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Space Science

Discovery Channel Telescope Snaps Inaugural Pictures 66

eldavojohn writes "Two decades ago ... Discovery Channel teamed up with Lowell Observatory and embarked upon a $53 million adventure: the fifth largest telescope in the United States funded entirely without state or federal money. The very first photos snapped with its 16 million pixel camera are in and they look beautiful. Yet to be seen are the simultaneous spectroscopic and imaging observations that should be provided to researchers by the DCT's Ritchey-Chretien instrument cube. Located near a dark-sky site (Coconino National Forest), scientists hope to use this new telescope to answer many research questions including how our solar system formed and how dwarf galaxies evolve. For more telescope porn, check out the DCT's photo tours. Luckily 'the process of planning and building the telescope is due to be featured in a one-hour Discovery Channel documentary set to air in September 2012.' Perhaps there is hope for Discovery Channel to return to its former glory?"
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Discovery Channel Telescope Snaps Inaugural Pictures

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  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @06:33PM (#40742893)

    How is this happening?

    Their goal is to earn money, not to generate quality content.

  • by toejam13 ( 958243 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @08:54PM (#40744231)

    It is called the dumbing-down effect.

    Intelligent people have critical analysis skills and therefore tend not to be swayed by televised advertising. So advertisers are left targeting a everyone else. But you need content to bring in that target audience. Shows hosted by Carl Sagan aren't going to do it.

    As long as we have advertisement funded television programming, television will remain a medium for the lowest common denominator of programming. So that means shows involving a huge Quiverfull family of midgets operating a fishing boat out of Alaska and the fun antics of their scandalous daughter who has the audacity to show a little ankle.

    It will be very hard to transition to a television system where all channels are either public-private funded (such as PBS), are subscription based (such as HBO) or are single program PPV. Old people love their free TV and will vote out anyone who dares take it away from them.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.