[ExI] Update on the Hawaiian observatory shutdown

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Mon Aug 26 21:41:26 UTC 2019

On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 12:16 PM Adrian Tymes via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

>> If I was being honest I'd have the say the thirty meter telescope,
>> although excellent for work in cosmology,  would not be a good instrument
>> for asteroid research, its field of view is enormously deep but very
>> narrow. For asteroid work you'd want lots of much smaller cheaper
>> telescopes with a wider field of view.
> *> Perhaps it would not be the best instrument for that job - but could it
> assist with that job at all?  That is sometimes all that those who ask that
> sort of question care. *

The best instrument for finding asteroids and comets would be the Large
Synoptic Survey Telescope that is being constructed in the Atacama Desert
and should be finished sometime next year. It has a 8.4 meter mirror of a
unusual short focal length design that gives it a extremely wide field of
view, so wide will photograph the entire southern sky ever 3 days. It would
be really nice if there was a similar instrument at a equally good
observing site in the northern hemisphere but that is impossible because
the invisible Hawaiian man wouldn't like it.

Speaking of asteroid collisions, as you know the entire observatory was
shut down for about a month due to the stupidity epidemic, on the very
first day it reopened it made a discovery that relieved a lot of people.
But if things had turned out a little differently and there had been a
month long delay in sounding the alarm those protesters who illegally
blocked the road would forever live in infamy. Even some members of this
list other than me *might* say some bad things about them. Maybe. From:

Telescopes in Hawaii reopen after deal with protesters

*"The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) reported that on its first
night back in operation, it located an asteroid called 2006 QV89 that was
potentially on a collision course with Earth. Discovered 13 years ago, the
asteroid drifted out of observing range before astronomers could get a fix
on its orbit. The CFHT was perfectly positioned last month to pin down its
trajectory when observations were halted. After a nail-biting month, CFHT
astronomers picked up the asteroid’s trail straight away on the night of 10
August. Within an hour of publishing their results on 11 August,
researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California,
confirmed there was no risk of a collision at any time in the next
century—including nine close encounters in the next decade."*

John K Clark
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