Questions tagged [space-telescope]

Questions regarding telescopes in orbit around Earth, such as the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Does a star shaped mirror present problems either optically, or in signal processing over a more nearly circular mirror?

Pure speculation about a future replacement for the JWST that I almost certainly won't live to see. The JWST's mirror (and then some) would fit unfolded and flat into the Starship's 8m diameter ...
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How does IXPE measure polarization, and why does it have three identical X-ray telescopes?

From The Observatory: Anyone who missed any of the AAS 239 press conferences can see them on the AAS Press Office's YouTube channel! Here's the full program. From there I found the Monday, January ...
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Which JWST instrument modes are compatible with observations of the bright trans-Earth planets Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn? Which aren't?

My comment says: ...answers to the Space SE question Can James Webb take pictures of our solar system? In what ways will they differ from/compliment those from Hubble? suggest that at some point JWST ...
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Will the James Webb Space Telescope need re-alignment of primary mirror segments?

I couldn't find an answer to this question. James Webb Space Telescope will align primary mirror segments and secondary mirror in space. Question is whether these will need re-alignment during the ...
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How many asteroids were discovered via GAIA? Is there a list?

The ESA Science & Technology video Gaia's asteroid discoveries shows trajectories for hundreds of asteroids that were seen by GAIA, but as far as I can deduce from the extensive notes there, only ...
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Are there any space-based observatories that use interferometry?

Ground-based interferometers such as ALMA have enabled many discoveries. It seems like sending a fleet of small telescopes would be feasible (smaller telescopes are easier to send into space than ...
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Why do satellites appear as streaks in telescope images?

Can you explain me in simple words why the satellite in this telescope image appears as a streak? The exposure time is 1 second.
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Detection of the existence of any extraterrestrial life

We can't see things in "real-time" but we see the "past versions" of the things because it takes time for the light from that object to travel to us. So looking far away means ...
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What new fundamental knowledge could a very, very large optical telescope bring? [closed]

Very large baseline radio telescopes bring many mysteries of the cosmos to us. We build them because they are feasible. Say, in the future, we could build very large optical telescopes in deep space, ...
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Telescope/s functioning from underground mines

Theoretically and Practically, Can a Telescope function for the astronomer observed from underground mines? By "telescope" I mean the instrument used by astronomers to observe stars, planets ...
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Why do space telescopes have GRISMS? Why a grating AND a prism for cross-dispersion in slitless spectroscopy?

https://hst-docs.stsci.edu/wfc3ihb lists the page 8.2 Slitless Spectroscopy with the UVIS G280 Grism which contains details of one of the GRISMs of the Hubble Space Telescope (GRISM = Grating + Prism)....
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Why is the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope's field of view shaped like a PacMan "ghost"?

The Curious Droid YouTube video NASA's Mega Hubble - The Roman Space Telescope illustrates the shape of the telescope's field of view and the outline has a smile or frown shape. For whatever reason it ...
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What is the nature of the "blind spot issue" in asteroid detection systems?

From Wikipedia's "Asteroid impact prediction" article: Performance is improving in detecting smaller objects as existing systems are upgraded and new ones come on line, but the blind spot ...
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How much are the benefits of installing a telescope in orbit?

I know that our atmosphere acts like a protective blanket letting only some light through while blocking others. We send telescopes to orbit to get a clearer view of space objects. I want to know that ...
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What kind of space telescope could best take advantage of orbiting far from the Sun?

While Hubble has provided an astounding amount of science from low Earth orbit, one of the reasons it was put in LEO was to be readily accessible for service and upgrades by the Space Shuttle. JWST ...
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What would it take to view "the whole EM spectrum"?

I know the EM spectrum goes off both ends, but nearly everything anyone has bothered to use it for has wavelengths between $10^8$m (ELF) and $10^{-12}$m or so (gamma rays). So for the purposes of this ...
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Do telescope measurements (in meters, usually) measure in a straight line, from edge to edge, or follow the curve of the mirror?

