Hubble to use Moon as giant mirror to observe Venus transit
If you are a nerd like me then every word of this post title should sound like the most awesomeness thing you have heard so far today!
I know “awesomeness” is not the right word there but I have no formal journalism training.
“What!?!” you say, “Bout all of your post look like Pulitzer Prize winning articles!”
I know but they are not. I just find cool stuff out there in the inter-webs then share them with you. Maybe one day this site will be one of the big guys and you can say you were with me from the ground floor!
Oh yea, the story… from gizmag.com
Hubble will use its Advanced Camera for Surveys, Wide Field Camera 3, and Space Telescope Imaging Spectograph to view a range of radiation from ultraviolet to near-infrared light. To gather information about Venus’s atmosphere, Hubble will carry out spectroscopy, breaking sunlight into its constituent colors. Because different chemical molecules in Venus’s atmosphere absorb and emit different frequencies of radiation, it should be possible to determine what kinds of molecules are present.
The transit of Venus across the Sun will take a mere seven hours, but Hubble will be blind to proceedings for nearly half of that time. The Hubble Space Telescope is a satellite that takes 96 minutes to orbit the Earth. For approximately 40 of those minutes, Earth itself will block Hubble’s view of the Moon.
Hubble’s sensitive instruments were designed for the purpose of looking deep into space where traces of visible light (and other bands of the electromagnetic spectrum) are faint. This allows it to capture images over tremendous distances – images such as the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field: a composite of images capturing visible light looking through and beyond the Fornax constellation. It’s thought that the image captures some 10,000 galaxies and, because of the time it takes for light from such distant objects to reach Earth, looks 13 billion years into the past.