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Raymond Blais

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Could personal telescopes be connected to create one large continental array?

I have just purchased my first telescope and during my research as to what telescope to buy, I discovered that for about $5000 you could buy a telescope that is as powerful as the big telescopes made just a few years ago that have greatly contributed to our knowledge of the universe. Could these telescopes with the computer and internet connection be coordinated to single point in space at a specific date and time and function like a continental telescope array?

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  • Sep 10 2013: Generally speaking the use of interferometric telescopes such as radio telescopes depends greatly on the ability to accurately measure the distance between the telescopes. The distance must be measured to within a tolerance that is on the order of the wavelength of the EM radiation being observed. Radio telescopes are possible because the tolerence is on the order of meters which is usually not to hard to do. Light waves vary in wavelength from about 400 to 700 nm and are much more difficult as a result. Furhermore, the distance can't vary by more than the wavelength. Siesmic vibrations as well as the normal daily temperature variations make this incredibly difficult for light. Though I have heard some talk that such a telescope might be possible on the dark side of the moon since these variations are much less there.
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      Sep 10 2013: To bad. It would have been a nice way to get people working together for something good.
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      Sep 10 2013: what would the "dark side of the moon" be? the moon rotates like the earth does, thus there is day and night everywhere. there is no dark side.
      • Sep 10 2013: Might have confused that with a Pink Floyd album. I meant the far side. The side that doesn't always have the Earth visible to it will have less light pollution on average even though it is pointed at the Sun half the time.

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