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Questions tagged [observatory]

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

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Why does Helix Nebula look like an eye?

The infrared lights, the material clumps that radiate and the whole view resembling a celestial firework or giant eye
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1 vote
0 answers
71 views

What is Helix Nebula made up of?

The Helix is a planetary nebula, the glowing gaseous envelope expelled by a dying, sun-like star. Helix nebula consists of two gaseous disks, how they are formed or which material is present in it.
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why is plasma used to deposit aluminum on the VLT's four large mirrors?

In Tim Scott's October 2, 2023 video "The largest telescope that will ever be built*" (note the asterisk, link below) there is a discussion of the "re-silvering" of the four main ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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Mauna Kea versus Mauna Loa: Astronomy ethical considerations

There have been controversies and conflicts related to telescopes/observatories developed on Mauna Kea, as described here. However, there does not seem to be controversies related to observatories on ...
festivevanilla's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
112 views

How are the Extremely Large and Thirty Meter Telescopes coming along ("planned 2027")

The graphic above is oft-cited in SE questions and answers. I was (a little) sad to see in it that the 100 meter telescope-engineering wunderkind Overwhelmingly Large Telescope or "OWL" has ...
uhoh's user avatar
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20 votes
1 answer
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"Next Generation Arecibo Telescope (NGAT)... would combine a 314-metre-wide platform with a swarm of 9-metre dishes on top" What would that look like?

In Nature News' August 11, 2023 Closing down an icon: will Arecibo Observatory ever do science again? found in The Observatory there is discussion of the Next Generation Arecibo Telescope (NGAT): ...
uhoh's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
1k views

What telescope is Polish astronomer Kazimierz Kordylewski holding in this April 1964 photo at the Jagiellonian University Observatory in Krakow?

The following questions touch on Kordylewski clouds Can dark matter accumulate at Lagrange points? Are dust-dust collisions necessary to explain Kordylewski clouds at Earth-Moon L4/5? Aren't the ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
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How would the "Fluidic Telescope (FLUTE)" next generation telescope make and control a smooth, correct concave optical surface figure in microgravity?

The January 10, 2023 NASA Ames Research Center news item Fluidic Telescope (FLUTE): Enabling the Next Generation of Large Space Observatories discusses a proposed project to study the feasibility of a ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
40 views

Is there any open data base for raw spectroscopy data?

I'm msc. student in physics and will start my thesis in a month. We are in search of a topic with my thesis professor and we talked about many ideas. After all, "what will this give us ...
Ege Tunç's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
156 views

What is a place to find raw numbers of sunspots from the past, as counted daily by sun observer?

What is a place to find raw numbers of sunspots from the past, as counted by sun observers ? I have already visited 100+ of websites (NOAA, NASA, ESA, Japanese Institute ..) and what is offered is ...
darius's user avatar
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1 answer
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How does the James Webb Space Telescope achieve a focal length of 131.4m?

How does the James Webb Space Telescope achieve a focal length of 131.4m ?
Sebastyen Laroche's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
108 views

Does JWST have the largest bandwidth of any telescope?

If the longest and shortest wavelengths that JWST can focus are 28.3 and 0.6 microns respectively, then it has a bandwidth (max/min) of a factor of about 47. That's a lot, and of course it needs ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
260 views

What programs do astronomers use to ensure their observatory control computer has accurate time?

Somewhere I've seen that especially those observing asteroids, in order to provide accurate observations, use timing servers that sync to atomic clocks. What software can be used to do that?
2080's user avatar
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6 votes
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Airy's Water Filled Telescope: help required to fully understand the calibration procedure followed

I am reading/studying the instrument description of Airy's Water Filled Telescope (Airy, G. B., "History and Description of the Water Telescope of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich", ...
JKrsl's user avatar
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1 answer
122 views

Why orient a refracting telescope to the North?

I'm a french Guide of french military heritage. I have to prepare visit about "L'observatoire de la Marine, moulins du faouëdic" (Former windmill which served as an astronomical and ...
Marie Juguet's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
71 views

Which three telescopes are these atop a mountain in Hawaii as seen on CNN? Is this webcam view available to the public?

CNN's new video Alaska reached temperatures warmer than California in December includes file footage from a webcam from the top of a mountain in Hawaii showing three observatories. Annotation at the ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 answer
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Did astronomers ever use photographic plate rotation along with alt-az mounts?

The video Earth's Rotation Visualized in a Timelapse of the Milky Way Galaxy - 4K (linked below) and discussion below this answer to Why does a timelapse video of a stationary Milky Way make the ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
213 views

What are the technological advancements that made it possible for modern large telescopes to work with alt-az mounts instead of equatorial mounts?

