Sunday, October 4, 2009

Controller Doubles Effective Lens Diameter of Telescopes

[by Mr.Hengist]

Mr.Science pulls a technorabbit out of a hat:
"Technology to double the effective lens diameter of the world's telescopes has been invented at the University of Montreal, which recently demonstrated what it says is the most sensitive astronomical camera devised to date.
"The key to the invention is an electronic controller that decreases optical noise tenfold."

Ta-Da! I love technological advances such as this one, which adds what should be a relatively low-cost doohickey to existing high-cost equipment in order to give it a major boost in capability. Congratulations to our fellow propeller-beanied Canuck friends up north. The semi-informative article is here; no word on licensing fees or the cost of the doohickey.

1 comment:

Noocyte said...

Fascinating! The applications for planet-finding projects are obvious and very exciting. A few powers of ten down, the medical imaging applications are just as intriguing.

I wonder if this technology could be applied as well to spectrographic information. Such an increase in the resolution of spectral lines from astronomical data could yield very important insights into the composition of distant bodies, say by isolating the atmospheric composition of planetary bodies from the ambient elements in the system in which they orbit (e.g. disks of leftover matter from planet formation, or surrounding nebulae).

This could be a very useful doohickey indeed! I echo the props to our neighborly northern nerds!