Monday, April 2, 2012

Synthesized Telescope



THIS IS NOT SYNTHETIC RADAR - invariably one will look up information on the web and consult a Wiki, but Wikis and Google certainly do not contain all information, and in many cases and examples are extremely lacking, and such is the case of the Synthesized Telescope originating from 1967, simply because prior to this week I did not put it on the web. Much of the information from its development all throughout the 1970s is not available. I may make this information available at a future date. Such is the case, not only for amateur astronomy developments but for companies with professional products - it's not a practice to post competitive information regarding their products.

Amateur astronomers often develop aperture fever, wanting to achieve larger and larger telescopes for better and better views to see more, farther, deeper. Though my 1st telescope was 1-inch, the others that followed were increasingly larger and larger ... 3, 4.25, 8, 12.5, 40, 52 and now.... I stopped building a 72-inch Float Glass mirror telescope for a larger one. The larger telescope is a Synthesized Telescope made from many components in space and on Earth.

Synthesized telescopes are the result of necessity. They don't need tons of money and eons of time to construct and they avert a strain on the family or household budget. Though they can be extremely complex, Synthesized Telescopes maximize the resources used at a minimal investment in terms of time and revenue yet the returns can high.

Synthesized Telescopes are made through various means. The first Synthesized Telescope was invented in 1967 using a 4.25-inch F-11 primary that was converted into a 42.5 inch telescope. I used analog to give it 10X enhancements. It was used to photograph detail on Jupiter's Moon Ganymede, which at that time, was unheard of. Inspired by the results, this led to a series of increasingly larger Synthesized Telescopes. The aperture has now reached megalithic proportions due to new inventions and the increasing technology pool in space.

Managing the ST is no small task. That's why the Propeller Powered Big Brain Supercomputer is an integral part of the telescope.

Here's some links to recent images achieved with Synthesized Aperture Telescopes and a short discourse regarding the challenges and their results.


The Sun

This was a project to determine the suitability of the equipment functioning as a solar telescope and to see if it could discover new solar flares. Are there smaller solar flares that go unmissed with common satellite telescopes and patrols? As it turns out, yes, there are unnoticed solar flares that deserve attention and higher detailed observation. It was also determined the ULT has great suitability as a solar telescope.

Deep Stellar Abyss

The Deep Stellar Abyss Project was the first time the telescope peered deeply inside the center heart of a globular star cluster to determine what was hidden there. The results were beyond belief - a magma outpouring of rich celestials filled the view, not only stars but vast nebulosity and a colorful array of objects spread throughout the heart of space time.

This was a great challenge that came from our Point the Telescope Contest. A photograph of the great galaxy M31 in Andromeda was provided with a red boxed tiny rectangle. Visual inspection showed nothing much in the hold. The challenge was to image the hole with the ULT Telescope and see if anything was inside. After we saw the results, all we could think of saying was, "My God! It's Full of Stars!"
Inside the Great Red Spot

This thing has been around for ages, even a century, and thought of as a continuing storm. The Great Red Spot is, well, just a spot, something considered small on the planet Jupiter. No one ever though about going deep inside the GRS to look around and see what was in there, exactly. The ULT Telescope obtained an image of the GRS that massively filled the entire field of view with many colored objects! No longer was it a tiny spot or just one storm. And what great treasures were revealed inside was truly spectacular, many ongoing individual storms, hundreds, perhaps thousands like nothing ever seen before!

Coldest Place in the Universe

This was a study to find and look at the light coming out of the colded place in the Universe. We knew if the light becomes cold enough near abolute zero, it will freeze. Frozen light has some of the most unique properties so we wanted to look around and see what effects could be discovered. Again, the results were mind numbing and exceeded our reatest expectations.
An attempt to resolve Saturn rings into rocks

This was a life long endeavor to actually see chunky rocks within the ring systems of Saturn. Imaging had to reveal rocks that were real data, not just pixelated artifacts. With pixels much smaller than the images of the actual rock mines, the image that resulted is truly spectacular, outstripping our greatest hopes for Saturnian ring science.

Synthesized Aperture aperture is produced by a synthesis process, for example, created and put together by systems with an assembly of components in space and on the Earth.
Synthesized Telescope  a telescope created by a synthesis process to typically increase the aperture of an existing telescope through analog, digital, or special means. The creation of a modern Synthetic Telescope has led to a hybrid of components in space and on the Earth.