Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Radical Antarctic telescope "would outdo Hubble"

16.09.2004


A novel Antarctic telescope with 16-m diameter mirrors would far outperform the Hubble Space Telescope, and could be built at a tiny fraction of its cost, says a scientist from the Anglo-Australian Observatory in Sydney, Australia.

Tests by a team from the University of New South Wales, reported in the journal ‘Nature’ this week [16 September], show that the ‘Dome C’ site in the Australian Antarctic Territory is by far the best place ever tested on Earth for doing infrared and optical astronomy. “A telescope there would perform as well as a much larger one anywhere else on Earth. It’s nearly as good as being in space”, said Dr. Will Saunders of the Anglo-Australian Observatory.

At the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation conference in Glasgow in June, Dr. Saunders presented a concept for an unusual telescope that’s well matched to the special conditions at Dome C, both in its optical design and in the way it’s built.



It looks nothing like other telescopes. Much of it could be built of ‘icecrete’–snow compressed to form blocks as hard as concrete–while its mirrors could be made of the glass used for office windows. Under the superb atmospheric conditions at Dome C this simple telescope could make razor-sharp images of large areas of sky.

Dr. Saunders estimates that his design would cost about a fifth as much as one of the extremely large telescopes now being planned. These have mirrors 30-100 m in diameter and price tags of US$700 million and up. The Hubble Space Telescope cost a few times more: about US$2.2 billion at launch.

“With this simple telescope you could do the exquisite imaging that the extremely large telescopes plan to do, at a fraction of their cost” Dr. Saunders said. “But, unlike them, this telescope would also be a great survey instrument, able to map the whole sky with Hubble-like clarity.”

Helen Sim | alfa
Further information:
http://www.aao.gov.au

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University

nachricht Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bodyguards in the gut have a chemical weapon

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet

20.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Treated carbon pulls radioactive elements from water

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>