infrared telescope


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infrared telescope

(flux collector) A reflecting telescope used to detect and study infrared radiation from space; refractors cannot be employed because glass is opaque at these wavelengths. The mirror surface does not, however, need to be made to the same accuracy as one used for optical work because of the longer wavelengths of infrared radiation. Since neither the eye nor the photographic plate is sensitive to long-wavelength infrared radiation, special infrared detectors are required, such as photovoltaic and photoconductive detectors and bolometers. The detectors, and in some cases the telescope optics, must be cooled to liquid-helium or liquid-nitrogen temperatures to reduce thermal emission from the instruments themselves and hence noise. As an alternative to active cooling by cryogenic liquids, space telescopes can be allowed to cool radiatively, i.e. passively, by being shielded from direct sunlight.

Infrared telescopes can detect sources partly or totally obscured at optical wavelengths by interstellar dust, and can identify those that are true infrared sources rather than highly reddened ordinary stars. Because water vapor in the Earth's atmosphere absorbs infrared radiation (see atmospheric windows), the most advanced work is carried out with specially designed telescopes, such as the UK Infrared Telescope, at high-altitude observatories or with airborne or space observatories, such as KAO, IRAS, and ISO. Infrared telescopes can operate day and night.

infrared telescope

[¦in·frə¦red ′tel·ə‚skōp]
(optics)
An instrument that converts an invisible infrared image into a visible image and enlarges this image, consisting of an infrared image converter tube, an objective lens for imaging the scene to be viewed onto the photocathode of the tube, and an ocular for viewing the phosphor screen of the tube.
References in periodicals archive ?
Currently planned large infrared telescopes, the Giant Magellan Telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope, and the European Extremely Large Telescope, would not be large enough.
VISIONS: Star trails as the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope watches the night sky Picture: NIK SZYMANEK
The Space Infrared Telescope Facility, known as SIRTF, is the last of four Nasa spacecraft designed to peer deeper into the universe using an array of tools that measure light of varying wavelengths.
One of the keys to success is cooling the telescope to near absolute zero, or around 460 degrees below zero, so the infrared telescope can peer into distant places in the universe without interference from the heat of a near-Earth environment, said Michael Werner, SIRTF project manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Yeomans said the most efficient way to find them would be a space-based infrared telescope.
Lonsdale led WISE's quasar survey team that picked out the brightest, reddest objects this infrared telescope had mapped.
Philip Lucas of the University of Hertfordshire in England and his colleagues discovered the dim body, dubbed UGPSJ0722-05, in a sky survey con ducted with the United Kingdom InfraRed Telescope atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea.
The apparent damage seen via infrared telescope in Hawaii come on the 15th anniversary of another strike.
The scientists studied both chunks using NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility and the Keck II telescope, both on Hawaii's Mauna Kea.
SIR - I was pleased to see the picture of the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in the Western Mail.
First will come the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, tentatively scheduled for launch in 2001.
The team obtained new data from NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility and the Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea that matched up that activity with infrared observations.

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