The hubble space telescope essay

There is no expectation that students have studied galaxies prior to completing this research project. In fact, it is intentionally the first lab, so that most students will NOT know about galaxies yet, because what you may or may not know about galaxies is not important here.

The hubble space telescope essay

By Phil Plait August 12, Over the course of three more years, we did it five more times. Despite the return of hundreds of kilos of rocks, thousands of pictures, and independent verification and authentication from dozens of countries some of which were and still are our enemiessome people stubbornly refuse to accept the fact that the Apollo Moon landings were real.

The basic idea is that when the astronauts left the Moon, they left behind several artifacts, including the base of the lunar module called the descent stage and the rovers for Apollo 15, 16, and The descent stages were a little over 4 meters wide the landing legs spread out were 9 meters across, but are narrow, so the bulk of the stage would be easier to see.

The rovers were about 3 meters long and 2 wide. Those numbers sound like you should be able to spot them with, say, Hubble. The question here is one of resolution: As an example, a person standing next to you is easy to see and easily identifiable. But from a mile away that human is far more difficult to see, and from ten miles away is just a dot if that.

There is a simple relationship between mirror size and resolving power: What does this mean? An arcsecond is a measure of angular size how big an object appears to be — if two objects are the same physical size, the one farther away will appear smaller, and have a smaller angular size.

There are arcseconds to a degree, and to give you an idea of how small a measure this is, the Moon is about 0. D is the diameter of the mirror in centimeters. So what does this mean if you want to look at the lunar artifacts? Hey, wait a sec! It would have to be a lot bigger to be seen at all.

In other words, even a football stadium on the Moon would look like a dot to Hubble.

The hubble space telescope essay

But those objects are far, far larger than the Moon. So even if we built a colossal sports arena in Tycho crater, Hubble would barely see it at all.

The landers, rovers, and other junk left on the lunar surface by the astronauts are totally invisible. However, there are two tricks we can use here. One is to look not for the artifacts themselves, but for their shadows. At sunrise or sunset, the shadow from a lander might be long enough to detect, even if the lander itself is invisible.

However, this is a very tricky observation and has to be timed just right and the landscape itself may hide the shadow; crater rims, mountains, and natural dips and bumps might prevent sunlight from hitting the lander until the Sun is high in the sky, and that will shorten the shadows.

Plus, try to convince a committee in charge of hotly-contested and hugely over-subscribed telescopes to give you a night to try this and see how they react.

The Space Review: essays and commentary about the final frontier

Good luck ever getting an observation again. The other method is obvious enough: Later this year we will be sending the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to the Moon, and it will be able to resolve objects as small as 0. It will easily resolve the landers, and even the rovers.

Moon Hoax believers have made it their mission in life to deny the veritable tsunami of evidence that the landings were real. That includes all the pictures taken by the astronauts themselves. The only thing to do is to go back. Not to prove to Apollo deniers anything, of course.

But the rest of us will look up, look out… and shoot the Moon. Party hat image courtesy of Drew Saundersvia creative commons license.Aug 12,  · In July , Man first walked on the Moon. Over the course of three more years, we did it five more times.

The hubble space telescope essay

Despite the return of hundreds of kilos . click Latest news of space and astronomy click: scientific dissertation helper.


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