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Space Science

Proposed Telescope Focuses Light Without Mirror Or Lens 165

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-can-see-clearly-now dept.
A team of scientists from Observatoire Midi Pyrénées in Toulouse, France have been working with an unusual technique for focusing light. It takes advantage of diffraction - the bending of waves when they encounter an obstacle in their path - to focus light as it passes through a foil sheet with precise holes in it. The scientists suggest that an orbital 30-meter imager could resolve planets the size of Earth within 30 light-years. In addition, the foil is much lighter than traditional materials, and thus easier to transport. "A Fresnel imager with a sheet of a given size has vision just as sharp as a traditional telescope with a mirror of the same size, though it collects just 10% or so of the light. It can also observe in the ultraviolet and infrared, in addition to visible light. The imager can take very detailed images with high contrast, which is great for 'being able to see a very faint object in the close vicinity of a bright one.'"
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Proposed Telescope Focuses Light Without Mirror Or Lens

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  • Problems (Score:4, Funny)

    by FearForWings (1189605) on Friday May 02, 2008 @01:26AM (#23271686)
    I think it would be clear to anyone who examines it, the idea clearly has some holes in it.
  • I'll say (Score:3, Funny)

    by thegnu (557446) <thegnu.gmail@com> on Friday May 02, 2008 @08:59AM (#23273938) Journal
    FTFS:

    The scientists suggest that an orbital 30-meter imager could resolve planets the size of Earth within 30 light-years.

    O RLY?! I suppose they haven't considered how unbearably LONG 30 light years is. I'm certainly not prepared to wait that long. Besides, we'll all be dead in 30 light years, what with the Hopi prophecy foretelling the end of time, and all.

    While I'm here, let me get this out of the way, save us some time:
    (joke) ------------->
    (you)----> O__O

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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