Re: Idea: university Hubble

From: Eirikur Hallgrimsson (
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 17:17:39 PDT

I think a space telescope could be seriously cost-reduced. The mirror, after
all, could be a foil or membrane of some kind, probably in an array rather
than as single big piece. This lends itself to focusing at different
frequencies, which I've not heard about anyone doing except by playing with
where the focus falls. It could be a very light, very rigid carbon-rod
structure that unfolds. Perhaps a pretty low payload to get it into a good

I'm reading "The Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos" at the moment, a historical
view of cosmology from a fellow who has known the players. Three basic
camps, guys with telescopes, guys with particle accelerators, and guys who
stare into space indoors. I shouldn't say guys. Here in the Boston area,
we've had female astro people for over a century. This book actually
mentions a living person who had to meet with a colleague in the lobby of his
academic office building because women were not allowed in the building!

The book has been useful to me for understanding how the various theories
evolved. Less useful has been a lot of personal and political descriptive
stuff. It would be more useful if it supplied a few basic diagrams, and
showed the equations it spends pages describing. It does have a few photos
of the principals. The H-R diagram and the main sequence diagram are
described at length.....perhaps they fell to the fate that Stephen Hawking
spoke of when he said "This is the one equation in this book. My publishers
assure me that each equation will cut the readership in half. Sorry. I
can't do with this one."


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