extrasolar telescope

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vladius

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I was wondering... With the launch of that new big fat telescope going up in a few years into earth orbit( i cant remember the name) would it be of any benefit to send a telescope of that magnitude out beyond our solar system? some benefits i can see: seeing even farther into space, science gneaned by looking at our solar system from the outside, different eye for finding near earth asteroids, finding out more about the area just outside our system, as well as planets that might be there. so why wouldnt they do something like that? i mean, if youre going to put one up anyway....
 
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bobvanx

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I'll take yer bait.<br /><br />You're probably thinking of the James Webb telescope. Regarding the seeing farther out into space aspect, do this:<br /><br />Draw a dot on the wall behind your computer monitor.<br /><br />Stick a postit right on top of that dot.<br /><br />Draw a dot on that postit, right over the dot on your wall.<br /><br />Now, get up from your computer, leave the house, leave town... in fact, travel to a distant land.<br /><br />Oh, wait, now you won't be able to read the rest of this. Rats. Well, anyway now, if those two dots, separated by the thickness of a postit note, were as far apart as Earth and Pluto, where you stand in a distant land would be comparible to being at a reasonable astronomical distance. Adding another couple of thicknesses of postit notes doesn't get you much, except adding lots of years onto your vehicle before you can collect data.<br /><br />Regarding looking for NEAs and NEOs, we absolutely need a space-based resource helping in that search. It should be closer to the sun than we are, so the rocks it finds are nice and illuminated. It wouldn't even have to be a very big thing. A 30 to 50cm reflector would get the job done quite nicely.
 
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nacnud

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There was one intriguingly fanciful idea to put a telescope out past Pluto in order to use gravitational lensing around the sun, but I can't remember the specifics of why. It might be so extra solar planets could be imaged directly without running into problems with diffraction limits, I can'T remember.
 
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vogon13

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Handy for parallax studies. Put on Voyager type escape trajectory, and you would get great planet, ring, satellite, comet, KBO pictures before main mission started. Voyager 1 looked back at solar system, inspired Sagan to write pale blue dot. Idea not without merit, just competes for funding with other projects.<br /><br /><br /><br />What if there was no such thing as a hypothetical question? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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