Somehow, no site or book or magazine has clarified this question for me.... Perhaps I am an idiot, but, Is the parabolic primary mirror on the new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) 6.5 meters from ...
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Why aren't there any images of Sun-orbiting bodies by Spitzer?

Why didn't the Spitzer space telescope shoot images of (dwarf) planets around the Sun, or did it? Even though its primary goal was to detect (the characteristics of) exoplanets, it could have revealed ...
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Can (neo)WISE detect the coolest Y-dwarfs?

The WISE telescope discovered some Y brown dwarfs already. Is the neoWISE mission able to detect even the coolest ones (such as Y9 dwarfs) within five light-years distance? If so, the telescope would ...
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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 ...
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When thermal infrared space telescopes spot asteroids, are they seeing the body's own thermal emission, or reflected TIR from the Sun?

From the Space SE question Why has the Earth-Sun libration point L1 been chosen over L2 for NEOCam to detect new NEOs?: above: Profoundly not-to-scale illustration of NEOCam in an orbit around the ...
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How exactly can the Hubble Space Telescope see up to 15 billion light years?

I've been researching about the Hubble Space Telescope on nasa.gov, and I've read that Hubble uses a digital camera to take pictures like a cell phone. That's all I've found so far. I can't find any ...
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Details on the telescope(s) on the Chinese Space Station 天和

The ISS has a telescope on board. Does the Chinese Space Station have one on board as well? I heard about Xuntian aka Chinese Space Station Telescope (CSST), but not too many details. Would that be ...
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Is the measurement of distance and position of remote celestial bodies accurate?

Considering that light is affected by gravity, how accurate are measurements of distant stars and galaxies? When light passes through objects with great mass, such as Jupiter size planets, stars, or ...
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Is the measurement of distance and position of far away objects accurate? [duplicate]

Considering that light is affected by gravity, how accurate are our measurements of distant stars and galaxies? When light passes through objects with great mass, such as Jupiter size planets, or ...
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Did the Spectr-R space-based radio telescope use on-board accelerometer to measure non-gravitational acceleration for baseline correction?

This answer to Why is space-based VLBI scattering sub-structure "Hopefully, a new promising tool to reconstruct the true image of observed background target(s)"? summarizes the contribution ...
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Why is Starlink polluting the night sky a big concern if we have space telescopes?

There's a lot of concern in the Astronomy community over the deployment of Starlink satellites. For a good discussion, see the related question How will Starlink affect observational astronomy? But ...
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Are X-ray telescopes with glancing angle surfaces basically "funny-looking" Cassegrain telescopes mathematically?

In this answer I included the image below of a reflective X-ray telescope. It is made from two elements; the first is concentric shells of glancing (high incidence) angle paraboloidal surfaces, and ...
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Has GAIA learned anything about General Relativity looking near Jupiter? (Gerry Gilmore: "oblate rotating mass moving in a deeper (Solar) potential")

From Gerry Gilmore (2018) Gaia: 3-dimensional census of the Milky Way Galaxy 4.4 Fundamental physics Relativistic effects are highly significant for Gaia measurement accuracy, with tests of General ...
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Why (the heck) is the basic angle of GAIA 106.5°?

This answer to Why does the Gaia space telescope have two main mirrors says: According to the GAIA FAQs which does an excellent job: http://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/gaia/faqs: Why is there an angle of ...
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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?

This excellent, thorough and well-sourced answer to Has a gravitational microlensing event ever been predicted? If so, has it been observed? mentions several works where hundreds to thousands of ...
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How many space telescopes are currently active?

Hubble, Chandra, XMM-Newton, Kepler,... I can name a few off of the top of my head, but how many space telescopes are there in all? Related What are the next planned space telescopes?
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Is sky-glow affected by height?

I'm an architecture student and my graduation project will consist of building a research center for outer space, my question is whether or not height would affect sky-glow or not ? Thanks in advance, ...
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Why wasn't CHEOPS data taken during passage through the South Atlantic Anomaly downlinked in this case, resulting in gaps in photometry?

