Is it possible to build a Telescope the Size of Half the Solar System size using all Lagrange Points?

  • #1
Mukhtar
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If all the Lagrange Points(L1, L2, L3 and L4) are utilized to depart telescopes like JWST, Luvoir and Habex then is it possible to have a Telescope aperture with a half size of Solar System?
 
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  • #2
Lagrange Points are specific to a two-body gravitationally-interacting system. So I guess the question is: which Lagrange points are you referring to? If you are thinking of Earth-Sun Lagrange points, then yeah, maybe you could start to build up through interferometry an aperture approaching the AU scale (not the scale of the entire solar system). There are some glaring problems I can think of:
  • You need to actually fill in the space with dishes/apertures to get good resolution. The more inteferometry baselines (pairwise separations of dishes) you have, the better you will do. But you're not going to get much advantage with only handful of baselines.
  • You need to combine signals from the telescopes very precisely in order to do interferometry: either in real time, or after the fact using precise phase information about the EM waves measured by each telescope. Precisely measuring the phase information at optical (UV/vis/IR) wavelengths (compared to radio) is very challenging due to the short wavelength. Combine that with the fact that your spacecraft move around (changing your baselines continuously) and it's not obvious to me that we have precise enough positioning/stationkeeping and timekeeping ability to pull this off.
 
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  • #3
LastScattered1090 said:
Lagrange Points are specific to a two-body gravitationally-interacting system. So I guess the question is: which Lagrange points are you referring to? If you are thinking of Earth-Sun Lagrange points, then yeah, maybe you could start to build up through interferometry an aperture approaching the AU scale (not the scale of the entire solar system). There are some glaring problems I can think of:
  • You need to actually fill in the space with dishes/apertures to get good resolution. The more inteferometry baselines (pairwise separations of dishes) you have, the better you will do. But you're not going to get much advantage with only handful of baselines.
  • You need to combine signals from the telescopes very precisely in order to do interferometry: either in real time, or after the fact using precise phase information about the EM waves measured by each telescope. Precisely measuring the phase information at optical (UV/vis/IR) wavelengths (compared to radio) is very challenging due to the short wavelength. Combine that with the fact that your spacecraft move around (changing your baselines continuously) and it's not obvious to me that we have precise enough positioning/stationkeeping and timekeeping ability to pull this off.
The glaring issues can maybe removed by AI to some extent.
 
  • #4
Mukhtar said:
The glaring issues can maybe removed by AI to some extent.
I don't see how. AI is not a more stable clock, nor is it higher speed electronics. AI does not reduce positional drift from micrometeorite impacts, nor does it give you extra sensors. What did you have in mind?
 
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  • #5
Ibix said:
I don't see how. AI is not a more stable clock, nor is it higher speed electronics. AI does not reduce positional drift from micrometeorite impacts, nor does it give you extra sensors. What did you have in mind?
Actually I was trying to mean the prediction of positions of planets and stars with their distance differences taken into account along with the size of stars and planets(if real image cannot be captured of such bodies then can be prepared through AI with all the information)
 
  • #6
Mukhtar said:
Actually I was trying to mean the prediction of positions of planets and stars with their distance differences taken into account along with the size of stars and planets(if real image cannot be captured of such bodies then can be prepared through AI with all the information)

How, specifically, might this facilitate the quality of the observational data received? AI is not a magic bullet.

Astronomy is about getting new data we don't have. If AI gets hold of it and interpolates stuff - and even merely makes assumptions - then it pollutes not only our data, but the underpinnings of that data.

What if, say, Jupiter isn't where AI thinks it is? (I know, just a dumb example, but still...) And therefore all our subsequent calculations are wrong? Now we have to analyze and verify the AI's predictions in addition to our own work.
 
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  • #7
Mukhtar said:
The glaring issues can maybe removed by AI to some extent.
This is way off topic for both this thread and this forum. Your original question has been answered. Thread closed.
 
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Related to Is it possible to build a Telescope the Size of Half the Solar System size using all Lagrange Points?

Is it technologically feasible to build a telescope the size of half the solar system using all Lagrange Points?

Currently, it is not technologically feasible to build a telescope of that scale. The engineering challenges, material requirements, and precision needed to construct and maintain such a structure are far beyond our current capabilities. Advances in materials science, space travel, and robotics would be necessary to even begin to consider such a project.

What are the benefits of using all Lagrange Points for a telescope?

Using all Lagrange Points for a telescope could provide unparalleled resolution and sensitivity, potentially allowing us to observe distant cosmic phenomena in unprecedented detail. The stable gravitational environments at these points would also help in maintaining the relative positions of the telescope components, reducing the need for constant adjustments.

How would communication between the telescope components be managed?

Communication between the telescope components would require a highly sophisticated network of satellites and relays to ensure data integrity and synchronization. The vast distances involved would introduce significant time delays, necessitating advanced algorithms to manage data transfer and processing effectively.

What are the potential scientific discoveries from such a large telescope?

A telescope of this scale could revolutionize our understanding of the universe. Potential discoveries include detailed observations of exoplanets, the ability to detect faint signals from the early universe, and a deeper understanding of dark matter and dark energy. It could also help identify and characterize objects in the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud.

What are the main challenges in maintaining a telescope spread across the solar system?

The main challenges include maintaining the precise alignment of the telescope components, dealing with the harsh space environment, and ensuring reliable communication over vast distances. Additionally, the logistics of repairing and upgrading such a dispersed system would be incredibly complex and resource-intensive.

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