Questions tagged [space-telescope]

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

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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 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 ...
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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 summarizes the contribution of the RadioAstron mission, a VLBI collaboration of radio telescopes using the Spectr-R space-based 10 m dish in high Earth orbit to produce "very-VLBI&...
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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 ...
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Why are telescopes positioned in Lagrange points?

In this Wikipedia article about the list of space telescopes to be launched (which I assume is exhaustive), of the 11 telescopes yet to be launched, 6 will be positioned at the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange ...
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Any active solar X-ray imager in orbit?

NOAA GOES-14 & 15 went very recently in storage mode. With those also went the solar X-ray imagers (SXI), as GOES-16 & 17 do not have such instruments on board. Hence, my question: Are there ...
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Why is LUVOIR actively heated?

From the Wikipedia page about LUVOIR design: To enable the extreme wavefront stability needed for coronagraphic observations of Earth-like exoplanets, the LUVOIR design incorporates three ...
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Does this CHEOPS first light image imply bad astronomy?

@KeithMcClary's comment under lousy mirror corrected by software links to Bad Astronomy's First Light for the Exoplanet Hunter Mission CHEOPS Goes Tetrahedral which shows the image below. I understand ...
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Is it plausible to use other stars for the proposed FOCAL mission instead of the Sun?

For some time, the far-reaching and speculative idea of using the Sun as a gravitational lens has been floating around. See this and this. This would require sending a spacecraft about ~550 AU of a ...
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Can the WISE telescope detect black holes?

Black holes are hot, aren't they? With its infrared scan, could the WISE telescope also detect a black hole? The hypothetical planet beyond the Kuiper belt could actually be a primordial black hole. ...
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How was astronomical data meant to be handled on HST precursors?

The first drafts for a large space telescope such as Hubble were made in the 60's, and the idea of a space observatory originated long before that. From Wikipedia: In 1968, NASA developed firm ...
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Will James Webb see Population III stars?

I have heard that James Webb will see the first stars that our universe produced. Can I assume that we may see galaxies that are so young that all of the stars in them are population III?
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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 ...
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What is an “Off Rowland-circle Telescope”?

The NASA Goddard news item NASA to Demonstrate New Star-Watching Technology with Thousands of Tiny Shutters says: The technology, called the Next-Generation Microshutter Array (NGMSA), will fly for ...
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How will microshutter arrays be used in the James Webb and future space telescopes?

Question: How will microshutter arrays be used in the James Webb and future space telescopes? Are they acting as a sort of moving pinhole or slit, or is the pattern more complicated, like a coded ...
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What is the gravitational lensing focal distance of a white dwarf star?

I tried looking this up, but I couldn't find any formula on gravitational lensing distance. I know that our Sun's is about 550 AU, though further distances work too, as it's not a single focus due ...
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Why would a tidally-locked rocky planet have a first-order spherical harmonic surface temperature distribution?

The new Letter to Nature Absence of a thick atmosphere on the terrestrial exoplanet LHS 3844b (also ArXiv) analyzes the thermal infrared light curve from the system (about 4.5 to 5.5 um). The planet ...
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Any plans for TESS after it finishes northern sky survey?

TESS has provided the astronomy community with a treasure trove of information. Once TESS completes its one year survey of the northern sky, are there any plans for an extended mission? Just seems ...
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Comparing info for WISE and GALEX

I'm trying to compile a table showing the wavelengths and flux at m=0 for WISE, Spitzer and GALEX, but I can't find the right data for GALEX. Here's what I have so far: ...
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Why look at an infrared telescopes's mirror with ultraviolet light? (Herschel Space Observatory)

While link-clicking for Where did Herschel Space Telescope go in 2013? I ran across the 2009 Time Magazine article Two Telescopes to Measure the Big Bang which shows the file photo below with the ...