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Worlds largest optical telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

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Re: Worlds largest telescope (42 meters) will be Chile!

What about building liquid mercury telescope at south pole and then letting it freeze solid?
The temperature at south pole stays below freezing temp. of mercury during winter which is also constant night time out there.
Being at south pole would allow very long exposure time, also it may be practical to tilt the telescope after the mirror is frozen.
It would melt during summer but that doesn't really matter since it would be day there anyway. It would be only necessary to spin the mirror once a year during autumn.


http://www.csiro.au : Aussies and Kiwis forge a cosmic connection
26 May 2010

Six radio telescopes across Australia and New Zealand have joined forces to act as one giant telescope, linking up over a distance of 5500 km for the first time.

The link-up was a collaboration between CSIRO's Astronomy and Space Science division, the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia, and AUT University in New Zealand.

The linked telescope will make images ten times more detailed than those of the Hubble Space Telescope and has already been used to peer into the heart of a galaxy called Centaurus A.

Showing Australia and New Zealand can link telescopes this way strengthens the two countries’ joint bid to host the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescope.

Zooming in to the heart of galaxy Centaurus A, 14 million light-years away. This composite image shows the entire galaxy, as imaged by CSIRO radio telescopes; radio emission from a central part of the galaxy, imaged by a US radio telescope; and the innermost part of the galaxy, imaged by the new network of Australian and New Zealand radio telescopes.
Image credit – Whole galaxy: I. Feain, T. Cornwell & R. Ekers (CSIRO/ATNF); ATCA northern middle lobe pointing courtesy R. Morganti (ASTRON); Parkes data courtesy N. Junkes (MPIfR). Inner radio lobes: NRAO / AUI / NSF. Core: S. Tingay (ICRAR) / ICRAR, CSIRO and AUT
The giant $2.5 billion SKA will have several thousand antennas, up to 5500 km apart, working together as one telescope.
Data from New Zealand radio telescope were transferred from Warkworth directly to Australia using recently established 1 Gb per second connectivity via the Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network (KAREN).


I'm going to create a separate discussion for radiotelescopes, and split the thread.



From http://www.youtube.com/user/FFreeThinker :

ESO VLT Space Opera. HD
Starring: Helix Nebula, Gliese 667, stellar cluster NGC 2467, R Coronae Austrinae, protostar HH34 (Orion), Chamaeleon I complex, Eagle Nebula, Lagoon Nebula, southern Milky Way band, Trifid Nebula, the first image of an exoplanet (2M1207 system).



http://www.eso.org : VLT Detects First Superstorm on Exoplanet
23 June 2010

Astronomers have measured a superstorm for the first time in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, the well-studied “hot Jupiter” HD209458b. The very high-precision observations of carbon monoxide gas show that it is streaming at enormous speed from the extremely hot day side to the cooler night side of the planet. The observations also allow another exciting “first” — measuring the orbital speed of the exoplanet itself, providing a direct determination of its mass.

The results appear this week in the journal Nature.

“HD209458b is definitely not a place for the faint-hearted. By studying the poisonous carbon monoxide gas with great accuracy we found evidence for a super wind, blowing at a speed of 5000 to 10 000 km per hour‚” says Ignas Snellen, who led the team of astronomers.

HD209458b is an exoplanet of about 60% the mass of Jupiter orbiting a solar-like star located 150 light-years from Earth towards the constellation of Pegasus (the Winged Horse). Circling at a distance of only one twentieth the Sun–Earth distance, the planet is heated intensely by its parent star, and has a surface temperature of about 1000 degrees Celsius on the hot side. But as the planet always has the same side to its star, one side is very hot, while the other is much cooler. “On Earth, big temperature differences inevitably lead to fierce winds, and as our new measurements reveal, the situation is no different on HD209458b,” says team member Simon Albrecht.

Astronomers have measured a superstorm for the first time in the atmosphere of an exoplanet, the well-studied 'hot Jupiter' HD209458b. The very high-precision observations of the carbon monoxide gas show that it is streaming at enormous speed from the extremely hot day side to the cooler night side of the planet. This video shows an artist's impression of the Jupiter-like transiting planet around its solar-like host star.


For anyone curious how they figured those were the wind speeds: they measured doppler effect on that slim piece of the atmosphere that filtered the star's light.
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