In September 2016, China unveiled the world’s largest telescope – an instrument engineered so finely it is 3 times more sensitive than Arecibo and may help in the international search for understanding more on the origin of the universe and the Big Bang. Sadly, since filming this video, FAST’s chief engineer and scientist, Professor Nan Rendong lost his fight with cancer. Not only was Professor Nan a talented and well-respected scientist who dedicated over 20 years to the FAST project, but we found him to be a kind, intelligent and dedicated man who took the time to explain his work and the importance of it to us. The Five-Hundred-Metre Aperture Spherical Telescope, known as FAST had been constructed over five years in a remote area of Guizhou province, south central China. It was built in a 45 million year old crater, unlikely to be affected by flooding and far from human interference. The 500m dish surpasses Arecibo radio telescope, built in Puerto Rico in 1963, as the world’s largest and is three times more sensitive in detecting radio waves thousands of light years away. FAST consists of 4450 individual panels and Chinese project engineers had to design a cable net of ten thousand cables to manipulate it to detect signals. FAST’s focus cabin is also unique thanks to a directional tracking system. A key mission for the telescope will be detecting pulsars, the matter that remains when a star eight times the size of the sun explodes. These pulsars rotate thousands of times per second and are the universe’s most accurate clock. Experience the construction and meet the creators of FAST: The World’s Largest Telescope.
Category Archives: Telescopes
Our universe is strange, wonderful and vast, says astronomer Natasha Hurley-Walker. A spaceship can’t carry you into its depths (yet) — but a radio telescope can. In this mesmerizing talk, Hurley-Walker shows how she probes the mysteries of the universe using special technology that reveals light spectrums we can’t see.
After launching earlier in their Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 47-48 Soyuz Commander Alexey Ovchinin and Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos and Jeff Williams of NASA arrived at the International Space Station on Mar. 19. The new crewmembers will join station Commander Tim Kopra of NASA and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos and Tim Peake of the European Space Agency, already onboard the station.
Europe to the Stars : The European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) first 50 years of exploring the southern sky.
The flight structure of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope was standing tall in the cleanroom at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
When and how did the universe begin? A global group of astronomers wants to answer that question by peering as far back in time as a large new telescope will let us see. Wendy Freedman headed the creation of the Giant Magellan Telescope, under construction in South America; at TEDGlobal in Rio, she shares a bold vision of the discoveries about our universe that the GMT could make possible.
Beyond the Solar System, all astronomers have to work with is the light that falls to the Earth from distant cosmic objects. Newer, larger telescopes are always needed to boost scientific progress, and the next generation of facilities – whether the 42m diameter optical-infrared Extremely Large Telescope, or the Square Kilometre Array of radio dishes – will represent a huge advance. We shall look at the science driving the need for such large telescopes, through history and to the present-day and beyond. Many scientific and engineering challenges are involved in the design and construction of the largest telescopes and their mirrors, and technological developments will be essential to their success.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland participated in a news conference Feb. 3 at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to discuss the status of the agency’s flagship science project, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Bolden and Mikulski congratulated the JWST team for the integration at Goddard of all the telescope’s flight instruments and primary mirrors.
The most powerful space telescope ever built, Webb will be the premiere observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our universe, including the first luminous glows after the big bang, the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets similar to Earth, and the evolution of our own solar system.
Hubble goes to the eXtreme to assemble farthest ever view of the Universe. Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) pushes back the frontiers of time and space.This video explains how astronomers meticulously assembled mankind’s deepest view of the universe from combining Hubble Space Telescope exposures taken over the past decade. Guest scientists are Dr. Garth Illingworth and Dr. Marc Postman.
The Webb Space Telescope is NASA’s next great orbiting observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope’s successor. This video, narrated by “Deep Astronomy” host Tony Darnell, draws the line between the two telescopes, explaining how Webb will build upon and continue Hubble’s work exploring the universe.
The Hubble Space Telescope has returned to one of its most famous landmarks: the Eagle Nebula, also known as the Pillars of Creation. The revolutionary space telescope has delivered a new visible-light image as well as a revealing infrared image. These two images show the Eagle Nebula in more detail than ever before.
