Wednesday, June 30, 2010

American Telescopes Are Told By The Military On Where They Can Point

Asteroid Hunters Part-Blinded By The Military -- New Scientist

THE first of the asteroid-hunting Pan-STARRS telescopes is now on the lookout for threatening near-Earth objects, but its vision is impaired due to the US military.

From its perch atop the Haleakala volcano in Maui, Hawaii, PS1's mammoth, 1400-megapixel camera should uncover 100,000 new asteroids and identify any that are on a collision course with Earth. However, the US air force, which funded the development of the telescope, requires that software automatically black out a swathe of pixels to hide the trajectories of passing satellites.

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My Comment: I have been an amateur astronomer for 35 years, but this is news to me.

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