If the Hubble were turned earthward

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Michael Varney, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. <> wrote in message
    news:4070BD84.29451.B884CA@localhost...
    > Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like paramecium or
    > subatomic particles?



    www.google.com "Hubble Telescope"

    Look up diffraction limited optics. Subatomic particles ~ 1E-14 meters,
    what is the wavelength of visible light?
    What is the resolving power of the HST?
    What is its magnification?
    Note that the detector elements of the HST do not like bright lights.
    Could the HST see an ant?
    Read a book.
    www.google.com "how to use google"
    Michael Varney, Apr 5, 2004
    #1
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  2. wrote:
    > Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like paramecium
    > or subatomic particles?


    No, it can't focus that close. ;-)

    The second problem is the same as why we can't photograph them on earth,
    they are too small for the wavelength of light.

    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    Joseph Meehan, Apr 5, 2004
    #2
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  3. Michael Varney

    nospam Guest

    "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    news:nM9cc.117559$...
    > wrote:
    > > Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like paramecium
    > > or subatomic particles?

    >
    > No, it can't focus that close. ;-)
    >
    > The second problem is the same as why we can't photograph them on

    earth,
    > they are too small for the wavelength of light.
    >

    Would it be possible to build an orbiting telescope using todays technology
    that could read small news print?
    nospam, Apr 5, 2004
    #3
  4. "nospam" <> wrote in message
    news:0_9cc.48183$...
    >
    > "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    > news:nM9cc.117559$...
    > > wrote:
    > > > Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like paramecium
    > > > or subatomic particles?

    > >
    > > No, it can't focus that close. ;-)
    > >
    > > The second problem is the same as why we can't photograph them on

    > earth,
    > > they are too small for the wavelength of light.
    > >

    > Would it be possible to build an orbiting telescope using todays

    technology
    > that could read small news print?
    >

    -----------

    Maybe not small news print but certainly some optical spy sats currently
    deployed can see things in the 1 -2 centimetre size range from 250 miles
    overhead.

    Journalist
    Journalist-North, Apr 5, 2004
    #4
  5. nospam wrote:
    > "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    > news:nM9cc.117559$...
    >
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like paramecium
    >>>or subatomic particles?

    >>
    >> No, it can't focus that close. ;-)
    >>
    >> The second problem is the same as why we can't photograph them on

    >
    > earth,
    >
    >>they are too small for the wavelength of light.
    >>

    >
    > Would it be possible to build an orbiting telescope using todays technology
    > that could read small news print?


    As already mentioned, the problem lies in the earths
    athmospheres turbulences.

    Rene
    --
    Ing.Buero R.Tschaggelar - http://www.ibrtses.com
    & commercial newsgroups - http://www.talkto.net
    Rene Tschaggelar, Apr 5, 2004
    #5
  6. Michael Varney

    J. B. Dalton Guest

    Rene Tschaggelar <> wrote in
    news:4071437a$0$722$:


    >>>

    >>
    >> Would it be possible to build an orbiting telescope using todays
    >> technology that could read small news print?

    >
    > As already mentioned, the problem lies in the earths
    > athmospheres turbulences.
    >
    > Rene


    Not really. The effect is not as serious when looking down, unlike looking
    up at stars. It is called the "vellum effect." Diffraction still is the
    main limit.

    JB
    J. B. Dalton, Apr 5, 2004
    #6
  7. Michael Varney

    Jerry Guest

    Simply put, no.

    Many figure that Hubble's specialty is to "make things look bigger". But
    this is not the case, it is actually Hubble's light collecting power that
    makes it so useful. This is actually the case with most telescopes. The
    aperture size (2.4 meters) is the most important factor. A larger aperture
    translates to images that are brighter and more detailed. The hubble gathers
    about 180,000 times the light of the human eye.

    Most objects in the night sky cannot be seen because they are too dim to be
    seen, not necessarily because they are too small. The human eye cannot stare
    at the same object and cumulatively collect light from it like Hubble can
    with its long exposures and large aperture. Also Hubble has the huge
    advantage of not having to look through the Earth's atmosphere.

    Its effective focal length is about 57,000mm and has a "precision
    Magnification" of about 350x.


    <> wrote in message
    news:4070BD84.29451.B884CA@localhost...
    > Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like paramecium or
    > subatomic particles?
    >
    Jerry, Apr 5, 2004
    #7
  8. nospam wrote:
    > "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    > news:nM9cc.117559$...
    >> wrote:
    >>> Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like
    >>> paramecium or subatomic particles?