The video Earth's Rotation Visualized in a Timelapse of the Milky Way Galaxy - 4K (linked below) and discussion below this answer to Why does a timelapse video of a stationary Milky Way make the ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Which studies prior to 2018 "claimed to find evidence of extragalactic planets in the Andromeda galaxy"? Which instrument was used?

After the first round of popular news items about the "first extragalactic exoplanet" discovery, CNET's Did astronomers find the first planet outside of the Milky Way? It's complicated ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Which University of Oklahoma research purported to "detect thousands of extragalactic planets back in 2018"? Which instrument was used?

After the first round of popular news items about the "first extragalactic exoplanet" discovery, CNET's Did astronomers find the first planet outside of the Milky Way? It's complicated ...
uhoh's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
141 views

How exactly does NEOSTEL's fly's eye telescope's secondary mirror array split the primary beam among sixteen cameras?

Wikipedia's NEOSTEL says: The Near Earth Object Survey TELescope (NEOSTEL - also known as "Flyeye") is an astronomical survey and early-warning system for detecting near-Earth objects sized ...
uhoh's user avatar
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23 votes
1 answer
6k views

Why can't observatories just stop capturing for a few seconds when Starlink satellites pass though their field of view?

Given that the positions and trajectories of the Starlink satellites are public, why can't the telescopes just ignore the photons they receive when the satellites pass through the field of view? It ...
Alexis Delrieu's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
60 views

Optical Observation Calls: How and Where to apply for optical observations?

How and Where to apply for optical observations to support a research project? I'm involved with research in multifrequency astrophysics and my next project will demand optical (spectroscopy) ...
Diving's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
624 views

What two "little observatories" run by a university in Chile and "by Germans" are near the future site of the Extremely Large Observatory?

Brady Haran is known for the Numberphile and Periodic Table of Videos YouTube channels but also does Deep Sky Videos. In the video for the Extremely Large Telescope Haran stands at the site of the ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
218 views

What is the difference between a Cassegrain telescope and a Gregorian one? Which one is better?

Of the three giant (or 'Extremely Large') new telescopes being built, the Thirty-Meter (TMT), the the Giant Magellan (GMT) and the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), only the Magellan, from what I ...
Kurt Hikes's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
489 views

What (if any) capabilities of Hubble are unique and irreplaceable? What can it do that can't be done by any other ground or space-based telescope?

It's impossible to summarize in an SE post the depth and breadth of the contributions to science made using the Hubble Space Telescope. Above the atmosphere it has access to an extremely dark and ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
531 views

How do you determine whether a certain object can be detected by an observatory based on coordinates?

If I am given the latitude and longitude of an observatory or observation point, how can I determine whether a given object, based on its equatorial coordinates, is observable from that observatory?
Ram Narayanan's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
230 views

How did I flip some mirrors around in the dark at 3 AM and change the focal length of a 24 inch Boller and Chivens?

Current answer(s) to How do telescopes "zoom" and change angle of view? are "they don't", but traditional large genera-purpose observatory telescopes do sometimes (often?) have ...
uhoh's user avatar
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18 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can astronomers pinpoint the location of the source of a neutrino?

In the popular press, in recent months, we have heard a lot about high-energy neutrinos from far outside our solar system reaching our detectors.... But I wonder... If a single neutrino from a great ...
Kurt Hikes's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Observatories that allow public access

Are there any observatories with high powered telescopes that also allow public access? Astronomy is a VERY expensive addiction, because no matter what telescope you get, you always want the next ...
Bookaholic's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
961 views

Building a floating, ocean-going giant radio telescope?

Given the loss of the Arecibo telescope: Is anybody aware of any efforts or studies towards a floating, ocean-going radio telescope of with 500m diameter or more? The idea is floating (pun intended) ...
B--rian's user avatar
  • 5,616
32 votes
4 answers
3k views

What will succeed the Arecibo Observatory?

Just a few minutes ago, I got a notification from Space.com stating that the Arecibo Observatory will be, sadly, decommissioned due to extensive damage to its structure. So, with the loss of one of ...
WarpPrime's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
76 views

Are there for-profit observatories?

I'm making a new website for the folks at MIRA.org, and in a bit of curiosity I found myself wondering if there are observatories that are for-profit organizations. What would they even do?
Benjamin Jex's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why was the Vera C. Rubin Observatory LSST Camera tested with a broccoli and a pinhole?

