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Company news about Interesting Science:How to see ants 10,000 kilometers away with a telescope?

Interesting Science:How to see ants 10,000 kilometers away with a telescope?


Latest company news about Interesting Science:How to see ants 10,000 kilometers away with a telescope?

Assuming that an ant is 1mm long, then if it is observed from 10000km away, the ant has about 3×10−43times10^{-4} milliarcseconds! ! ! !
What kind of concept is this? It is 100 times more precise than the best astronomical observations at present.
For an ideal optical system, its maximum angular resolution S≈1.220λr/a, when using 550nm visible light to observe the ant, there is a≈3947m
That is to build a telescope with a main lens diameter of 3947m, which can see a 1mm ant clearly from 10000km away.
The current largest telescope is the extremely large telescope under construction in Chile, with a primary mirror diameter of 39m.


In order to ensure accurate imaging, the surface precision of the telescope is at the nanometer level, and the temperature difference and the weight of the lens itself will cause great deformation of the lens and affect the accuracy. Atmospheric disturbances can even ruin your images. And the bigger the lens, the more difficult it is to manufacture. At present, large telescopes generally use boron carbide and other materials to make lenses, the surface is plated with aluminum, and multiple lenses are used to splicing into a large lens. The existing precision processing and precise control technology cannot realize an optical telescope with a diameter of 4000m. After all, the order of magnitude The gap is there.
The space telescope has no influence of atmospheric disturbance, gravity, temperature difference, etc., and can achieve a diameter of 4000m. However, the largest space telescope, the James Webb Telescope, has a diameter of 6.5m and weighs 6.2 tons. It has been postponed because it is too expensive (10 billion U.S. dollars) Launched several times. The manufacture of a 4000m-caliber reflector requires tens of thousands of tons of boron carbide and other materials to manufacture the main lens, not to mention its servo mechanism and even the spacecraft that carries it. This size is completely at the level of a Star Destroyer. Now humans have not launched hundreds of thousands tons of objects into orbit.
Of course, we can also reduce the wavelength for observation. If the extreme ultraviolet light of 5.5nm is used, the lens aperture can be reduced to 39m. However, extreme ultraviolet rays cannot be transmitted in the air and can only be used in space. Short wavelengths also pose a problem with lens materials, and even require the use of a grazing method like the Chandra X-ray telescope, which increases the difficulty of imaging. Compared with the current technological level of human beings, the corresponding manufacturing difficulty is still an order of magnitude gap.

Therefore, the difficulty of imaging this ant with a single telescope is beyond the current state of the art.

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