Section 4.1.2. CHEOPS in Six transiting planets and a chain of Laplace resonances in TOI-178 says Due to the low-Earth orbit of CHEOPS, the spacecraft-target line of sight was interrupted by Earth ...
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Why does Nancy Grace Roman = 100 × Hubble? Why is the new space telescopes wide field camera so much wider than the old one's?

The title of the WFIRST project description (before it was named the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope) is The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope: 100 Hubbles for the 2020s. Question: Why does Nancy ...
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How do HabEx's internal coronagraph and external starshade work together and complement each other? What is it that each can do that the other can't?

Limits of space telescope? links to the video 4 Future Space Telescopes NASA wants to build and that page links to The New Great Observatories. These cover the four space-based instruments proposed by ...
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Limits of space telescope?

Watching this video describing the "next generation" space telescope, it seems like the biggest mirror will be ~6 meters in diameter. Theoretically, if a telescope was built in space instead ...
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(Thought Question) What would a giant far away mirror look like to a telescope?

If there was a theoretically perfect mirror the size of say, our solar system, somewhere out in space that had a focal point of literally earth. What would that look like to a space or earth telescope?...
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Deciding optical factors between a refractive and reflective space telescope optics as a function of aperture? (visible light)

Reading Yale News' Lighting a path to Planet Nine: To detect objects that are otherwise undetectable, Rice and Laughlin employ a method called “shifting and stacking.” They “shift” images from a ...
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Expanding our observable universe suggestion

Firstly, regarding the observable universe there is a certain radius of a circle, and we cannot see further than that. It is understandable, that due to photons travelling at a certain speed we can ...
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Is there an IRAM satellite that measures thermal radiation at 250 GHz, or was this a ground-based instrument?

The Nature Research Letter A Pluto-like radius and a high albedo for the dwarf planet Eris from an occultation (also here and here) says about half-way through: We now reassess Eris’ surface ...
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What's still needed before we can observe orbits of exomoons thereby weighing exoplanets?

Comments below this answer to How do we weigh a planet? point out that we currently cannot (or at least have not) detect moons around exoplanets, much less measure the sizes and periods of their ...
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Understanding WISE acronyms

I've enoucntered many acronyms related between them, like AllWISE, WISE, NEOWISE, CatWISE, WISEA, WISEAR, WISEAF, WISEU, WISEP, WISEPA, WISEPC, WISEF, WISEPF, WISER, WISEWF, WISET, WISETF, WISENF... ...
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How is the roll of the Hubble telescope around its axis and the dispersive direction(s) of it's spectrometer(s) managed?

Reading Dupree et al. 2020 Spatially Resolved Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of the Great Dimming of Betelgeuse (also in arXiv and summarized in Phys.org's Hubble finds that Betelgeuse's mysterious dimming ...
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How does NASA's ASTHROS stratospheric telescope compare to its James Webb space telescope?

In Space SE I've asked Would it have been cheaper and faster to put a James Webb-like Space Telescope on a balloon instead of a rocket? I linked there to a few news items: CNET: NASA to send stadium-...
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Why didn't we see those campfires on the Sun until now?

What is it about its optics and instrumentation (aperture, sensors, filters), being in space and distance from the Sun on 30 May 2020 that allowed Solar Orbiter's HRIEUV telescope to see something ...
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Does time flow in a Minkowski spacetime?

In a spacetime where the stress-energy tensor is null (no energy, no matter, no entropy), I wonder whether any motion of the variable time in the phase-space is well defined. The arrow of time, meant ...
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Does anyone know about the ring diagram technique and Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager pipeline?

I'm working on the ring diagram technique and pipeline for the Solar Dynamics Observatory's Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager or HMI, but I didn't find much about the details about how it works or how ...
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Why is the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (WFIRST) coronagraph considered "(beyond-)state-of-the-art"?

After about 01:30 in the NASA video NASA's Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope: Broadening Our Cosmic Horizons the narrator says: To deepen its study of exoplanets ...
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Frames per second capabilities cameras currently installed in Modern Telescopes?

What are the present real-time capabilities of various modern telescopes as video cameras? How do these compare with the capabilities various of space telescopes? For example, if it was known that ...