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Questions tagged [infrared]

Questions about infrared astronomy, both observations (in the broadest sense) and instruments. The infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum has a longer wavelength than visible light, but shorter than sub-mm or radio waves.

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What determines the surface material of the ALMA and Spitzer telescope?

The transition between metal dish and mirror happens around hundreds of microns. For example, the shortest wavelength the ALMA(metal dish) can detect is about 0.3mm, while the longest wavelength the ...
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Why was helium hydride (HeH+) the universe's first molecule?

The abstract of the new Nature paper Astrophysical detection of the helium hydride ion HeH+ tell us that infrared spectroscopy from SOFIA detected ...rotational ground-state transition of HeH+ at ...
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Why would the Chang'e-4 lander find lunar far side temp. “colder than scientists expected”, when the LRO has already been taking thermal readings?

In January, the Chinese probe lander Chang'e-4 was was announced to have found temperatures dipping lower on the far side than expected ("Chinese rover finds lunar nights 'colder than expected'" by R. ...
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How is IR spectroscopy used to determine the composition of asteroids?

I am trying to understand how spectrometers or spectroscopy can be used to calculate the surface composition of asteroids for the purposes of asteroid mining.
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Can a telescope detect a blackbody?

I'd like to determine the distance at which a telescope with a certain set of parameters (sensitivity, collector area) can detect a blackbody with certain other parameters (temperature, emitting area)....
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What's that limit, where we start to see infrared galaxies?

All the nearby galaxies we see come in visible range, many are visible from ground based telescopes. And the farthest galaxy that hubble discovered recently, 13.4 billion light years away is in infra ...
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What are IRAS sources?

Do IRAS sources refer to star forming regions? I searched google and I came to know that it stands for IR astronomical satellite.But what do they search for? Please help me
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Which kind of strategy should we take to discover Planet 9 and other KBOs?

What are the differences between the discoveries of Sedna, 2012vp 113, and the supposed Planet 9? All need deep infrared surveys at the ecliptic plane, but P9 needs a much deeper survey?
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V471 Tauri's circumbinary brown dwarf non-observation; Applegate, or over-restrictive assumptions?

tl;dr Has the brown dwarf observation been disproven? I have just started reading about the interesting object V471 Tauri. The first two sentences of the introduction to The V471 Tauri System: A ...
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Why is the “green” comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) red in this picture?

In this nice NYTimes 'survey article' "Our Vast Solar System and Its Many Explorers" there is a NEOWISE image of Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy). See here also. The NASA description of the image says: ...
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What is the projected range of the JWST to be able to detect exoplanet atmospheres?

Yesterday the K2 mission detected transit events of objects passing in front of a number of M dwarfs which could turn out to be rocky planets. If some of these planets host atmospheres, could the JWST ...
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Why aren't ground-based observatories using adaptive optics for visible wavelengths?

Adaptive Optics (AO) techniques allow ground based observatories to dramatically improve resolution by actively compensating for the effects of Astronomical Seeing. The atmospheric effects are quite ...
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Reference for broader spectral lines?

I'm looking for some reference listing spectral lines outside the visible spectrum. (In particular, I'm looking for an element or compound that emits strongly in the 700-900nm range.)
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What makes small interferometers useful? Like NIRISS on JWST

NIRISS is an instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope. It has a "non-redundant aperture mask" which obviously covers most of the area of the sensor. It seems to be advantageous for high contrast ...
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Infrared telescopes, magnitude and observations

Currently 22-23 magnitude could be the limit to make a spectrum for ground based 10m class telescopes, 21-22 magnitude may be easy for them. 4m class telescopes could possibly handle 20 magnitude, I ...