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 New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers
21.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy
21.04.2017 | Stockholm University

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: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>