Questions tagged [space-telescope]

A telescope placed in space, typically for the purpose of avoiding atmospheric distortion, background light, and attenuation of light by the atmosphere.

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What caused the JWST Instrument Radiator temperature to start cooling faster on day 34?

As shown on the temperature plots, the D-Instrument Radiator temperature was slowly dropping after sunshield deployment. Around day 34, however, the temperature started to decrease faster than before....
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8 votes
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Why aren't off-axis reflector telescopes more popular for space telescopes? Have there ever been any?

It seems that: The light gathering capabilities would be slightly better without the blocked aperture (clear aperture is a premium for fairing-limited space telescopes) The diffraction patterns from ...
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When will the jwst python library have live data for the general public to work with in its data pipelines?

The Space Science Telescope Institute has put out a python library called JWST for science observations from James Webb Space Telescope. When will the general public be able to look at "live"...
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What can/do astronauts look at with the portable telescopes aboard the ISS?

I would like to know what will be the visibility from the portable telescope aboard the International Space Station. What could they potentially view, and what are (at least some of) the things they ...
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3 votes
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How does the James Webb Space Telescope take images with individual mirror segments?

It says here (and elsewhere) that during mirror alignment the James Webb Space Telescope will take $18$ “individual images” of a star, “one from each mirror segment”. I’m wondering how this is ...
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Curvature of the JWST mirrors

The JWST has four mirrors. The large primary mirror made of 18 hexagonal mirrors The secondary mirror The fixed tertiary mirror The flat fine steering mirror I found very little information about ...
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Could JWST operate with failed or partial wing mirror deployment?

I have not found any information about contingencies for failed wing mirror deployment. Could JWST operate, and at least partially fulfill its scientific mission, with only the center core mirror, ...
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What will happen to JWST after its 10 year mission?

JWST launched recently. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope#Orbit JWST needs to use propellant to maintain its halo orbit around L2, which provides an upper limit to its designed ...
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How will JWST see beginning of universe? [closed]

The light that is supposed to come from far away distance galaxy, that will reach James Webb Telescope, won't it have already passed earth? BBC puts out this explanation in this article. Won't the ...
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For JWST's "29.5 days of terror" before orbital insertion, unfolding the sunshield is the scariest for me. When is this scheduled to happen?

At what date and time UTC is JWST's unfolding of its sunshield scheduled to begin? At what date and time UTC is confirmation of success expected if all goes smoothly?
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Are they already planning a successor to the JWST?

Hubble has been flying for 30+ years. JWST took 10 years to fund and build. But given its 10 year (if we're lucky) life expectancy, I assume its successor is already on a drawing board somewhere.
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How would a repair of the JWST proceed if it were ordered regardless of the cost and technical hurdles, depending on when/how it fails? [closed]

I have heard people speaking about how, unlike Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope is "one of a kind", "not designed to be repaired", "not serviceable", and the like, ...
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Where is this "clusters of pearls" design for a solar gravitational lensing telescope discussed in detail? Who's developing this?

In What might the first deep space telescope using the Sun or Jupiter as a gravitational lens be like? I speculated that the detector for a gravitational lens telescope would be a big array of ...
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How can the proposed LUVOIR space telescope slew to different directions while keeping the sunshade in a fixed orientation? What compensates?

In this answer to Why does JWST have such a big Blind Spot? I mention that it moves as a rigid body; in order to change the direction the telescope is pointing the whole spacecraft slews, including ...
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How are JWST tanks baffled to dampen slosh?

After JWST slews to a new orientation, it then needs to “settle” sloshing fuel in the tanks before Fine Guidance System (FGS) can acquire the new science target. The time needed for slewing, settling ...
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How would NASA confirm the James Webb Space Telescope is undamaged after the clamp release incident?

Would NASA point a space telescope at something far enough away in a clean room to confirm that the telescope is functioning correctly before launching it into space? Is there some optical technique ...
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Is it possible to create a geostationary surveillance telescope?

Is it possible to create a telescope in geostationary orbit, with real-time video from any country or area? Some applications could be: Monitoring of burning and deforestation; Residential/industrial ...
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What will Taiwan's NSPO put in orbit around the Moon in 2025? How will it get there? What will it do?

