A telescope orbiting an outer planet?

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The idea popped into my head today of building an extreme telescope (larger than hubble) to orbit an outer planet such as Jupiter etc.. I'm thinking that with it being past the asteroid belt, we would be able to see farther and clearer than with the hubble. Is this an accurate assumption? The question is, is their enough solar energy out their to power it or is it to far from the sun?
 

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  • #2
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The idea is not so new, perhaps a good imagination. But none of the organisations would like to spend enormous money on a telescope bigger than the HUBBLE which only gives you the images of the JUPITER.And also talking about the energy needed, fuels are needed only to help the vehicle reach near the JUPITER and after that the necessary energy is provided by the Jupiter.

BJ
 
  • #3
Janus
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Felix83 said:
The idea popped into my head today of building an extreme telescope (larger than hubble) to orbit an outer planet such as Jupiter etc.. I'm thinking that with it being past the asteroid belt, we would be able to see farther and clearer than with the hubble. Is this an accurate assumption? The question is, is their enough solar energy out their to power it or is it to far from the sun?
If your concern is the asteroid belt, then it isn't worth the trouble. The asteroid belt isn't so thickly populated to cause any problem for the Hubble. Despite what you see in popular accounts such as movies, you could pass right through the asteriod belt without even seeing an asteroid.
 
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Phobos
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As Janus noted, the asteriod belt is no obstruction at all.

Now a telescope parked out beyond all the planets that could use gravitational lensing around the sun would be something great.
 
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HallsofIvy
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The distance from Earth to Jupiter is so small compared with the distance to "Hubble objects" that the difference would not be worth the cost.
 
  • #6
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The next generation of telescopes will be put into orbits far more distant than the current ones. For example, whilst the HST is at 600 km from earth, the JWST (to be launched at 2011) will be at the sun-earth Lagrange point L2, 1.5 million km from earth. In such an orbit the thermal influence from the earth and moon are very low, which is optimal for the infrared observations to detect first stars and galaxies. I don’t think that an orbit around Jupiter would have better conditions.
 
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Phobos said:
As Janus noted, the asteriod belt is no obstruction at all.

Now a telescope parked out beyond all the planets that could use gravitational lensing around the sun would be something great.
That would be an awesome project. Would the telescope necessarily have to be bigger though? With the way technology is rapidly advancing, I don't see how we would need to make a larger telescope to go out beyond our planets. Wouldn't it be possible, and potentially less expensive, to use smaller more compact and effecient technology?

~Kitty
 
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misskitty said:
That would be an awesome project. Would the telescope necessarily have to be bigger though? With the way technology is rapidly advancing, I don't see how we would need to make a larger telescope to go out beyond our planets. Wouldn't it be possible, and potentially less expensive, to use smaller more compact and effecient technology?

~Kitty
Unfortunately, for telescopes, there is no substitute for bigger. The larger the telescope the better the resolution. This due to the defraction of light.
 
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That does make sense. How much bigger would this telescope need to be theoretically if we were to send out beyond our solar system?

This is going to sound like a stupid question but doens't the hubble already travel outside our solar system?

~Kitty
 
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misskitty said:
This is going to sound like a stupid question but doens't the hubble already travel outside our solar system?
Nope, the Hubble stays in orbit around the Earth (only about 600 km away).
 
  • #11
DaveC426913
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Janus said:
Unfortunately, for telescopes, there is no substitute for bigger. The larger the telescope the better the resolution. This due to the defraction of light.
Well, there's interferometry.

And very long baseline telescopes. Two synced telescopes one thousand miles apart is almost like having a telescope with a thousand mile aperature.
 
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