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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: Each individual telescope will only be providing data of relatively poor quality by astronomical standards, so while the picture provided would be comprehensive, it would also be of low quality.

    Coordination the data of the telescopes is also very problematic.
    You have to account for information delay, the telescope's position on the earth (which is by no means a perfect sphere), and possibly worst of all, atmospheric distortions (good luck measure those without an army of weather balloons). Throw in the problem you have every day with computers connecting, and it quickly turns into a herculean task, that doesn't really net you much in the way of good data.

    Its a nice concept, but I don't think its practical to apply on any real scale.

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