Extremely. Keep in mind that several factors determine this. One is the size of the antenna array, another is the amplification and filtering system, and another is the processing power available for presenting the data in a useable format. An antenna the size of the Earth would be useless if you couldn't extract information from it, and the most powerful amplifier on the planet wouldn't do much good hooked up to a Bell ExpressVu satellite dish.Gold Barz said:So...I dont know anything about this stuff, is that "powerful"?
The power of a telescope is usually defined as a function of its resolving power. With very clean amplification, accurate data-handling and a long baseline, small radio telescopes can be combined to trump Aricibo. As a single telescope, Aricebo is a monster, but it cannot probe shorter wavelengths with the resolution of a long-baseline collaboration pair.Phobos said:It's a very powerful radio telescope*...which makes it great for SETI's purposes (and many other astronomy purposes)...but like any other telescope it's resolution decreases with distance.
* The most powerful currently available? Someone remind me.
It's unique in doing it all from one location. Multiple receiving dishes spread over a very wide area act like one huge one for radio detection. You just have to keep the data synchronized to give a coherent picture.Gold Barz said:So the arecibo is not really a unique radio telescope with what it could do?
In a way, Aricibo is 'steerable' in that it sweeps the sky at Earth's rotation rate. This thing that you linked to is pretty impressive, I must say, although I only scanned the first page of the site (my time is very limited, but I'll check it out in more depth later).Chronos said:This is, IMO, what you really need to do a bang up job: