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Moon Space Science

Hubble To Use the Moon To View Transit of Venus 37

astroengine writes "As we recently discussed, on June 5 or 6 this year — the exact time and date depends on where you are in the world — Venus will be visible as a small black circle crossing the disk of the sun. Usually, the Hubble Space Telescope would have no business observing this event — the sun is too close for its optics. But plans are afoot for Hubble to observe the reflected sunlight bouncing off the lunar surface during the transit. As the sunlight will pass through the Venusian atmosphere, the transit will provide invaluable spectroscopic data about Venus' atmospheric composition. This, in turn, will help astronomers in characterizing the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars."
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Hubble To Use the Moon To View Transit of Venus

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  • by Dusty101 ( 765661 ) on Monday May 07, 2012 @06:44PM (#39921211)

    As a a professional astronomer myself, I just hope they have more luck than this guy:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillaume_Le_Gentil [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:No business (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @12:10AM (#39923857)

    Actually, according to (MBM) my bad memory from the book "Hubble Wars....", if it were to point at or near the sun, some sensors would detect that, and slam the front lid shut very very quickly. That safety system was one of the things they did right with the Hubble. I don't know if it can be overridden.

    Now, the implementation of that safety system had something wrong. It literally slams shut. Other similar sized instruments (Hubble was about #19 or #24, according to MBM, in a series of large space telescopes. Most of the others were pointing down at the earth and were classified) had systems to prevent the lid from slamming, simple things like magnetic brakes (again, according MBM fo reading the book..).

    In the first few weeks or days the Hubble was in space, they had a heck of a time establishing controlled 'flight.' Then, it drifted and aimed toward the sun. The lid slammed shut. The vibrations further moved the craft, and it took days or weeks (see MBM) to reestablish control.

    I suggest you don't believe me. Find the book, and then find critics of the book. More fun than /.

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