One more orbital telescope with 10000 times power of Hubble


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Message 1129599 - Posted: 19 Jul 2011, 7:22:17 UTC
Last modified: 19 Jul 2011, 7:59:52 UTC

source: http://www.asc.rssi.ru/radioastron/

Just a few hours ago Russians launched their first Hubble:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz2i7uaV7JM - According to their initial claim the Sputnik-Hubble is 1000 times more powerful than Hubble-1.







The RadioAstron telescope has a 10-meter antenna, a tenth of the size of the biggest radio telescopes on Earth, but when combined with ground-based observatories it will be huge — with a resolution up to 10,000 times better than the Hubble Space Telescope.

Interferometry is widely used to create huge telescope arrays on Earth, connecting individual observatories into a larger network with a much higher effective resolution. RadioAstron is not even the first space-based telescope for interferometry — about 15 years ago the Japanese space agency launched the Highly Advanced Laboratory for Communications and Astronomy (HALCA). But HALCA was only designed to last a few years, and fell silent in 2005. And RadiAstron, also known as Spektr-R, will be 10 times more sensitive than HALCA.

The telescope is designed to unfurl in orbit, with 27 carbon fiber petals unfolding to form a 10-meter-wide dish.

It will have a highly elliptical orbit, allowing the moon’s gravitational pull to shift its path. This highly variable orbital route, along with more powerful computers on the ground, will allow Russian scientists to develop high-resolution images of distant galaxies, according to a report by the South African press agency.

RadioAstron will be able to resolve celestial objects separated by an angle of 7 microarcseconds, which is 10,000 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope, New Scientist notes. Scientists hope it will be able to peer at the event horizon of a black hole at the center of the galaxy M87; study radio waves emitted by water masers, which are clouds of water molecules found in galaxy discs; and study pulsars, among other missions.

But first Roscosmos will have to collect all the telescope’s data, New Scientist says. So far only one dish has been built to receive signals from the spacecraft, and others will be needed so the telescope’s 144 megabits per second of data is not lost.
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Message 1129610 - Posted: 19 Jul 2011, 7:51:59 UTC

Orgil,
Wow! That thing will be very cool. Its got a 10 meter dish which should be pretty sensitive!

Wonder how much it cost? I read on another website they are considering withdrawing funding from the James Webb telescope because of its cost over runs. The current bill for JWST is up to 6.5 billion USD.

John.
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Message 1129611 - Posted: 19 Jul 2011, 7:57:32 UTC

Let's pray and wait along with russian scientists that The Eye bring us some wonders in a few weeks. Because Hubble got some mirror problem initially and many russian satellites had problems historically.
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Message 1129672 - Posted: 19 Jul 2011, 12:43:23 UTC - in response to Message 1129611.

Was hubble a radio telescope?
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Message 1129676 - Posted: 19 Jul 2011, 13:01:33 UTC
Last modified: 19 Jul 2011, 13:16:27 UTC

I guess since there is traditional Space Race is still on in certain hidden level both sides may argue any Race issues through their own interest.

In the result the civilization is stepping forward little bit since V-2 rocket or the Seed.
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Message 1129767 - Posted: 19 Jul 2011, 16:06:37 UTC - in response to Message 1129672.

Was hubble a radio telescope?

No, but light is also electromagnetic radiation. But of course Hubble is not the telescope with highest resolution, there are ground based telescopes with much larger optics. It's just a convenient reference which most readers will recognize.

They could have said the resolution using interferometry with a baseline so large is a million times better than any single radiotelescope. The interferometry of course requires another radiotelescope observing the same

But exquisite resolution isn't the whole story, at 10 meters the sensitivity is much less than the portion of the Arecibo surface used by the ALFA receiver system, and that makes a big difference in sensitivity.
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Message 1129823 - Posted: 19 Jul 2011, 22:17:13 UTC - in response to Message 1129767.

... But exquisite resolution isn't the whole story, ...


But being outside of the Earth's atmosphere and particularly outside of the ionosphere for radio astronomy removes a lot of artefacts of turbulent distortion and refraction.

Hence, even if your orbital telescope is not as 'powerful' as the land-based telescopes, you can gain a significant advantage due to being above all the atmospherics. Hence, such as Hubble can enjoy ridiculously long exposures to see faint objects that just isn't possible for land-based instruments many times its size/mass/'power'.


What will be interesting is what will be found. Especially for how the atmospheric aberrations can be compensated for from the ground based interferometry part of the data. Would a second and third identical satellite give much better results?

For the satellite itself, I just wonder how they keep the petals exactly curved and positioned despite the harsh temperature swings experienced in orbit?

Keep searchin',
Martin

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Message 1130100 - Posted: 20 Jul 2011, 16:46:17 UTC - in response to Message 1129823.

What form of turbulence is going to distort a radio wave?
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Message 1130114 - Posted: 20 Jul 2011, 17:35:50 UTC - in response to Message 1130100.

What form of turbulence is going to distort a radio wave?

http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/
Causes earthquakes too ...

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Message 1132058 - Posted: 26 Jul 2011, 2:24:58 UTC
Last modified: 26 Jul 2011, 2:32:42 UTC

What are the main imaging differences between radioastron and james webb? I mean both are non optic telescopes. and advantages and disadvantages of IR and radios...

My basic understanding is IR imaging is like those short military videos on the net. And one natgeo video showed that M1 Abrams has IR imaging too, interesting.
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Message 1132059 - Posted: 26 Jul 2011, 2:34:04 UTC - in response to Message 1132058.

What are the main imaging differences between radioastron and james webb? I mean both are non optic telescopes. and advantages and disadvantages of IR and radios...