The Taipei Times article NSPO head eyeing 80% autonomy of satellite industry says: Following the six-satellite Formosat-7/COSMIC-2 constellation’s launch in 2019, weather observation satellite Triton ...
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International space station(ISS) viewed from planet earth

Is it possible to view International space station (ISS) using sophisticated Telescopes from planet earth?
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Where can I read about the other 17 telescope proposals that NASA’s Astrophysics Explorers Program didn't accept in 2019?

Update: Per @DH's comment: Possibly nowhere, except for brief and oftentimes inscrutable summaries. The summaries have to be publicly releasable. Proposers often do their best to make the publicly ...
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Can Interferometery be Used to Shorten the Solar Gravitational Lens Focal

The solar gravitational lens's focal is around 550 AU which is very far. Can we send a few telescopes that will stop midway (let's assume 150 AU) to collect the light and work as interferometry?
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4 votes
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Space telescope protective gear?

Is there any history of damage to space telescopes from meteoroids etc? If there is, would the James Webb be going up with any kit for detecting small bodies in near proximity (inside the L2 point) ...
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Telescope in a crater? How different are the bowl shapes?

When building large stationary single-dish radio telescopes, one of the constraints to location is that the landscape should already have approximately the right shape, cutting down on construction ...
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What is NEOCam's (now NEO Surveyor) strategy for scanning the sky? Need to consider in which coordinate system?

In Survey Simulations of a New Near-Earth Asteroid Detection System it can be seen that Infrared astronomer Amy Mainzer gave the scanning strategy of the horizon in a paper, but I am very confused ...
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Is the Hubble Space Telescope on its last legs, or "back to normal"?

Hubble was designed to accommodate regular servicing and equipment upgrades while in orbit. Instruments and limited life items were designed as orbital replacement units. Five servicing missions (SM 1,...
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What will (likely) be the first separately-orbiting coronagraph to be deployed in space?

Traditionally a coronagraph is something that blocks the bright disk of our Sun to make it easier to image the much dimmer corona. The first coronagraph is of course the Moon; during a solar eclipse ...
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Why was the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer decommissioned in 2012? Why wasn't it deployed another ~100 km higher where drag would have been a lot less?

The Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (1995-074A) was an incredibly prolific space telescope between 1996 and when it was decommissioned/deactivated on January 5, 2012. It reentered the atmosphere soon ...
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How will NEO Surveyor manage 82 gigabits/day of data? How will it process it, what fraction will be sent to Earth and how it compares to TESS & GAIA?

Wikipedia says says: NEO Surveyorformerly called Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam), then NEO Surveillance Mission, is a planned space-based infrared telescope designed to survey the Solar System for ...
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3 votes
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What causes GAIA rotational axis to precess the way it does? How exactly is this accomplished?

The GAIA spacecraft rotates at 1 degree per minute about its axis, scanning two telescopes looking 106.5 degrees apart but imaging on the same focal plane around a circle every 6 hours. The rotation ...
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How do spacecraft reach Lagrange points?

As I understand, to reach a Lagrange point the spacecraft would need to slow down. Also, can spacecraft passing nearby Lagrange points get captured within the point?
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Future plans and advances for improved extrasolar planet imaging; has anything changed since 2019?

I have seen What is the state of the art of exosolar planet imaging in 2019? but answers there simply address the types and quality of images. Here I'd like to ask about plans for future technology to ...
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Most realistic 2021 rendering of the milky way galaxy [closed]

Images of our own galaxy are either the "edge-on" inside view or artist renditions. However, we have mapped out 2% of the stars. Most stars are red dwarfs, so the more luminous stars will be ...
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5 votes
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Are spacecraft star cameras ever used as scientific instruments for research?

There are quite a lot of spacecraft that have been up there a while and a lot of them have star cameras for attitude determination and for attitude control. Space telescopes (both heavenly and Earth-...
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Which spacecraft far from Earth have arc second resolution cameras that could measure Betelgeuse's position?

