Astronomy is defined as a natural science that explains the study of celestial objects and phenomena that comes from outside the atmosphere of the earth. The recent technological advances aim at opening up one area of Astronomy that has been poorly explored. This essay critically analyses three subsequent advances in astronomical technology and how they enhances better understanding of the solar system and the wider cosmos. It also explains the technical challenges the limits the understanding of the wider universe.
One of the technological advancement has been the creation of a new telescope called the low frequency array (LOFAR), which opened entirely the new window on the universe. This telescope has been designed in a manner that it works on radio frequencies that the first astronomy observations occurred. This has led to the production of higher-quality images and enabled building telescope at a lower costs, hence cheaper prices for telescope for research. The technology has enabled the detection of sources like distant galaxies and planets in other solar systems. In combination with x-ray observations, this has given significant insights into cluster and massive star explosions called supernova (Hart par. 6). In combination with gamma-ray observations, low-frequencies observations will improve ones knowledge of distribution and origin of high-energy cosmic rays in the galaxy. It also provides the first stars and galaxies in the universe. It has been used by astronomers in the study of cosmic rays that affects the earth every now and then (Spacer. Par 8)
Adaptive optics has been developed to measure and make corrections on the aberration in real time. This has assisted in the made it a routine for the delivery of diffraction limited quality images at a wave length that is near-and mid-infrared, at several world’s biggest telescopes. This new capability has led to many groundbreaking astronomical results, which in turn has continued to boost the adaptive optics that addresses ever several technical shortcomings that has been limiting its applicability (Harpaz, 93). Looking at current state of the art, it has highlighted several scientific results that are noteworthy, and outlines experiments that are ongoing, that tend to widen the observation scope that can be undertaken with AO. The technology of AO has assisted in the satisfaction of new generation wants of large telescope of lager diameter that are being designed.
Another technology is the development of ultraviolet image sensor, which has been developed for a variety of astronomy mission that are space-borne (Forbes, 56). Detectors have been the most problematic part of an astronomical spacecraft, it usually plays very important role in the capability of the instrument generally. There have been many detector systems without even one of them being ideal for all the applications. Detectors determine the feasibility of various scientific research (Spacer par 23)
The primary limit of producing high resolution pictures, has been due to ionosphere of the earth, a region that contains charged particles above the earth surface. Ionosphere, which tends to bend radio waves to produce long-distance reception of AM and signals of short wave causing some distortion on a telescope I radio telescope pictures produced by a telescope. Another challenge has been, “In addition, human-generated radio interference and the huge computational requirements of producing images from low-frequency radio telescopes have posed.” (Francestanford par 3)
In addition, the phenomenon of dark energy has posed major technical challenges in the understanding of fundamental forces in the universe, for the existence of dark energy, the energy density value that is observed is far much magnitude. “There are many potential astrophysical complexities that can cloud the interpretation of the results we are trying to achieve. Ironing out these complexities is the key challenge of modern experimental cosmology”
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