The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory video Vera C. Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (caution! annoyingly loud music, lower volume before playing) shows a Romanesco broccoli (which I'd assumed was a ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
65 views

Can telescopes determine whether Hygiea is in hydrostatic equilibrium?

10 Hygiea is a spherical body in the main asteroid belt. With future telescopes like the Vera Rubin LSST or the James Webb Space Telescope, can we determine whether Hygiea is actually in hydrostatic ...
Ioannes's user avatar
  • 1,090
0 votes
1 answer
224 views

Can I use the parallax coefficients for observatories as a proxy for latitude using arctan2(sin, cos)?

In How are the three character IAU Minor Planet Center's Observatory Codes assigned? Why are some letters so popular? I looked at the distribution of the first alphanumeric character versus the value ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
135 views

How are the three character IAU Minor Planet Center's Observatory Codes assigned? Why are some letters so popular?

Answers to Latitude, longitude and altitude of Ckoirama Observatory; where can things like this be looked-up? point to https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/lists/ObsCodesF.html which currently lists ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
899 views

Latitude, longitude and altitude of Ckoirama Observatory; where can things like this be looked-up?

This answer to Is Starlink 1130 (Darksat) really dimmer? links to the March 16, 2020 paper in arXiv First observations and magnitude measurement of SpaceX's Darksat which finds only a modest decrease ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
33 views

Nebula and its Colours [duplicate]

A Nebula boasts of Too Bright Awesome Colors that includes red, blue, green, orange, white, etc? They're result of excitation of electrons. Is there a clear explanation as in which Color is ...
Pranay's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
268 views

What is the LSST now? Where does LSST end and Vera C. Rubin Observatory begin?

Space.com's It's Official: Vera Rubin Observatory Named to Honor Dark Matter Scientist says: "We're here today to focus on the major renaming of the facility after a pioneering astronomer, that ...
uhoh's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
236 views

What alternative facilities would be available in the event of JWST being destroyed?

Unfortunately, space launches can and do go wrong. Suppose that after all the delays and budget overruns, the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope fails and the telescope becomes a cloud of very ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
169 views

Do large telescopes, especially plans for the LSST, avoid saturation artifacts from the brightest stars and planets? If so, how?

This interesting answer to What is the LSST's plan to address frequent satellite trails in data? quotes: From the LSST webpage: The first group of Starlink satellites are sufficiently bright during ...
uhoh's user avatar
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17 votes
1 answer
1k views

Will the Vera C. Rubin Observatory (formerly the LSST) make a significant increase in the rate of astronomical event alerts?

The NPR news article and podcast New Telescope Promises To Revolutionize Astronomy updates the status of the "Large Synoptic Survey Telescope under construction on Cerro Pachón in Chile". ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
172 views

What would be the scientific impact of locating the Thirty Meter Telescope at its alternate site?

The NPR.org article Hawaii Protesters Block Access Road To Stop Construction Of Massive Telescope briefly summarizes the situation, one paragraph says: The TMT, as it is called, has been the object ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
310 views

Why does this Lowell Observatory telescope have so many knobs? What do they all do?

The Fox News article Arizona city played critical role in moon exploration history covers several interesting activities that took place in Arizona in preparation for the Apollo Moon landings. It ...
uhoh's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
156 views

Which Lowell Observatory telescope is this? (used to draw Moon maps for the Apollo program)

The Fox News article Arizona city played critical role in moon exploration history covers several interesting activities that took place in Arizona in preparation for the Apollo Moon landings. It ...
uhoh's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
121 views

Does the Zwicky Transient Facility only run when triggered by a cell phone?

A really enjoyable interview with Mansi Kasliwal & Samaya Nissanke ("From discovery to making precision measurements") is available as a short audio podcast in the BBC News article Gravitational ...
uhoh's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
100 views

Where do local users of ALMA live and work?

These days with high speed internet, observational astronomy can be done from remote locations. Still I believe from time to time an experimenter might travel to work on-site for particularly ...
uhoh's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
209 views

Why is the opening in the Anglo-Australian Telescope's dome so small?

Many older or "classic" telescope domes have a horizon-to-zenith opening in the dome, and this helps speed up the thermal equilibration between the inside and outside air, decreasing turbulence and ...
uhoh's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
266 views

Impact of Atmospheric Water vapour on Optical Observations

I would like to ask; how does Water Vapour in the atmosphere interfere with astronomical observations? Is it in the same manner as Carbon dioxide? What brought this to mind is the following: A ...
Peter Nicholls Phd's user avatar