The new telescope system enables recording of the highest resolution images Mouth Always with radar technology.
This feat took years of work and the result is stunningly detailed. the focus Tycho Crater, one of the most wonderful impressions of the moon. And although it was taken from hundreds of thousands of kilometers away, the image gives the impression that it is flying over the surface of the only natural satellite on Earth.
The resulting image has a resolution of five by five meters and contains about 1.4 billion pixels. Together they span the entire width of the Tycho Crater, which is 86 kilometers (53 miles) in diameter, and much more.
From this bird’s perspective, every fold on the turbulent moon’s surface seems to stand out in detail.
The National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) is located in West Virginia and is the largest fully steerable radio telescope in the world. This allows astronomers to direct the pearl’s eye in any direction.
At the beginning of this year, the satellite was equipped with a new radar transmitter developed by Raytheon Intelligence & Space that can send pulses into near space.
When each of these signals bounces off the surface of the Moon, they are picked up by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). The basic array is too longwhich is also headquartered in West Virginia.
The stored pulses are compared and analyzed to generate an image. explain GBO Engineer Galen Watts.
In January, researchers did Test the system By taking a radar image of the Apollo 15 landing site to prove that they can indeed take high-resolution images of Earth.
Months later they were able to obtain a high-resolution image of Tycho’s crater.
“The transmitter, target, and receiver are all constantly moving as we move through space.” explain What is that.
“While you might think this makes it difficult to create an image, it actually produces more significant data.”
Since each return radar pulse contains information from a slightly different direction, astronomers can gain more angles from static observation.
This means that scientists can more accurately calculate the distance to a target and the speed of that target.
“This radar data has not been recorded at this distance or accuracy.” to say What is that.
“This has previously been done at distances of a few hundred kilometers, but not in the hundreds of thousands of kilometers of this project, and not at high resolutions of a meter or so at those distances.”
Just 10 years ago, Watts says, it would have taken months of computation to get an image of a single radar signal received. More than that would have taken more than a year.
Astronomers hope that new technologies will enable us to explore parts of the solar system that we have not seen before from the comfort of our planet.