Questions tagged [detectors]

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7 votes
1 answer
314 views

Should I drop source shot noise from the SNR calculation when all I care about is detection (not photometric precision)?

All of the calculations for signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of sources in astronomical images include various noise terms of relevance: read noise, quantization noise, and shot noise from each of the ...
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17 votes
4 answers
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If the Sun was replaced with a sun-mass black hole, would it be visually detectable?

Assuming it had no accretion disk, could we still detect e.g. distortions of the background star field?
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1 vote
1 answer
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Response function of LIGO

"Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory" (LIGO) is a marvel of precise engineering and the world's largest gravitational wave observatory. LIGO, which consists of two massive ...
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0 votes
0 answers
22 views

Have avalanche photodiodes been used successfully for precision photometry? If so, in analog (charge integration) mode or just in photon counting?

This excellent answer to What would “the next GAIA”-like instrument be like? Could it simply be a 3 to 5x scaled-up version of the same beautiful system? is worth a thorough read-through, but it and ...
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2 votes
1 answer
74 views

What telescopes used 1000+ pixel Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKIDs) for multispectral, single photon counting (time + energy of photons)?

This excellent answer to What would “the next GAIA”-like instrument be like? Could it simply be a 3 to 5x scaled-up version of the same beautiful system? is worth a thorough read-through, but it and ...
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8 votes
1 answer
119 views

How many photons does it take to determine the existence of a distant object?

This applies to any object, but I see the recent discovery of the oldest, most distant galaxy and it started me wondering what the limits are. Presumably you can do better with a bigger telescope and ...
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2 votes
1 answer
196 views

Musk's Roadster is now Russell's Teapot?

Space Exploration Stack Exchange were not very fond of this question and closed it, so I think it might fit better here. Summary: Assuming no foreknowledge of its existence, can Elon Musk's Tesla ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What does the active area on a typical CCD based detector look like?

Pixel based detectors, particularly optical CCDs like what was used in the SDSS camera, are ubiquitous in astronomy. Is there any dead area on the detectors? Not the obvious gaps between each ...
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