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Looking at planets

  1. Aug 3, 2008 #1
    Looking at planets....

    Hi, not sure if this is the right area for such a post but.... I was just thinking if the hubble space telescope can see for millions of light years then why cant it look at stars from other solor systems and search for planets and the look at the planet for life? After all it would be powerfull enough to look at a planet and see a tree?

    I'm very new to all this stuff so if my question is ridiculous dont laugh lol :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2008 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Looking at planets....

    Galaxies=big. Planets=small. Simple as that. The Hubble couldn't even see a tree on the moon. Don't confuse distance with magnification/size.

    For some actual numbers, the Hubble's resolution is 0.085 arc sec. At a distance of 385,000 km, that gives a resolution of .158 km or 158m. That means the smallest object the Hubble could see on the moon would be 158m across.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  4. Aug 3, 2008 #3
    Re: Looking at planets....

    Ohh, well thats my question answerd lol, thanks :D
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