[extropy-chat] Humor: Extropy and Transhumanism (was jokes fromAmara)

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Tue Mar 21 15:47:09 UTC 2006

On 3/21/06, spike <spike66 at comcast.net> wrote:
>  If I have seen further than others, it is because I bought a better
> telescope, with a really cool CCD focal plane array, and fed the
> data to my computer.

Sorry spike, its not often that I get a chance to correct the hard core
engineer, but I can't resist.  To see "further" than others you have to look
for the most distant light.  Given the expansion of the universe it is all
going to be red-shifted into the IR.  CCD's have poor IR response.  You are
going to want an HgCdTe array, or better still a bolometer array. Then to
catch those IR photons (and not have them drowned out by the noise from the
mirrors) you are going to have to position your telescope someplace in
space, perhaps the dark side of an asteroid that you have carefully
manipulated so it has stopped rotating and always has one side facing the
sun all the time -- asteroids make great heat shields.

The closest you could come from a near term practical standpoint is the
James Webb space telescope I suspect and that is taking much longer to build
than anticipated (assuming NASA still has $$$ to launch it...).  But that is
presumably beyond your budget and the card carrying astronomers presumably
get the data long before you would.

Of course the *really* far photons are those that arrived from the beginning
which means you are "listening" rather than "seeing" them as the CMB.  [Does
this make sense?  Or are the CMB photons like the air we breathe -- not
arriving from anywhere but present all around us?]

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