[LMB] OT: Arecibo

Markus Baur baur at chello.at
Sun Nov 22 18:49:59 GMT 2020

Am 22.11.2020 um 18:54 schrieb Pouncer via Lois-Bujold:
> Howard advises:
> >One of the functions Arecibo excels in is tracking asteroids
> >well enough to warn us of possible dangers to us.
> Oh.  I had been under the impression that OPTICAL telescopes
> were somehow better at picking out dead ice and rocks in
> local environments, while RADIO-telescopes like Arecibo were
> more stellar ... so to speak.

initial detection and initial determinatation of the orbit usually is 
optical .. what arecibo did excell at was refining the orbit (among 
other things by determining the speed of the asteroids VERY exactly via 
doppler radar) and could also give via its radar some more indformation 
on shape and composition

losing arecibo for this purpose will hurt, but is no catastrophe



> Okay. Asteroid impacts
> rate more highly on my list of catastrophes to worry about
> than -- another topic getting a LOT more publicity and
> funding.  I'd be happy to divert whatever of my current taxes
> goes now to the stupid project toward what I think of as
> as a smarter and wiser project of the Arecibo sort.
> In any case there is churn in the moon race once again, mostly
> for political prestige.  It'd be nice if some sort of halfway
> practical mission was defined and attached to the puffery.
> Working in the shade would be a nice change for many
> astronomers.

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