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New I think Ross is underestimating the cost of space-based
What with launches and maintenance.

If the Keck breaks down, it can be fixed immediately. Not so the Hubble or any other similar space telescope. The optics can also be built in the same gravity well that they are used in; constructing optics on Earth that deform in micro-gravity exactly how they need to is not a trivial problem at all.

While wide spectrum is good, a lot of astronomical observation is done in single wavelengths anyway. Once the AO technology is perfected, they should be able to do a cross-spectrum sampling quickly when needed.

As far as turbulence goes... the proof of the technique will be that it works. Which the photos of Uranus seem to indicate. Waving your hands around saying "it's hard!" doesn't mean squat when the pictures still come out.

But as you said, it's good enough.
Regards,

-scott anderson

"Welcome to Rivendell, Mr. Anderson..."
New Yes, but is it using good film?
===

Purveyor of Doc Hope's [link|http://DocHope.com|fresh-baked dog biscuits and pet treats].
[link|http://DocHope.com|http://DocHope.com]
New No.
They are using the 40MP/cm^2 CCD.

:)
--
[link|mailto:greg@gregfolkert.net|greg],
[link|http://www.iwethey.org/ed_curry|REMEMBER ED CURRY!] @ iwethey
No matter how much Microsoft supporters whine about how Linux and other operating systems have just as many bugs as their operating systems do, the bottom line is that the serious, gut-wrenching problems happen on Windows, not on Linux, not on Mac OS. -- [link|http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1622086,00.asp|source]
Here is an example: [link|http://www.greymagic.com/security/advisories/gm001-ie/|Executing arbitrary commands without Active Scripting or ActiveX when using Windows]
New This is the whole thing I believe is blowing
the Holes in his rant about the whole AO thing.
--
[link|mailto:greg@gregfolkert.net|greg],
[link|http://www.iwethey.org/ed_curry|REMEMBER ED CURRY!] @ iwethey
No matter how much Microsoft supporters whine about how Linux and other operating systems have just as many bugs as their operating systems do, the bottom line is that the serious, gut-wrenching problems happen on Windows, not on Linux, not on Mac OS. -- [link|http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1622086,00.asp|source]
Here is an example: [link|http://www.greymagic.com/security/advisories/gm001-ie/|Executing arbitrary commands without Active Scripting or ActiveX when using Windows]
New I don't think that Ross is estimating the cost at all
Let's get actual figures.

According to [link|http://www.noao.edu/system/tsip/keck_cost.html|http://www.noao.edu/...ip/keck_cost.html], the cost of Keck is $25 million per year counting the telescope depreciating over 20 years, and operational costs. So we're talking $500 million. In the last 2 years they averaged 544 observing nights per year (they have 2 telescopes). For a night of observing that comes out to $47,400/night. If you get 10 hours per night, that is 4,740/hour.

According to [link|http://hubble.nasa.gov/faq.html|http://hubble.nasa.gov/faq.html], Hubble cost $1.5 billion to launch, and $230-250 million/year. It launched in 1990, and will continue until later this decade. So its total cost is about $6 billion or so. That is spread out over about 20 years, so that is $300 million/year, or $34,209/hour.

So anything that the Hubble can do which can be done by the Keck should be done by the Keck instead.

However if the price of space flight can be brought down significantly (and I think that it probably can), then at some point space-based observatories will replace adaptive optics. Of course that point is not now, nor is it in the near future.

And in the meantime there are things that can only be done from space. Two of those things are deep-sky surveys of background radiation, and scans of random locations for very, very distant objects. I mention this because those surveys are of critical importance to cosmology, which ties in to fundamental physics, which is (of course) Danny's interest.

So while adaptive optics can do some things, it is of no use for the things that affect Danny. Worse yet, it replaces some of what space-based observatories are good for, which lessens the chance of getting better space-based observatories up there. So this technology worsens the future of astronomy from his point of view. Which I suspect is a reason that he is so strongly opposed to the technology.

Cheers,
Ben
I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
New It's a good reason.

Imric's Tips for Living
  • Paranoia Is a Survival Trait
  • Pessimists are never disappointed - but sometimes, if they are very lucky, they can be pleasantly surprised...
  • Even though everyone is out to get you, it doesn't matter unless you let them win.


