Questions tagged [telescope]

Telescopes are devices that collect data (usually electromagnetic spectrum, visible or otherwise) to better resolve distant objects.

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How was the high rate of degradation of Hubble's main mirror initially predicted? Why did it turn out to be lower? Were cosmic rays really a concern?

This answer to How long was the HST initially supposed to work? in Astronomy SE quotes Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Final Report as follows: Hubble was ...
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How big of a telescope will Psyche's deep space optical communications demonstrator use out at 5 AU?

NASA JPL News item says: The spacecraft's instrument payload includes three science instruments. The mission's magnetometer is designed to detect and measure the remnant magnetic field of the ...
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If we used Hubble, or the James Webb Space Telescope, how good image could we get of the Starman?

I know that this is never going to happen, because those telescopes have much more important things to look for ... But I was just wondering if we still did it, what would the best result look like? ...
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Satellite tracking telescope integrated program in Matlab

How can I get a comprehensive, integrated MATLAB program to set up and capture SGP4 output for telescope mounting? I am currently receiving state vectors from the SGP4 program, which include the ...
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Does it make any scientific sense that a comet coming to crush Earth would appear “sideways” from a telescope and on the sky (from Earth)? [closed]

In multiple different movies and fiction, there's the threat of a burning space comet heading for Earth, threatening to kill everyone and destroy the planet. One example is the animated Comet in ...
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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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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 Tiangong stations?

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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When will the telescope that last saw Starman/Roadster be able to see it again?

According to this answer to When was the last time that Starman/Roadster was seen? it was last seen by Earthlings at least at 2018-03-19 03:22:33 UTC by a 1 meter ...
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Could Apollo astronauts see other planets with the CM Scanning Telescope?

The Apollo Command Module had the Scanning Telescope for navigating, "Apollo astronaut located a specific star using a single-power, wide-field telescope." I'm not concerned whether it could ...
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Is it feasible to paint SpaceX Starlink satellites black so as not to frequently saturate the CCDs of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope?

update: From Nature.com News article: SpaceX launch highlights threat to astronomy from ‘megaconstellations’: But an upcoming, cutting-edge telescope could be in bigger trouble. The US Large Synoptic ...
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Why was the central obstruction in Galileo's Solid State Imager (SSI) so large? Was the secondary mirror flat?

According to Wikipedia's Galileo Solid State Imager (SSI) The SSI was an 800-by-800-pixel solid state camera consisting of an array of silicon sensors called a charge-coupled device (CCD). Galileo ...
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Are space camera sensors usually round, or square?

A series of round lenses produces a round image on some sort of sensor or sensor array. When it comes to cameras and telescopes out in space, are the sensors also round? It seems like most of the ...
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What was the average temperature of space near the Spitzer Satellite Telescope?

The Spitzer Space Telescope, formerly the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), is an infrared space telescope launched in 2003, to be retired in January 2020. The temperature of space near ...
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What is the state of the art of exosolar planet imaging in 2019?

I have seen this question from 2013 asking if it's possible to take pictures of extrasolar planets. But I am wondering if anything has changed since then. Have we taken higher quality images of other ...
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How was the Moon's first telescope used? (Apollo 16)

From Gizmodo's There's Poop on the Moon list of things left on the moon: This gold-plated telescope that was the first tool used to make astronomical observations from the surface of another ...
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How far away can spacecraft be seen with an optical telescope?

In the question At what time in the Apollo 14 mission did the maneuver shown in this image happen, and what exactly was happening? I've included the image and information below. The caption says that ...
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What optical design is used by the GEDI's receiving telescope and how is the secondary held in place?

GEDI is a sophisticated LIDAR instrument now on its way to the ISS. Once installed, it will use powerful laser pulses (10 mJ, 242 Hz) from several lasers to map height in 3D, collecting multiple ...
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How did Skylab's electrographic ultraviolet camera work?

This answer links to history.nasa.gov's SP-404 Skylab's Astronomy and Space Sciences. In what looks like chapter 2, page 14 there is mention of Skylab's electrographic camera, shown below. In the ...
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How to start with back yard space exploration? [closed]

I am completely noob to space science. Recently, I visited to my cousins and found amazing experience of observing Moon with telescope. The one that they uses is "Monocular Outdoor High Definition ...
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Would we be able to see a Space craft transit in Lunar orbit?

If a Apollo type Moon mission happened today would we be able to see it transit in Lunar orbit? I know we can't see the Landing sites of the Apollo but could we see the Command Module and its shadow ...
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Is there any Scientific Benefit to the Lower Albedo levels on the Darkside of the Moon?

I was reading the answers to this question: What did the sky actually look like from the Moon? And it got me thinking... What, if any, astronomy tasks could be performed better on the lunar far side ...
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To use a gravitational lens as a telescope, does the hypothetical user have to do so from a given angle?

This question is about the use of a gravitational lens for example of a distant galaxy or sun. I’m curious to know whether the two outer masses, say galaxies or suns (when to the observers of course) ...
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How can I find which chemical compounds can be seen on Titan's surface?

Titan has a thick atmosphere made up of mostly molecular Nitrogen and Methane which absorbs light and blocks the surface to telescopes, save for certain "spectral windows" (the white portions in the ...
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What is the process to produce a chemical composition spectrum of a celestial body?