My basic understanding is IR imaging is like those short military videos on the net. And one natgeo video showed that M1 Abrams has IR imaging too, interesting.

Nope, not like that. See link below for a orbital IR telescope.
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/

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Message 1132185 - Posted: 26 Jul 2011, 13:09:58 UTC - in response to Message 1132058.
Last modified: 26 Jul 2011, 13:12:03 UTC

What are the main imaging differences between radioastron and james webb? I mean both are non optic telescopes. ...

What we call "radio waves", "infrared light", and "light" are all part of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum. It's just that we can 'see' light. We feel the longer wavelength light as heat (infrared - longer wavelength than what we see as red light). At longer wavelengths still, you move into the radio part of the spectrum.

At radio wavelengths, glass optics become impractical and so 'mirror' (dish) reflectors are used instead. Indeed, at optical wavelengths, there are advantages to using mirrors rather than lenses.

So... It's all a question of what 'colour' of light you want to observe.

Due to the effect of "red shift", infrared and radio astronomy allow you to look at objects at greater distances and so farther back in time. Also, the longer wavelengths are affected less by interstellar dust, again letting you see farther.


Hope that helps,

Keep searchin',
Martin
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Message 1137134 - Posted: 7 Aug 2011, 8:39:43 UTC

Video releases from Roscosmos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpItFkXmLDs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12TFvcWe8aQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0s9g3iuVtY
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Message 1145352 - Posted: 26 Aug 2011, 11:49:40 UTC
Last modified: 26 Aug 2011, 11:50:26 UTC

Here is Radioastrons latest updates, BTW why russians not releasing any deep space images so far now!


At present all systems and units of the SC "Spectr-R" work in a normal mode.
• August, 23d -- As well as it has been planned on August, 21st the session in the
domain of a perigee (90000 km) between the SC (switching on of a basic transmitter
(40 Watts) of the VIRK) and the ground tracking station (TS) has taken place.
Pointing of the VIRK sharp directional antenna to the TS was carried out. The
session has passed successfully at regular temperature of the transmitter and
normal level of a signal-to-noise ratio (52 dB). The signal was received by the TS at
Pushchino.
• August, 18th -- full engagement of the high informational radio channel (VIRK)
transmitter has been done. In connection with some features of SC position in the
orbit currently the Pushchino tracking station (TS) "has seen" a side lobe of the
VIRK directional pattern. A complete session SC -- Pushchino TS is planned on
August 21
st
when the SC is going to be in the domain of the perigee.
Total engagement of VIRK is the second key event for onboard scientific payload
functioning after deployment and fixation of the SRT antenna (July, 23d, 2011)!
• August 13th – a highly directive antenna pointing of a high informational channel
(VIRK) on the Pushchino TS antenna was switched on. Within two hours the
communication session with Pushchino TS in mode loop of phase stability (LPS, a
phase loop) was proceeded.
• August 12th -- the spacecraft "Spectr-R" has passed a perigee on distance of 4000
km.
• August 4th -- the spacecraft "Spectr-R" has passed a perigee on distance of 2000
km from the Earth. The receiver and transmitter of PFS (this part of high
informational radio channel (VIRK) is responsible for creation of a synchronization
phase loop of TS and SC) was successfully switched on.
• July 27th, 2011 -- after passage of shadow and a perigee the onboard H-maser was
successfully turned on.
• July 26th, 2011 -- a procedure of onboard H-maser thermostats switching on
preparation was done.
• July, 25th, 2011-- detenting of a VIRK sharp directional antenna drive is done.
• July, 23rd, 2011 -- deployment and fixation of the SRT antenna is done.


http://www.asc.rssi.ru/radioastron/news/news_hot.pdf
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Message 1145365 - Posted: 26 Aug 2011, 12:25:48 UTC - in response to Message 1145352.
Last modified: 26 Aug 2011, 12:42:20 UTC

Because this is not an imaging telescope. You have to process the data here on the Earth to obtain any image.
Tullio
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Message 1145397 - Posted: 26 Aug 2011, 15:19:26 UTC

I mean worldwide at least million people waiting to see that arcsecond images.
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Message 1145403 - Posted: 26 Aug 2011, 15:30:56 UTC - in response to Message 1145397.

Radiotelescopes are not built to give images, like optical telescopes.They give data, which are analyzed like we are doing at SETI@home and Einstein@home. Einstein@home so far has discovered two unknown pulsars in Arecibo data and nine in Parkes data. Parkes, in Australia, can cover the galactic center, which Arecibo cannot reach. It is also steerable, like Green Bank and the Allen Telescope Array, which should restart in September.
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Message 1145405 - Posted: 26 Aug 2011, 15:35:13 UTC
Last modified: 26 Aug 2011, 15:45:32 UTC

Yes for pro's like you data is everything but for non pro's like me and rest of majority of fans some image is our kind of result. Hopefully that data-to-image process would not take much long time.

I guess Spitzer and Chandra are basically similar type of data-telescopes right?

The juciest part is theoretically it can peek into most hidden parts of the universe where all optics are dull.
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Message 1145416 - Posted: 26 Aug 2011, 15:55:49 UTC - in response to Message 1145405.

Spitzer works in the IR band and Chandra in the X band. The IR is near the optical band and some animals see this band. Chandra is on the X band, and its data must be processed. However, to "see" an object you must use a radiation whose wavelength is smaller than the size of the object, and radiowaves can have very long wavelengths.I am not familiar with the algorithms used in processing radiosources, but I know that they are also used in computerized axial tomography. They were developed by British astronomers using mathematical tools developed by a Russian mathematician.
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