On one had, it makes the air so thin and bereft of humidity that it is the ideal location for terrestrial telescopes
, allowing us, Guzman remarks, to "read the vast open book of memory, page by page."
Even the professional scientist-critics commended the book, which offers both a contemporary tour of black holes for the nonscientist and an interesting chronicle of Scharf's personal research, from using data from the largest terrestrial telescopes
to collaborating with other astrophysicists to admitting what we still don't know (a lot).
Showing "before and after" photos as proof, he described how specialized laser beams integrated with waveform sensors, high-speed processors, and deformable mirrors could compensate for the atmospheric turbulence that had heretofore blurred the vision of the world's most powerful terrestrial telescopes
. Since that revelation, all new large telescopes have incorporated this adaptive-optics technology, and many older ones have been retrofitted.
It was hoped that the impact of the 350-ton rocket into a permanently shadowed polar crater would release a water-rich plume of ejecta visible to terrestrial telescopes
. A small probe, equipped with cameras and spectrometers to identify gases in the plume, followed like a lemming, smashing onto the crater's floor (see page 28).
and Hubble allow us to see some 13 billion years back in time.
Existing ground data is of poor quality or is non-existant because atmospheric water vapor absorbs most radiation before it reaches terrestrial telescopes
The explosion took place in a galaxy some 5 billion light-years from Earth, meaning that light from the supernova took 5 billion years to reach terrestrial telescopes
. The most distant supernova previously detected was located about 4 billion light-years from Earth.
cannot resolve the light echoes of distant supernovas, says Schaefer, but two fairly close novas have exhibited the effect, Nova Persei 1901 and Nova Sagittarii 1936.
This is the same kind of erecting system used in terrestrial telescopes
and rifle scopes.
Stars do not appear as disks in the images made by terrestrial telescopes
, so astronomers cannot directly determine their sizes.