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Pros/Cons of space vs ground-based observing - Research Paper Example

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This research is being carried out to evaluate and present advantages and disadvantages of space versus ground-based observing. The researcher of this essay aims to pay special attention to advantages of infrared astronomy over other colors…
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Pros/Cons of space vs ground-based observing
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Download file to see previous pages This research will begin with the statement that one of the advantages of the use of space telescopes is that it does not have to undergo the atmospheric distortion that ground-based ones have to endure. This ensures that there are sharper images of the astronomical features that are being observed. Another advantage of space-based telescopes is that it does not have to deal with the light that is often scattered by the atmosphere during observation. The effect of the latter often causes ground-based telescopes to display the twinkling of the stars. Because they are above the atmosphere, space based telescopes have the ability not only to show images clearly, but is also able to see light at different wavelengths. The latter is something that ground based telescopes are rarely able to do, if they can at all. On the ground level, frequencies can be observed within the radio and optical ranges, however, aside from that; they have a tendency of not working well because of the interference from the atmosphere. This is because of the fact that the atmosphere is more likely than not to hurt the signal from ground-based telescopes. Space telescopes do not suffer from this problem and because of this advantage; these telescopes are often able to observe large areas of the electromagnetic spectrum such as ultraviolet and gamma rays. While space telescopes have an obvious advantage over ground based ones, the latter have the advantage of design. Space based telescopes have the disadvantage of needing large mirrors to ensure that they have the correct image resolution, due to the large amount of light that it is able to gather. Space telescopes need large mirrors and this creates the problem of putting telescopes with large mirrors in space ("Space Telescopes: Second Sight" 81). This is a situation that ground-based telescopes do not have to encounter, and this is because they do not have to use large mirrors for observation. Even if those telescopes require large mirrors, it is much easier for those who develop them to set up the mirrors, no matter the size. Ground telescopes are not constrained by design issues, and they can be built in any design that ensures the best image resolution possible. Ground based telescopes, because of the flexibility in designing them, can be designed into improved means of observing as better telescopes are being made. Ground based telescopes have the advantage over their counterparts in space of being built in bigger proportions. This not only makes their image resolution much better, but it also ensures that there are no constraints that are often developed in sending large telescopes to space. Despite the problems with the atmosphere, especially the weather, ground based telescopes have the advantage of being more powerful than space based ones because their design is not as limited as the space based ones. With better designs being made, it is only a matter of time before the problems with weather and atmosphere are overcome and the need for space-based telescopes is reduced. Advantages of Infrared Astronomy over other colors Infrared light was a major discovery that was made by the British astronomer, William Herschel and it is the starlight that was produced and emitted and has been absorbed and reemitted as infrared light. This light is transmitted through different wavelengths and these reveal different natural phenomena, and these carry with them some evidence of the entire history of the universe. Among the major advantage of making observations through infrared light is that particles of dust are transparent to it and this ensures that a clear image of what is being observed is made. Therefore, while a regular telescope would not be used to view a star that has been enshrouded by dust, one with the infrared is not only able to view it, but it also ensures that the image is clear. In addition, those cold objects in space that cannot be viewed by regular telescopes can be detected via infrared light and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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