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Flashcards in The astronomy community Deck (11):
1

What revolutionaised our understanding astronomical objects In 1990

For centuries, astronomers used telescopes on Earth to view objects in the solar system and the universe beyond. In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was placed in orbit and it revolutionised our understanding of astronomical objects. International collaboration is now essential in order to further progress space research.

2

Where are the major optical and infrared astronomical observatories on Earth?

Astronomy observatories on Earth

Major optical and infrared astronomical observatories on Earth are mostly located in Chile, Hawaii, Australia and the Canary Islands. These locations are favourable because:

3

Observatories are mostly located in Chile, Hawaii, Australia and the Canary Islands. These locations are favourable because? (4 reasons)

1) they are at high altitudes so there is less atmospheric gas above them for light to pass through
2) they have frequent cloudless nights
3) they have dry air with very little atmospheric pollution which would disturb light from space
4) they are far from street lights and other sources of light pollution

4

The successful operation of an observatory depends on many factors. These include:

1) cost
2) environmental and social impact near to the observatory
3) working conditions for employees
nvironmental and social impact near to the observatory


5

Astronomers can work with telescopes in two different ways - what are they?

Working with telescopes

Astronomers can work with telescopes locally or remotely. Operating a telescope locally means that the astronomer is in the same place as the telescope. Operating it remotely means that the astronomer could be as far away as a different country.

6

Telescopes are usually controlled by computer. This has the following advantages:

1) astronomers can work remotely
2) telescopes can be programmed to track objects so that data can be collected over a long period of time
3) the telescope can be precisely positioned to find a distant object
4) the data can be recorded and processed by computer

7

Space telescopes can obtain images of astronomical objects that cannot be obtained from Earth. They have several advantages. For example:

1) no atmosphere - therefore light from distant stars is not absorbed or refracted
2) they can use parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that are absorbed by the atmosphere

8

Space telescopes have the following disadvantages:

1) they are very expensive to manufacture and place in orbit around Earth
2) telescopes can be programmed to track objects so that data can be collected over a long period of time
3) maintaining and repairing a space telescope is very expensive
4) space programmes can be unpredictable and at risk from funding cuts and changes in government policies

9

The majority of recent developments in astronomical telescopes have been as a result of international co-operation. This has two main advantages:

1) the cost of the venture can be shared
2) expertise can be shared

10

What do you know about the Great Canary Telescope in the Canary Islands ?

For example, the Great Canary Telescope in the Canary Islands was completed in 2009. Ninety per cent of the project was funded by the Spanish government and the remainder was split between Mexico and the University of Florida. These stakeholders share the use of the telescope in these proportions.

11

What do you know about The Gemini Observatory?

The Gemini Observatory consists of two telescopes - one in Chile and one in Hawaii. This allows them to view objects in the skies of the northern and southern hemispheres. The project is jointly funded by the USA, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Australia.