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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 ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 36.6k
30 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 ...
Justin T's user avatar
  • 3,404
24 votes

"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?

There are a few diagrams in the original white paper (Anish Roshi et al. 2021; see Fig. 11) and the revised NGAT-130 proposal (Anish Roshi et al. 2023; see Fig. 3), depicting the basic arrangement. ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 36.6k
24 votes

Vera C. Rubin's LSST's ginormous camera's shutter; why does it open/close 1000 times a night & is this typical for large-format survey telescopes?

From Technology of the LSST focal plane: LSST’s survey efficiency depends on the telescope’s ability to rapidly move from field to field on the sky during a night’s observing. The mount has been ...
John Doty's user avatar
  • 2,149
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 ...
B--rian's user avatar
  • 5,626
21 votes
Accepted

Will the Vera C. Rubin Observatory (formerly the 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 ...
astrosnapper's user avatar
  • 8,412
18 votes

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

I believe this is a 20 cm Grubb refractor with a focal length of 248 cm. This page mentions some of the telescopes at the Jagiellonian Observatory in 1964: In 1964, a jubilee 600 years of ...
Peter Erwin's user avatar
  • 17.1k
17 votes

Is this an image of an astronomical observatory? If not, what's behind these domes?

It is indeed an astronomical observatory: University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory, located atop Mount John in New Zealand. Coordinates 43°59'6.99"S 170°27'50.76"E if you want to look ...
Jean-Marie Prival's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Vera C. Rubin's LSST's ginormous camera's shutter; why does it open/close 1000 times a night & is this typical for large-format survey telescopes?

The "sequence" of a CCD exposure might be to flush the CCD to get rid of all charge on the silicon, with the shutter closed; open the shutter; expose the CCD to astronomical light; close the ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 155k
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 ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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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 ...
astrosnapper's user avatar
  • 8,412
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 ...
sforsingh's user avatar
  • 1,443
13 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 ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 3,403
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 ...
L d Bonnie's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

How does the James Webb Space Telescope achieve a focal length of 131.4m?

The JWST has three mirrors(*), the main mirror (6.5m in diameter) A secondary mirror, held on three struts in front of the main mirror and a tertiary mirror that reflects the light into the various ...
James K's user avatar
  • 125k
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&...
j-g-faustus's user avatar
  • 1,301
10 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.6k
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 ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 155k
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 ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 155k
9 votes
Accepted

Why does Helix Nebula look like an eye?

Look at Helix Nebula NGC 7293 (Aquarius) on the left and Ring Nebula M57 (Lyra) on the right. Both are of the planetary nebula type, and very similar. This NASA video, based on Hubble Space Telescope ...
Albert's user avatar
  • 2,182
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 (...
Florin Andrei's user avatar
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 ...
Florin Andrei's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Does JWST have the largest bandwidth of any telescope?

No, for your so-called “non-traditional” definition. The Large Area Telescope (note the name 😏) on board of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope alone has an energy range from 20 MeV to 300 GeV, a ...
Karsten Kretschmer's user avatar
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 ...
Andy's user avatar
  • 2,467
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....
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 36.6k
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 ...
James K's user avatar
  • 125k
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 ...
Mike G's user avatar
  • 18.7k
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 ...
Mike G's user avatar
  • 18.7k
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. ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 155k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible