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Thread: About the future of telescopes

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    Default About the future of telescopes



    Hey,
    So i'm in high school and I have a work in physics to do about the future of telescopes.I saw that there are a few different types of lights that telescopes can collect such as X-ray,Gamma rays etc...
    My question is will it be possible in the future to make a telescope that can collect multiple types of light?
    and another question-will it be effective or will it expand the limits of our vision on the universe to create a telescope that will travel in space?(like voyager 1 for example)

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    Default Re: About the future of telescopes

    Each type of telescope captures energy waves from a small portion of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. The electromagnetic waves of each portion are different in frequency and length. Each type of telescope's antenna and electronics is tuned to a specific frequency or wave length. This is the range of frequencies where they are designed to work. When you try to use it outside that range of frequencies, it becomes very inefficient in capturing signal, amplifying it and you have a harder time removing noise or unwanted signals.

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    Default Re: About the future of telescopes

    Interesting questions Niv. I can't comment on the practicality of combining different sensor types into a single device but I can see the convenience of it if you are launching a telescope into space, especially if future technologies allow for more compact systems. Regarding the advantage of sending telescopes beyond earth's orbit, it would be for a specific narrow mission and would face some limitations on data transmission back to earth, long term power supply and cost.

    I've read articles about setting up telescopes on the far side of the moon to avoid interference from earth signals and noise, and you've likely heard of the upcoming James Webb infrared telescope project which launches into the sun's orbit in March 2021. More ambicious would be a probe sent to a relatively close exoplanet like Proxima B that would send back detailed information if not the classic visual images we are used to with our small earthbound backyard telescopes.

    I'm sure others in the forum can provide more detailed ideas on your excellent questions.
    THP

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    Default Re: About the future of telescopes

    Hello and Welcome to the Forums.
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    Default Re: About the future of telescopes

    Some telescopes can operate over a broad range of wavelengths, most cannot. The requirements for focusing vary depending on the wavelength, something that every refractor owner who has had to deal with chromatic aberration knows. A radio telescope cannot focus visible light. While a big enough visible light telescope could focus radio waves, it is way overkill and would not be worth the expense. X-rays go right through most materials, so lenses and conventional mirrors for x-rays are not practical. Focusing x-rays requires grazing-incidence mirrors.

    So, with each wavelength band requiring different technology to focus, trying to design a single instrument would be ridiculously complex and expensive. If someone wanted to study multiple bands simultaneously, co-locating multiple telescope types would be much cheaper and more practical.

    Regarding telescopes travelling in space, we already do that. How do you think New Horizons managed to image Pluto? Whether you call it a camera with a long lens or a telescope with a sensor, the instrument is the same.
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    Default Re: About the future of telescopes

    Images of different types of telescopes for different wavelengths are routinely combined. For instance, visible light and radio wavelengths, sometimes even gamma rays. Those images are not always taken simultaneously. With the gravitational detectors like LIGO the merger of neutron stars or black holes are roughly located, while a message goes out to other telescopes in the world to see if they can detect something in the visible light. Radio telescopes like LOFAR can even observe in different directions simultaneously. So, lots of developments in combining the images of multiple telescopes just no single telescopes that can do it all.
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