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Achievements of 20th Century Science. Nature of matter Nature & evolution of the stars Nature of life [Structure of the Universe]. 21st Century Astronomy?. Star formation Planet formation & evolution Extraterrestrial biospheres Galaxy formation & evolution

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Achievements of 20th century science
Achievements of 20th Century Science

  • Nature of matter

  • Nature & evolution of the stars

  • Nature of life

  • [Structure of the Universe]

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21st century astronomy
21st Century Astronomy?

  • Star formation

  • Planet formation & evolution

  • Extraterrestrial biospheres

  • Galaxy formation & evolution

  • “Dark” constituents of the Universe

  • History of the Universe

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What are the critical observational capabilities needed to address these problems
What are the critical observational capabilities needed to address these problems?

  • Recall Mike Skrutskie talk on kinds of capabilities

  •  What made the Hubble Space Telescope the most successful scientific instrument of its generation?

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What are the critical observational capabilities needed to address these problems1
What are the critical observational capabilities needed to address these problems?

  • Recall Mike Skrutskie talk on kinds of capabilities

  • What made the Hubble Space Telescope the most successful scientific instrument of its generation?

  • High spatial resolution

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Key capability spatial resolution
Key Capability: Spatial Resolution address these problems?

  • Ideal telescope, accurate figure, no atmosphere: “diffraction limited”

    • “Airy Disk” diameter is

where D is mirror diameter and lambda

is wavelength.

At 5500 A:

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Airy function
Airy Function address these problems?

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Earth based resolution seriously degraded by atmospheric turbulence
Earth-based resolution seriously degraded by atmospheric turbulence:

Time lapse movie of Betelgeuse in large telescope

 Best Earth-based resolution only 0.5-2”

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Ways to achieve high resolution
Ways to achieve high resolution turbulence:

  • High quality mirrors in space

  • Large ground-based telescopes with good correction for atmospheric wavefront distortion (“Adaptive Optics”)

  • Separated mirrors with in-phase combination of light beams (“Interferometers”)

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  • HST: a 2.4-m space telescope turbulence:

  • Resolution:

  • 0.1” at 5500 A

  • 0.07” at 3500 A

  • Implies 100’s of areal resolution elements per ground-based element

  • “Wide” field: up to 200”

HST crossed a critical, if ill-defined, threshold

for resolution.

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Crab nebula
Crab Nebula turbulence:

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Crab nebula1
Crab Nebula turbulence:

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Cat s eye nebula planetary
Cat turbulence:’s Eye Nebula (Planetary)

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RWO turbulence:








RWO stars


RWO stars


RWO stars


Artificial laser guide star lick observatory
Artificial laser stars“guide star”(Lick Observatory)

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Large binocular telescope general specs
Large Binocular Telescope: starsGeneral Specs

  • Twin 8.4-m primaries, 14.4-m separation

    • 11.8-m equivalent combined aperture

    • 22.8-m max IF baseline

  • Prime focus, Gregorian, Bent-Gregorian, combined beam instrument stations

  • Secondary mirrors provide AO control (672 actuators)

  • Unique: combined beam IF, with 3 reflections

    • Hi-res FOV ~ 25”

  • UVa Allocation: 7 nights + 6.33 equiv on SO

  • http://www.astro.virginia.edu/class/oconnell/LBT

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Lbt science performance regimes
LBT Science Performance Regimes stars

I. Natural Seeing (dual)

FWHM ~ [0.4-0.5”] x (Lam/0.55)-0.2

FOV determined by optics/detectors (4-27’)

II. AO-compensation by active secondaries (dual)

FOV ~ 30”

Available to any non-PF instrument (properly designed)

Mainly NIR (Lam > 1 micron), but improved I,V images(?)

Spec: ~60-70% Strehl @ 2 microns

III. Combined beam, phased array imaging

Ideal EED_70: 0.02” (V) 0.05” (H)

Exclusively (?) NIR (Lam > 1 mic)

FOV ~ 20-30”

Probably best ground-based IR imaging

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[END] stars

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