US/UK to build 25m telescope: CCAT

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docm

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Link.....<br /><br />Big pic....<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p><b>US and UK unite for $100m telescope</b><br /><br />Scientists in the UK and the US have joined forces to build a new $100m, 25 metre infrared telescope in the high Chilean desert. The latest addition to the team, the University of Colorado at Boulder, signed on late last week.<br /><br />The Cornell Caltech Atacama Telescope, or CCAT, is designed to work alongside the proposed Atacama Large Millimeter Array, ALMA. This is also planned for construction in Chile. The idea is that CCAT will scan the skies for interesting things, and ALMA will be able to zoom in for a closer look.<br /><br />The telescope should be completed by 2013, when researchers will turn its gaze towards the outer reaches of the solar system, to stellar nurseries, and even distant galaxies. When it is finished, it will be the largest and most precise ground-based infrared observatory in the world.<br /><br />It will also be the highest - being located in the Atacama desert, some 18,000 feet above sea level. Water vapour is the enemy when dealing with the sub-millimetre section of the electro-magnetic spectrum in which the scope will set its sights. This makes Atacama the idea location for the 'scope, because as well as its altitude, it is extremely dry.<br /><br />Associate Professor Jason Glenn from the University of Colorado commented: "This facility will enable us to study the earliest stages of star and galaxy formation, as well as the initial conditions of the solar systems like our own. [It] will be up to 30 times more sensitive than existing sub-millimeter telescopes, allowing us to look back in time to when galaxies first appeared."<br /><br />Over half the cash needed for the project has already been secured from major backers</p></blockquote> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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Looks like 2013 may be a good year for astronomers. Same year the James Webb Space Telescope has been proposed to launch. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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robnissen

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Although the article doesn't say, I am quite confident that every large telescope being built today has adaptive optics. With adaptive optics, does anyone know how this new telescope compares to Hubble in ability?
 
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MeteorWayne

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Well the Hubble doesn't have submillimeter capability, so it's apples and ornages.<br /><br /><br />However, the mirror is 25M vs hubbles 2.5 meter, so would have 10 times the resoltution (less the difference in wavelength) and 25 times the light gathering ability. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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robnissen

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Good point on the submillimeter capability. But I don't think you can merely do math to decide light gathering cabability. Even with adaptive optics, the atmosphere absorbs a lot of light. Because Hubble is outside the atmosphere, its 2.5 meter mirror is the equal to a much larger ground based mirror. I guess my question is, what would the size of a ground-based (at 18K feet) mirror have to be, to match the light gathering ability of Hubble?
 
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MeteorWayne

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I admit I don't have the numbers handy, if I can whip up some data I will do so. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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