Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Planets Telescope....


It looks like this project to build a 2m polarization-optimized scope on Haleakala has gotten a bit more serious... There's telecon tomorrow involving 5 countries. On Skype of all things. I'm super excited about it though - could do a ton of interesting things. And it's got the right mix of science and engineering. New technology, neat techniques, a "different" approach... Anyways, I spent the day working on this website and I'll doubtless spend many more. It was fun to dive in to. It's rough as hell and is nowhere near coherent, but it's got the gist somewhere in there...

A simulation of a coronograph on large "segmented" and "off-axis" telescopes. The wavefront from a star is crinkled by the atmosphere then bounced off the primary. The coronograph blocks the central star so you can image the faint "planet" nearby. But..... the scattering and diffraction off edges causes the diffuse halo. The off-axis one does much better - less edges and circular symmetry.
An off-axis scope is a "de-centered" system....

I spent several hours during the HiVIS engineering day yesterday going through old pictures. I dug this image up from 2006 of the summit. It was pretty neat to go through my old albums.


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