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Imagine that the "Large Gedanken Cryogenic Space Telescope" has been commissioned and aligned and is ready for its first test. It is equipped with a closed-cycle helium refrigerator to further cool the instrument bay to as low as 1 Kelvin as needed.

The optical surfaces are amazing - high quality aluminum coatings are backed by a special materials and multilayer heterostructure that can reflect anything from radio to hard X-rays (say 100 keV).

Remember this is the "Gedanken" telescope.

The instruments include a variety of focal plane arrays - CCDs, bolometers, pixels based on tiny antennas and amplifiers or scintillators, etc. that also span radio through (at least) hard X-rays.

The first test will be to try to look through the center of the Milky Way galaxy and obtain measurements on something on the far side (or beyond it).

Based on the answer to Why the blank wedges in this very early 21 cm map of the Milky Way? (Oort et al. 1958) I'm pretty sure that radio can see right through, and because of dust, the visible wavelength part of the spectrum will be blocked.

Question: Looking straight through the Milky Way Galaxy with the Gedanken Space Telescope from radio to 100 keV, what would the opacity vs wavelength look like?

Different but related (and currently unanswered)


In near infrared for example, we know we can see at least to the center of the Mikly way:

homemade GIF from ESA video ESOcast 173: First Successful Test of Einstein’s General Relativity Near Supermassive Black Hole

above: homemade GIF from ESA video ESOcast 173: First Successful Test of Einstein’s General Relativity Near Supermassive Black Hole

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