho and would fit better on Astronomy. There's no reasonable Space Exploration aspect to it, except for the Rayleigh criterion. $\endgroup$
    – TildalWave
    Feb 8, 2016 at 6:33
  • $\begingroup$ So, easy then @TildalWave? $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Feb 8, 2016 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ @TildalWave - Good point. The original question in my head focused more on New Horizons, but by the time I had refined it down to something to post, it was less so. $\endgroup$
    – Bobson
    Feb 8, 2016 at 12:43


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