All hands on deck! We have to measure the distance to Betelgeuse ASAP because Recent headlines saying that Betelgeuse is much closer than we thought, and they point to Standing on the Shoulders of ...
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4 votes
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What's the status and timeline for Millimetron? (Russia's 10m Deployable Antenna cooled to 6 K Earth-Space VLBI)

Comments below an answer to How does NASA's ASTHROS stratospheric telescope compare to its James Webb space telescope? link to JPL's Paul F. Goldsmith's The Renaissance of High Resolution ...
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What "improvements in technology" allowed the primary mirror of RST (WFIRST) to be less than 1/4 the weight of Hubble's?

The recent NASA press release Primary Mirror for NASA’s Roman Space Telescope Completed states: While it’s the same size as the Hubble Space Telescope’s main mirror, it is less than one-fourth the ...
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7 votes
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What exactly gives a larger field of view to the donated "spy" telescopes that NASA may send to Mars? How much larger?

This answer to Could one of the interstellar probes discover Planet IX by accident? links to Space.com's NASA May Launch Donated Spy Satellite Telescope to Mars which says: An unexpected gift The two ...
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How does JWSTs ISIM direct light into its detectors?

I came across this diagram in the JWST User documentation which explains how light is directed into the ISIM (Integrated Scientific Instrument Module): But the ISIM contains four detectors (MIRI, ...
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Would it have been cheaper and/or faster to put a James Webb-like Space Telescope on a balloon instead of a rocket?

I've just noticed the following items: CNET: NASA to send stadium-size balloon skyward to study the cosmos JPL/NASA News: NASA Mission Will Study the Cosmos With a Stratospheric Balloon Even in 2020 ...
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Do crew movements or movement of other objects ever affect space or Earth observation experiments staged on the outside of ISS?

The ISS serves as a platform for both Earth and astronomical observational instrumentation. Do routine movements of the crew or other objects ever cause problems for these observations through ...
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Will WFIRST and JWST be able to resolve each other?

The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to launch in 2021 and be put in a halo orbit around Sun-Earth L2 soon after. The plan for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope is a launch perhaps ...
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Is it possible to control the operation of the Hubble Space Telescope from ground stations?

Is it possible to manage the placement of the telescope mirror in a specific location through the operator, or do we have to randomly view the data reflected to the telescope ?
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At what wavelengths and for what particle types have astronomical objects been imaged or at least directionally resolved from the ISS?

The ISS has an X-ray telescope called NICER and this answer in Astronomy SE (and links therein) explain that it was able to show that there are hot spots clustered near one pole of the pulsar PSR ...
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What would be merits of placing space telescope after the asteroid belt or closer to the Kupier belt?

I want to know what difference does it make, in terms of observations made and the benefits for the astronomical society if we place a space telescope after the asteroid belt or near the Kuiper belt. ...
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3 votes
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Use of carbon nanotube based black colourings like Vantablack in space

I've seen several articles talking about the ways in which Vantablack and similar substances could be used in space as a replacement for black paint. For example, they could be used on the optical ...
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Will the James Webb Space Telescope be able to see the Spitzer Space Telescope (assuming...)?

Space.com's NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is no more. Here's what's next for infrared astronomy. says: The best infrared eye in the universe† has closed, and scientists will need to wait at least a ...
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James Webb Space Telescope's Golden Mirror's reflectivity for infrared and visible light

The mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope was plated with gold for a better reflectivity of infrared light. It reflects also red light well but not blue. Conventional telescope mirrors were plated ...
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For a given 48 hour observing period, what fraction of the celestial sphere is available to CHEOPS?

Wikipedia's CHEOPS says that when successfully launched and deployed it will be in a 700 km circular Sun-synchronous orbit with "RAAN (sic): 6 am" which probably means it has an inclination of almost ...
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2 votes
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Turn a Planet Labs satellite into a (small) "Hubble"?

If we revert a satellite of Planet Labs to look planets of the solar system or deep space, would we obtain a good result? A space telescope (above atmosphere) is automatically better than a ground-...
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2 votes
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What is the name of the new NEO searching telescope "heavily based on" NEOCam? (now NEO Surveyor)

Space.com's NASA Wants a New Space Telescope to Protect Us All from Dangerous Asteroids quotes "Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate" several times, ...
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