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Proceedings Paper

Very high resolution space telescope using the Earth atmosphere as the objective lens
Author(s): Yu Wang
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Paper Abstract

Telescopes are critical elements of NASA's space program. Very high resolution telescopes are needed to study planets of neighboring stellar systems and life beyond earth. Telescope resolution is limited by aperture diameter but current technology limits telescope apertures to about 10- meters in diameter. The Earth's atmosphere refracts sunlight such that the sun's image appears about a half degree above its real position during sunset. If we could build a space telescope using the Earth's atmosphere as an objective lens the aperture of such space telescope would be the diameter of the earth. Telescope resolution could be enhanced by up to seven orders of magnitude and would enable detailed images of planets in far away stellar systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 1998
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 3356, Space Telescopes and Instruments V, (28 August 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.324434
Show Author Affiliations
Yu Wang, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3356:
Space Telescopes and Instruments V
Pierre Y. Bely; James B. Breckinridge, Editor(s)

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