Questions regarding structures designed to aid in the observation of astronomical objects.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
1answer
49 views

What is a quaternary mirror and why does the E-ELT need one?

In this recent BBC article I read the one-sentence paragraph: "Development on the mirrors - in particular, a very complex quaternary mirror - continues apace." and became interested in the ...
2
votes
0answers
20 views

Adverse effects of urban growth on old astronomy observatories? Need article/book

I am looking to get some information on the adverse effects of urban growth/light pollution on the oldest/traditional observatories of the world (europe). Can anyone recommend me books or articles to ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

Pyramid shaped observatories

There are some pyramid shaped observatories around the world, like the Solar Lab Pyramid (1) in the Canary Islands or The Pyramid International Laboratory (2) in Nepal. (1) (2) I was wondering, ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

How will the Breakthrough Initiatives affect other astronomy observations?

BACKGROUND The Breakthrough Initiatives is in the news because of a $100 million private donation for a SETI project. It doesn't seem to be for building any new observatory (but maybe for buying ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

What makes a really good observatory site, besides altitude?

Let's limit this to optical telescopes. I understand that the higher you are, the less atmosphere is above you to get in the way of observations. From reading around, there seem to be a few more but ...
5
votes
1answer
38 views

Tools for creating a multiwavelength view of the sky

Not sure that this is the correct place to ask this question, but here goes. I am trying to find tools to accumulate image data (preferably in FITS format) on a given (RA, Dec)-coordinate of sky. ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do astronomers like green laser pointers? [closed]

When I've been to Astronomy-nights for the public at the local observatory, they always used green lasers to point things out. Why is there such a preference for green lasers? What's wrong with red ...
2
votes
1answer
862 views

How do I calculate the velocity dispersion of a galaxy given an integral field spectrograph?

I couldn't find on the web how to get the velocity dispersion and velocity maps of galaxies from the 3D data cube that I get from the integral field spectrograph.
7
votes
1answer
108 views

What is the current routine of modern astronomy? [closed]

With about all visible stars catalogued, measured and photographed it seems that chapter is closed. I realize currently while amateur astronomy is big on cataloguing all asteroids in the Solar System, ...
7
votes
1answer
58 views

What are the metrics of observation conditions?

How do professional astronomers measure and describe (ambient) observation conditions? I know smog, light contamination from the city lights, fog, clouds, rain/snow, humidity etc all contribute ...