    >>
    >> No, it can't focus that close. ;-)
    >>
    >> The second problem is the same as why we can't photograph them
    >> on earth, they are too small for the wavelength of light.
    >>

    > Would it be possible to build an orbiting telescope using todays
    > technology that could read small news print?


    Right now they can read licience plates and that is the technology the
    military will talk about.

    I doubt if you are going to get reliable reading of that size print
    using conventional optical tools. However there are often more than one way
    around such a problem. I would not say it is impossible. I would not even
    say it is not being done.

    What would be even more difficult, would be the use of such a tool.


    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    Joseph Meehan, Apr 5, 2004
    #8
  9. Michael Varney

    Sam Wormley Guest

    wrote:
    >
    > Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like paramecium or
    > subatomic particles?



    It might be instructive for you to estimate the angular resolution

    wavelength
    theta (in arc sec) = 250000 ------------
    aperture

    Then use trig to estimate smallest diameter you could resolve at
    a given distance ignoring atmospheric turbulence.
    Sam Wormley, Apr 5, 2004
    #9
  10. Michael Varney

    Don Stauffer Guest

    There are many things that limit the resolution of an image. Some are
    even outside the camera. The atmosphere is one of these things. For a
    telescope or camera in space trying to image an object at the earth's
    surface, the average resolution limit is in neighborhood of 6-12 inches.
    If object is high on a mountain in a dry area, res would be a bit
    higher, though not by much. If object is near sea level in humid air,
    res would be less.

    wrote:
    >
    > Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like paramecium or
    > subatomic particles?


    --
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota

    webpage- http://www.usfamily.net/web/stauffer
    Don Stauffer, Apr 5, 2004
    #10
  11. In <> Jerry wrote:
    > Simply put, no.
    >
    > Many figure that Hubble's specialty is to "make things look bigger".
    > But this is not the case, it is actually Hubble's light collecting
    > power that makes it so useful. This is actually the case with most
    > telescopes. The aperture size (2.4 meters) is the most important
    > factor. A larger aperture translates to images that are brighter and
    > more detailed. The hubble gathers about 180,000 times the light of the
    > human eye.


    Human eye pupil diameter = about 5 mm, so I get about 230,000 the area.
    Let's call it an even 200k, and thanks for the "rule of thumb"!
    --
    Andrew Resnick, Ph. D.
    National Center for Microgravity Research
    NASA Glenn Research Center
    Andrew Resnick, Apr 5, 2004
    #11
  12. In <sSbcc.6600$> Joseph Meehan wrote:

    > Right now they can read licience plates and that is the technology
    > the military will talk about.


    That's a myth. First, the resolving power is not that good, and second,
    license plates are tilted at the wrong angle for viewing from above.
    The primary advances have been data downlink- diffraction limited optics
    are hardly classified technology.

    --
    Andrew Resnick, Ph. D.
    National Center for Microgravity Research
    NASA Glenn Research Center
    Andrew Resnick, Apr 5, 2004
    #12
  13. Michael Varney

    Paul Cassel Guest

    wrote:
    > Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like paramecium
    > or subatomic particles?


    No, but it would be able to see through girls' clothes.
    Paul Cassel, Apr 5, 2004
    #13
  14. Michael Varney

    Guest

    In article <>, Don Stauffer <> writes:
    >There are many things that limit the resolution of an image. Some are
    >even outside the camera. The atmosphere is one of these things. For a
    >telescope or camera in space trying to image an object at the earth's
    >surface, the average resolution limit is in neighborhood of 6-12 inches.
    >If object is high on a mountain in a dry area, res would be a bit
    >higher, though not by much. If object is near sea level in humid air,
    >res would be less.


    Before one gets into any secondary details, one has to remember
    diffraction limits.

    Mati Meron | "When you argue with a fool,
    | chances are he is doing just the same"
    , Apr 5, 2004
    #14
  15. Andrew Resnick wrote:
    > In <sSbcc.6600$> Joseph Meehan wrote:
    >
    >> Right now they can read licience plates and that is the
    >> technology the military will talk about.

    >
    > That's a myth. First, the resolving power is not that good, and
    > second, license plates are tilted at the wrong angle for viewing from
    > above. The primary advances have been data downlink- diffraction
    > limited optics are hardly classified technology.


    I would think NASA would be more on top of things that you appear to be.

    No I have not seen anything that would ID a license plate, however I
    have seen images that can ID the make model and color of a car. This is
    level is not currently restricted, but access is expensive. I had access
    due to my job. The product was presented as a level once restricted and
    that there were higher resolution images available, but access was
    restricted.

