Questions tagged [observatory]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
8
votes
3answers
701 views

When did “resilvering” large telescope mirrors actually refer to aluminization, and why was it necessary?

This answer nicely summarizes the general picture of historical use of silver for mid to large size telescope mirrors, and the shift to aluminum once good quality vacuum pumps and chambers suitable ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Will 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". NPR's Joe ...
32
votes
4answers
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
149 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
296 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
222 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
362 views

How will “modern equipment” allow the Royal Observatory to now avoid some of the effects of light pollution at Greenwich?

The article First Light: a new era for the Royal Observatory says (in part): 25 June 2018 The first modern, research-grade telescopes have just been installed at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, ...
4
votes
1answer
186 views

What kind of reddish wood is it exactly that was historically used to line the inside of observatory cupolas (domes), in order to absorb moisture?

I was told that it was "cedar", but that is an unclear term botanically.
1
vote
2answers
108 views

Which observatories help NASA find 5 new asteroids per day?

I just read the following in the NPR website news article NASA's New 'Intruder Alert' System Spots An Incoming Asteroid. NASA pays for several telescopes around the planet to scan the skies on a ...
1
vote
1answer
55 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
141 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
291 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
853 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
581 views

Do primary mirrors in large observatories undergo regular removal and re-coating of the aluminum? Why?

Performance of astronomical mirrors that are exposed to the environment for long periods of time can experience a slow degradation of performance. They usually need to receive some kind of regular ...
5
votes
1answer
472 views

Was the use of silver on 'optical' telescope mirrors more common in the past? Why?

In the past, weren't many astronomical telescope mirrors periodically removed and 'resilvered', and wasn't this actually done using silver? I'm guessing that this is much less common now - new ...
4
votes
4answers
833 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
276 views

How does this telescope work, and what is it for?

Procrastinating, I clicked on a suggested video (How Large Can a Telescope Be?) and after about 01:20 I saw a clip of a telescope shown below. I was confused as I ...
2
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
23 views

What capabilities of Hubble are unique and irreplaceable? What can it do that simply 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
71 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
91 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
73 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 ...