The largest NASA Hubble Space Telescope image ever assembled, this sweeping view of a portion of M31 (Andromeda galaxy) is the sharpest large composite image ever taken of our galactic neighbour. Though the galaxy is over 2 million light-years away, the Hubble telescope is powerful enough to resolve individual stars in a 61,000-light-year-long section of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disk. It’s like photographing a beach and resolving individual grains of sand. And, there are lots of stars in this sweeping view — over 100 million, with some of them in thousands of star clusters seen embedded in the disk. This ambitious photographic cartography of the Andromeda galaxy represents a new benchmark for precision studies of large spiral galaxies which dominate the universe’s population of over 100 billion galaxies. Never before have astronomers been able to see individual stars over a major portion of an external spiral galaxy. Most of the stars in the universe live inside such majestic star cities, and this is the first data that reveal populations of stars in context to their home galaxy. The panorama is the product of the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) program. Images were obtained from viewing the galaxy in near-ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared wavelengths, using the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3 aboard Hubble. This view shows the galaxy in its natural visible-light color, as photographed with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys in red and blue filters July 2010 through October 2013.
The story of the Hubble Telescope by ESA.
Stripping away the Milky Way’s stars, planets, rocks and dust reveals a massive black hole lurking just 26,000 light years from Earth.
New telescopes come with a couple different types of inexpensive finders – magnifying and non-magnifying ones. In this video, David Fuller of “Eyes on the Sky” takes the viewer through the various types of basic finders, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of each so the viewer can make a better educated decision when purchasing a new telescope. Also covered is how to align a finderscope with the main telescope, with a visual demonstration of how it might look for the viewer.
Barlow lenses are an inexpensive – and often effective – way to increase the magnification and eyepiece collection of amateur astronomers. In this video, David Fuller of “Eyes on the Sky” takes the viewer through the various types, caveats and benefits with using them, as well as what to look for when shopping for one.
This video about the basics of telescopes discusses field of view, in particular, the difference between apparent field of view (AFOV) and telescopic field of view (TFOV). With an explanation of the math used to calculate these plus various examples of the calculations and visuals, the viewer can finish this video with a more complete understanding of this concept that is often confusing to beginning amateur astronomers who are new to telescopes.
Hosted by David Fuller of “Eyes on the Sky,” this video goes over the various sizes and types of basic eyepieces for many amateur telescopes. The three most common eyepiece barrel diameters are discussed, as well as the types of lens configurations which determine how well the eyepiece forms an image for the user – including the concept of eye relief which can matter a lot to those who wear eyeglasses. Discussed are Huygens, Ramsden, Kellner, RKE, Modified Achromat, Plossl and some advanced designs, plus some information about anti-reflection coatings. An excellent primer for anyone wanting to understand more about telescope eyepieces.
Hosted by David Fuller of “Eyes on the Sky,” this video discusses the basics of telescope magnification and focal ratio. Each concept is covered, guiding the viewer through how to calculate magnification of a telescope and eyepiece combination, and how to determine the focal ratio of a given telescope. An excellent primer for anyone wanting to understand more about telescopes.
In this video Robert gives you our top five tips to coax the best possible views of planets regardless of the cost or quality of your telescope.
It doesn’t matter if your telescope costs tens, or thousands : it always makes sense to try to get the best views you possibly can when observing planets. And sometimes improving the view involves no more than selecting the best site available to you to set up the telescope or using the telescope within its ideal power range — this video will give you the information you need to consistently get the best views of planets with your telescope.
Presented by Robert J Dalby FRAS
Produced by A.R.B Media Productions for Astronomy and Nature TV
Robert J Dalby FRAS of The Astronomy and Nature Centre explains how to observe planets.
Getting consistently good views of planets and other targets in the night sky can seem a bit hit and miss to the new telescope user. In this video look at a couple of the most basic variables that can affect the resolution and detail seen in planetary observation. Learn how and when to address the target to optimise image quality with any telescope.