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Kuiper belt

  1. Dec 2, 2003 #1

    wolram

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    i remember a referance to, binary pairs in the kuiper belt,
    i can not remember if a mass for the objects was given
    or orbital distance, my memory may be fading or wrong,
    can someone comfirm or dispute the existence of these
    objects?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2003 #2

    Nereid

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  4. Dec 3, 2003 #3

    wolram

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    thanks NEREID.

    1998WW31 is an interesting duo, its a shame observation
    time is so limited, do you or anyone have an insight
    as to how much it costs for say an hours observation
    time?
     
  5. Dec 3, 2003 #4

    Nereid

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    Expensive!

    It's an interesting question. Not very useful, as observing time isn't up for auction, except in the currency of proposal-quality.

    A crude OOM: (cost of constructing and launching the HST + cost of Hubble repair and servicing Shuttle missions) / (total expected years of operation * duty cycle). That'd be a kinda capex answer; the opex answer would be simply the operating budget of the STScI (OOM, and a lower limit to be sure).
     
  6. Dec 4, 2003 #5

    wolram

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    from what little i have gleened, it seems observation
    time is getting harder and harder to get, is this due
    to funding or compeeting projects or other reason?
     
  7. Dec 4, 2003 #6

    Nereid

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    Pure guess

    I'm not sure that it is getting any harder. However, if it is, we can round up the usual suspects: demand continues to grow faster than supply (e.g. more astronomy - and physics? - PhDs than new observing time; average observing time requested per proposal is rising; available obseratory time actually declining (not likely)); inefficiency (unlikely); ...
     
  8. Dec 4, 2003 #7

    LURCH

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    If you are talking about observation time on the HST, I think the answer may be because the HST's total time is decreasing; it is scheduled for decommissioning soon.
     
  9. Dec 4, 2003 #8

    wolram

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    your replies seem totaly negative if there has been a time
    for observation then this is it, theory is theory but
    observation is truth ,if money or any other obstacle gets
    in the way of observation then it can only be a hinderance
    to our understanding, i just can not understand why the
    most powerful nation on earth can spend billions of $ on
    stealth aircraft and neglect our real futuer.
     
  10. Dec 4, 2003 #9

    Nereid

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    Make your views known!

    I think it's a bit more complicated than that (see the link below). The good news is that there appears to be a genuine desire to a) determine the perceived value of keeping the HST going, b) finding creative ways to satisfy the many desires within the rather tight constraints (need for Shuttle to service Hubble if it's life is to be extended, as just one example), and c) keep everyone informed of the thinking and decision making. Very admirable.

    http://skyandtelescope.com/news/article_1117_1.asp
     
  11. Dec 4, 2003 #10

    Nereid

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    But what to do about it?

    There'll be long queues of PF members lining up to endorse that sentiment!

    One of my favourite counter-examples (like your stealth aircraft example) is $x millions going into a 'just say no' campaign, and an apparently sincere belief that this is actually a cost-effective way to deal with AIDS. What's profoundly depressing is that many of those who support this campaign are well-informed, intelligent, even have the data (and statistical tools, and competence to use them and understand the results) to assess the relative impacts of various possible anti-AIDS campaigns, yet they *still* support 'just say no'!
     
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