I have come across this spectrum, which depicts the chemical composition of Titan's atmosphere: Taken from here. I would like to know how do scientists generate such spectra, starting with capturing ...
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Recommended source for familiarizing oneself with the applications of spectroscopy in planetary science

I have recently entered the field of planetary science as a limited-scope project which is part of my masters' degree in chemistry. My project is going to revolve around Titan and its complex organic ...
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Technology to directly observe an exoplanets [closed]

I would like to know what number of space telescopes, ideally mass produced ones using current technology and that could be cheaply manufactured and launched en-mass via the future SpaceX BFR. How ...
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Could a 21 meter space telescope detect the nearest exoplanets?

For reference, Hubble's mirror is 2.4 meters wide, the upcoming James Webb's 6.5 meters, and the proposed ATLAST 8 or 16 meters. Let's assume a mirror nearly ten times Hubble's size, 21 meters, is ...
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Does the Hubble telescope use a “simple” PID-controller for its pointing control system?

I am wondering whether the Hubble Space Telescope uses a "simple" PID controller like this: Or is it using another type of control system that may be much more complex?
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Has any ground-based telescope taken a picture of a geostationary broadcast satellite?

I can't find 1 image, but I've heard there are a lot of geostationary satellites. Hovering in one specific spot in the sky, rotating with the Earth's spin and tilt, rotating with Earth's orbit around ...
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How come we can see nearby galaxies but are unable to see TRAPPIST-1?

How do we have telescopes that are powerful enough to see nearby galaxies, such as Andromeda (M31), but are unable to see TRAPPIST-1 or the other exoplanets in its solar system in detail when TRAPPIST-...
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Why put a telescope on moon? [duplicate]

According to this report: As a follow-on mission to India's first space X-ray observatory, ASTROSAT, ISRO is planning to set up a telescope on moon.ISRO chairman A S Kiran Kumar said that the ...
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What's the largest aperture telescope sent beyond the Earth-Moon system?

The question and answer about telescopes sent to different planets got me wondering. There are so many solar system bodies that have been photographed by deep space spacecraft, planets, dwarf planet(s?...
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What savings allowed James Webb telescope to be lighter than Hubble?

Wikipedia states: The telescope has an expected mass about half of Hubble Space Telescope's, but its primary mirror (a 6.5 meter diameter gold-coated beryllium reflector) will have a collecting ...
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Would a lunar telescope provide a significant improvement over terrestrial based equipment?

As I understand it, the moon makes for an ideal location for a telescope because it offers environmental factors that are unlike anything achievable on earth: A lack of atmosphere, light pollution, ...
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How powerful a telescope would be needed to equal New Horizons'? [closed]

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 ...
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Is there a telescope on board the ISS?

I am wondering if there is a telescope in or outside the ISS that has been used for astronomical imaging? I have seen here that there is already a Celestron telescope on board but it is only used for ...
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What is the Dark Matter Particle Explorer telescope?

China's new mission DAMPE will launch a dark matter particle telescope to detect and study the evidence of dark matter. How does this telescope work? What is expected from the mission?
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Picture of equipment left on the Moon?

When people visited the Moon, they left sizeable items behind. I know that taking picture of this from Earth is incredibly hard, but: Did someone try? And what pictures do we have?
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Why do some space telescopes require cooling (sometimes down to 3K)?

Space is already cold, so why do some space telescopes require cooling? Ex: infra-red telescope What kind of cryocoolers are used, and why?
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What observatory had the best optical telescope in the 1960's, based on faintest apparent magnitude it could image? [closed]

I found a table of historically largest telescopes here, so I'm guessing it's the Hale Telescope of the Palomar Observatory on Mount Wilson. However, that Wikipedia article warns that size is not ...
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Were the Apollo lunar activities observed from Earth?

I understand that all manned landings on the Moon were on the near side, so technically they could be visible from Earth. Was it possible to observe landings and/or extravehicular activities (EVAs) ...
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Are we using software to analyze our telescope data? [closed]

It seems like to me all our analysis of stars and planets could be automated. A computer looks through the data for anomalies and then performs additional observations for that area and then outputs a ...
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Finding non-lit objects at light minute ranges

Let's say my hyperjumpwarpgate McGuffin drive goes bing and I find myself about half a light year away from the sun. This is right in the heart of the outer Oort Cloud. Wikipedia says that there are a ...
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Aren't the mirrors of the James Webb Space Telescope too unprotected?

I've looked at the design of the James Webb Space Telescope and I got curious about something, some years ago, it seems that the international space station was hit by micro-meteorites. I'm wondering ...
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What are the current state in plans to put a liquid telescope on the moon or in space?

The utility of using liquid metals or ionic salts to automate casting of a telescope mirror could offer a cheap way to build a massive telescope on the moon or in space. The image above, along with ...
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Why is taking a picture of the moon surface from earth possible but taking one of an artificial satellite is difficult?

After reading this question and seeing an image of ISS shot from earth, a doubt came in mind that if shooting moon from earth with high details is possible, why is it difficult to shoot artificial ...
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Was Hubble really related to spy satellites?

Around the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, I remember comments in the media that the Hubble may be related to certain espionage satellites. The Hubble was designed and built around the time that ...
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How is WISE continuing to work without coolant?

In October 2010, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) ran out of the coolant it needs for its IR detectors to work, so it's mission ended. In August 2013, NASA powered up WISE again with a ...
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Would placing an X-ray telescope on the surface of the Moon be a good idea?

Instead of placing an X-ray telescope in orbit or deep space, would building an X-ray telescope on the surface of the Moon an good idea, since it has no atmosphere? If no, please don't forget to ...