36 votes
Accepted

What will succeed the Arecibo Observatory?

There's no simple answer. In the immediate future, different radio telescopes around the world will pick up the slack in various ways; how that happens will depend on the needs of individual observers ...
  • 34.2k
29 votes

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

Tl;dr, From personal experience, it’s not worth it. It’s a lot easier to throw away bad data than to try to calculate when stop. There’s not a lot of ambiguity as to whether it messes up the data. As ...
  • 2,766
23 votes

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

You correctly state that neutrinos do not interact too often. The physical parameter describing that is the effective cross-section. So what you observe in a detector is not the neutrino itself, but ...
  • 5,334
18 votes
Accepted

Will LSST make a significant increase in the rate of astronomical event alerts?

Yes. The estimates are that LSST will produce about 10 million alerts per night (LSST Alert Distribution presentation) which will be at least a factor of 5x greater than the amount coming from ZTF ...
  • 7,374
15 votes

Building a floating, ocean-going giant radio telescope?

I would be extremely concerned about the ability of such a telescope to make adequately precise measurements, given the motion of the water. The leading radio telescopes have their mirrors and ...
  • 34.2k
14 votes
Accepted

Which telescope's model is being shown to Albert Einstein in this file footage? What event might this be?

I'm pretty certain it is the 200inch Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory. There is an image galley of the 200 inch telescope. According to Richard Preston's book First Light: The Search For The Edge ...
  • 7,374
13 votes

What will succeed the Arecibo Observatory?

As you said, the loss of Arecibo will definitely put a dent in the field of radio astronomy. As for what will help take its place - there are a couple options. Green Bank Observatory has been and ...
12 votes

What will succeed the Arecibo Observatory?

The big loss is to radar astronomy. Arecibo was one of only two radar telescopes in the world in regular use, and was by far the more powerful: a 300 meter antenna and megawatt transmitter, versus ...
  • 2,993
12 votes

Observatories that allow public access

Amateur astronomers regularly broadcast their viewing sessions over the Internet on the LiveSkies network. Pluto is within the viewing capabilities of most of the equipment used to broadcast but it ...
11 votes
Accepted

What is a quaternary mirror and why does the E-ELT need one?

You may know that a standard Newtonian telescope has two mirrors, they are called the primary and secondary mirror. The E-ELT has five mirrors: The quaternary mirror is simply "mirror number four&...
  • 1,231
10 votes

Observatories that allow public access

The Faulkes Telescope project offers educational access to 2-m telescopes in the Canary Islands and Hawaii. Thanks to @PaulPrice for confirming my hazy recollection. I was observing at the Mt Stromlo ...
  • 120k
9 votes
Accepted

Why do astronomers like green laser pointers?

Mostly general purpose laser pointers are used for pointing things at smaller distances eg. Diagram or Equations in Powerpoint presentations, so the power of such laser pointers is quite limited/...
9 votes

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

I contacted Dr. Danielle Adams, Deputy Director for Marketing and Communications at the Lowell Observatory. She was kind enough to reply, and generously provided the following (lightly edited for ...
  • 30.7k
9 votes

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

High energy muon neutrinos occasionally interact and produce a muon. Energy and momentum must be conserved in the process and the muon heads off in the same direction as the neutrino. The relativistic ...
  • 120k
8 votes
Accepted

Why do telescopes use hexagonal mirror pieces instead of pie slice shaped ones?

The ideal shape for the mirror is round. It's the easiest to make. It's the best-behaved while in use. The hex tiles are already harder. The mirror is a revolution surface generated by a conic curve (...
8 votes

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

Amateur telescope and mirror maker here. Not sure if I qualify as a "citable source" but anyway, here it is: All metals will eventually tarnish. It may take a long time, but it will happen. The ...
7 votes
Accepted

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

Aluminium coating is a relatively recent process - it became available around the 1920s or 1930s. The Hale telescope arrived just in time to take advantage of this new technology. (It requires a ...
  • 2,377
7 votes
Accepted

Which observatories help NASA find 5 new asteroids per day?

Given that the article seems to be referring to NASA's Near Earth Object Program, it appears that there are five subprograms scanning the skies: Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) (four telescopes: 0.50 m, 0....
  • 34.2k
7 votes

Which telescope's model is being shown to Albert Einstein in this file footage? What event might this be?

The event was in 1937; the telescope began operating in 1948. If this Getty photo is the same scene from a different angle, then those with Einstein in the lower frame are, from left to right, Nobel ...
  • 16.8k
7 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of "bright unresolved sources"

"Unresolved" here means a source of light that appears as a point, not as a disc or a cloud. For example, the planets can all be resolved to discs by even quite moderate telescopes. Galaxies also can ...
  • 93.4k
7 votes

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

Near the pinned location, at 24.0893°S 69.9306°W, Bing Maps shows a building like the one in the University of Antofagasta photos, with signs of recent construction. It's probably a matter ...
  • 16.8k
7 votes
Accepted

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

The E-ELT is being built at Cerro Armazones, about 20 km from Paranal where the ESO VLT is sited. Unsurprisingly, the observatory that is already there is known as the the Cerro Armazones Observatory. ...
  • 120k
6 votes
Accepted

After Oumuamua passage, has an "urgency" telescope time request procedure been set up?

For observing "predictable" transient events (e.g. Gamma Ray burst or gravitational wave events), observers apply (i.e. write a proposal for peer review) for "target of opportunity" (ToO)time in ...
  • 120k
6 votes
Accepted

Observatories that allow public access

The Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton in California has for years allowed the general public to view through their telescopes as part of their "Summer Series." Unfortunately, this is canceled ...
  • 176
5 votes

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?

Probably western red cedar, thuja plicata, especially if the observatory is in North America. Western red cedar is easily obtainable in North America. It has a light, red, wood that is particularly ...
  • 1,536
5 votes

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

Optical observatories -- or commissions that allocate time on a national or international basis to one or more telescopes -- generally accept proposals twice a year, during a one-month period with a ...
  • 14.9k
4 votes
Accepted

Are there any unmanned large telescopes located on Earth?

The largest "robotic" (i.e., unmanned) telescope I'm aware of is the 2.4-meter Automated Planet Finder. Other large robotic telescopes include the 2.0-meter Liverpool Telescope and its copies (Faulkes ...
  • 14.9k
4 votes
Accepted

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

This might not be the type of telescopes your are thinking about, but as IACTs (Imaging Atmospheric Cherencov Telescopes) in the end also measure light in (or near) the optical range, their mirrors ...
4 votes

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

It's a little hard to guess what research can be done there -- Today, Greenwich is close to the worst place on Earth to have an observatory: At sea level, in the light dome of one of the largest ...
  • 7,390

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