Nothing is as simple as it seems in the beginning,
As hopeless as it seems in the middle,
Or as finished as it seems in the end.
 
 
New Yes, a good reason...
But the cost of space observatories, is saturating these budgets already. How can even he justify space based for only those two jobs known to really be effective in space... where as the bah-millions of other jobs that need to be done can be by earth-based.

Come on, what would *YOU* do skip?

Given your job is to bomb then hell out of the <insert target>

Make a down payment on a $1B Stealth Bomber only capable of dropping a few tons and make payments for $LOAN_LENGTH (longtime there bucko)

Buy a B-52 for a percentile fraction of that and run 10,000 sorties by the time you would have paid off the B2.
--
[link|mailto:greg@gregfolkert.net|greg],
[link|http://www.iwethey.org/ed_curry|REMEMBER ED CURRY!] @ iwethey
No matter how much Microsoft supporters whine about how Linux and other operating systems have just as many bugs as their operating systems do, the bottom line is that the serious, gut-wrenching problems happen on Windows, not on Linux, not on Mac OS. -- [link|http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1622086,00.asp|source]
Here is an example: [link|http://www.greymagic.com/security/advisories/gm001-ie/|Executing arbitrary commands without Active Scripting or ActiveX when using Windows]
New But it isn't only those two jobs that Hubble is good for
There are a lot of jobs that Hubble is good for. The two that he cares about happen to be among them.

To pick another of more interest to you, if we want to some day carry out a comprehensive survey for major asteriods and comets of size over 1 km across that might be on an intersection path with us, then guess what, Hubble or relatives are the only way to do it. (If we know about something of this size a few decades ahead of time, we can probably do something about it.)

In other words adaptive optics is useless for the only astronomical survey that is likely to have defence implications for us.

Furthermore many people believe that it is possible to dramatically lower the cost of operating in space. In which case the economics against space-based telescopes would go away. And the same survey which was estimated as being a security issue becomes the groundwork to identify what space-based objects we might want to try to mine!

Cheers,
Ben
I have come to believe that idealism without discipline is a quick road to disaster, while discipline without idealism is pointless. -- Aaron Ward (my brother)
New Adaptive optics is what he was
talking about. And can adaptive optics do bah-millions of other jobs? I'm with him - space-based platforms are a better long-term investment.

Hell, it's a better investment even if it only gets us more practice in operating in space... WE HAVE TO GET OFF THIS ROCK.

Oh. Right. Space-based weapons will fill this role. No need for peaceful platforms in space. That would be a waste of money.


Imric's Tips for Living
  • Paranoia Is a Survival Trait
  • Pessimists are never disappointed - but sometimes, if they are very lucky, they can be pleasantly surprised...
  • Even though everyone is out to get you, it doesn't matter unless you let them win.


Nothing is as simple as it seems in the beginning,
As hopeless as it seems in the middle,
Or as finished as it seems in the end.
 
 
     You can't tell me this title wasn't intentional: - (admin) - (21)
         This title wasn't intentional. - (drewk) - (1)
             Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. -NT - (Another Scott)
         Kind of blows holes in Ranting Ross did... - (folkert) - (17)
             Actually, what he said was: - (admin) - (13)
                 Munch is so appropriate for that post. :-) -NT - (Another Scott)
                 Wow, 100K posts ago... Dam. - (folkert) - (11)
                     Not completely - (ben_tilly) - (10)
                         You mean the "artificially colored shots of nebulae" -NT - (drewk)
                         I think Ross is underestimating the cost of space-based - (admin) - (8)
                             Yes, but is it using good film? -NT - (drewk) - (1)
                                 No. - (folkert)
                             This is the whole thing I believe is blowing - (folkert)
                             I don't think that Ross is estimating the cost at all - (ben_tilly) - (4)
                                 It's a good reason. -NT - (imric) - (3)
                                     Yes, a good reason... - (folkert) - (2)
                                         But it isn't only those two jobs that Hubble is good for - (ben_tilly)
                                         Adaptive optics is what he was - (imric)
             Waste of money - (deSitter) - (2)
                 Take some time off, but please come back. - (Another Scott)
                 l8r. -NT - (folkert)
         To reiterate - (deSitter)

7.8 on the Richter scale.
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