    I can't recall where I heard the license plate story, but I sure could
    see the license plate on those cars photographed at the right angle.


    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    Joseph Meehan, Apr 5, 2004
    #15
  16. Paul Cassel wrote:
    > wrote:
    >> Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like paramecium
    >> or subatomic particles?

    >
    > No, but it would be able to see through girls' clothes.


    Heck it would see through the girl too. ;-)

    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    Joseph Meehan, Apr 5, 2004
    #16
  17. Michael Varney

    Al Dykes Guest

    In article <sSbcc.6600$>,
    Joseph Meehan <> wrote:
    >nospam wrote:
    >> "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    >> news:nM9cc.117559$...
    >>> wrote:
    >>>> Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like
    >>>> paramecium or subatomic particles?
    >>>
    >>> No, it can't focus that close. ;-)
    >>>
    >>> The second problem is the same as why we can't photograph them
    >>> on earth, they are too small for the wavelength of light.
    >>>

    >> Would it be possible to build an orbiting telescope using todays
    >> technology that could read small news print?

    >
    > Right now they can read licience plates and that is the technology the
    >military will talk about.
    >


    I've always wondered how you read a license plate from overhead. :)

    Not that's a bad example, if you mean you put the plate flat on the
    ground.

    --
    Al Dykes
    -----------
    adykes at p a n i x . c o m
    Al Dykes, Apr 5, 2004
    #17
  18. Michael Varney

    Alan Browne Guest

    Andrew Resnick wrote:

    > In <sSbcc.6600$> Joseph Meehan wrote:
    >
    >
    >> Right now they can read licience plates and that is the technology
    >>the military will talk about.

    >
    >
    > That's a myth. First, the resolving power is not that good, and second,
    > license plates are tilted at the wrong angle for viewing from above.
    > The primary advances have been data downlink- diffraction limited optics
    > are hardly classified technology.
    >



    Not to mention pesky details like atmospheric distortion...
    Alan Browne, Apr 5, 2004
    #18
  19. "nospam" <> wrote in message
    news:0_9cc.48183$...
    >
    > "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    > news:nM9cc.117559$...
    > > wrote:
    > > > Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like paramecium
    > > > or subatomic particles?

    > >
    > > No, it can't focus that close. ;-)
    > >
    > > The second problem is the same as why we can't photograph them on

    > earth,
    > > they are too small for the wavelength of light.
    > >

    > Would it be possible to build an orbiting telescope using todays

    technology
    > that could read small news print?
    >
    >


    Maybe. How much money do you have? It could take about 500 billion dollars
    but it could be done. The basic limitation is diffraction. To read
    newsprint you need a resolution at 500 nm of 1 mm object at a distance of
    say 100 km, or a mirror about 60 metres across. This is at least feasible
    though obviously not cheap. I suppose this could be considered tomorrow's
    technology, though the principle is understood today.

    The basic Hubble design was essentially the same as the spy satellites
    launched for the USAF and intelligence agencies during the 1970s and 1980s.
    The only difference was in the fact that it needed fancy stabilization of
    pointing to locate and track features on Earth in real time. Something like
    the Palomar 200 inch mirror in space could be used to read front page
    headlines. The Hubble is about half that.

    There would be atmospheric turbulence issues to contend with, but there are
    some technical tricks that were known then, including use of a laser guide
    star.

    For a few billion dollars a pop, you could read headlines.

    It would be cheaper to order a copy of the newspaper from your local
    newsagent. This would also work even if it were cloudy.

    --
    Mike Dworetsky

    (Remove "pants" spamblock to send e-mail)
    Mike Dworetsky, Apr 5, 2004
    #19
  20. Michael Varney

    MaDDog Guest

    On Mon, 05 Apr 2004 11:59:20 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"
    <> wrote:

    >nospam wrote:
    >> "Joseph Meehan" <> wrote in message
    >> news:nM9cc.117559$...
    >>> wrote:
    >>>> Would it be able to photograph extremely tiny objects like
    >>>> paramecium or subatomic particles?
    >>>
    >>> No, it can't focus that close. ;-)
    >>>
    >>> The second problem is the same as why we can't photograph them
    >>> on earth, they are too small for the wavelength of light.
    >>>

    >> Would it be possible to build an orbiting telescope using todays
    >> technology that could read small news print?

    >
    > Right now they can read licience plates and that is the technology the
    >military will talk about.


    How the hell can they read license plates? Do you have to stand the
    car end on end?
    MaDDog, Apr 5, 2004
    #20
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