Question, what will money saved by abandoning the hubble be spent on ?
How much more information can the voyagers give us ?
I think a good question would be "what can Hubble and Webb do together that neither could do alone?" Webb will be optimised for longer wavelenths and will likely discover things that would benefit from HST follow-up. Ditching HST into the ocean will be a terrible waste, and after Webb comes on line, we will find out just how big our loss is when our ability to do follow-ups is limited by atmospheric conditions at the big ground-based scopes.
What is the useful life of a telescope? If we can keep Hubble in good repair, its time will be fully-subscribed for decades to come, guaranteed. If we are unwilling or unable to service it maybe we should learn to build things a little more cheaply.
I wonder how much of the US's "black budget" is devoted to the launching and targeting wonderful optical instruments that are only trained on the earth. When studying photogrammetry in the 1970s, I saw a full-color satellite image of Russian workers going into their factory. You could distinguish the women by their colorful babushkas. This was 30 years ago, folks, and the image was probably at least a decade old, or it would not have been declassified so mere college students could see it. I had already had three years of college and then worked another couple of years in the construction business before I realized that image analysis and mapmaking might be an interesting place to be. The resolution of our spy satellites in the optical (30 years ago!) is stunning - I would love to know what detector technology our tax dollars have paid for, and that we will not see in common usage for another 20 years in the interests of "national security".
Arent they constructing a new telescope that is an improved version of Hubble? Heard something liek it a long time ago so i might be wrong.
It is the James Webb telescope:
The people who want to ditch Hubble would like you to think Webb is "bigger and better", but they won't tell you that the Webb is optimized for infrared observations and doesn't have the capabilities that Hubble has in the visible light range. These telescopes would enhance one another, not compete.
Hey i heard of that at this lecture about 8 months ago! They were talken about its infrared observations as opposed to the visible that Hubble can.
I have signed up, it seems to me the loss is to great at a time when every
scrap of data is vital.
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