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hewhocaves
2005-Feb-22, 03:06 PM
Hi everyone!

I'm writing an astronomy story (fiction) and I'd like to use the UBC Liquid mirror telescope site as a setting. Without getting into too much detail, the story centers around finding an unusually large and dark centaur somewhere between the Saturn and Uranus orbit. The other stringent requirement is that the telescope can't be on US soil.

Obviously, then I'd like a scope that can get somewhere near the ecliptic. I ran a year's worth of observation through Starry night at the UBC coords and I couldn't get anything farther south than Capella. Even M31 is slightly too far south to get caught in the telescope's FOV.

So my question is... are there currently ways to collect more area from a single telescope or is being able to tilt the mirror just around the corner or what? Or am I stuck with either moving my observing site or changing scopes (i'm considering putting up a smaller scope on the site (the story takes place about 25 years from now, so I can prolly justify tossing in a 2m regular scope.)

John

2005-Feb-22, 03:29 PM
Hi everyone!

I'm writing an astronomy story (fiction) and I'd like to use the UBC Liquid mirror telescope site as a setting. Without getting into too much detail, the story centers around finding an unusually large and dark centaur somewhere between the Saturn and Uranus orbit. The other stringent requirement is that the telescope can't be on US soil.

Obviously, then I'd like a scope that can get somewhere near the ecliptic. I ran a year's worth of observation through Starry night at the UBC coords and I couldn't get anything farther south than Capella. Even M31 is slightly too far south to get caught in the telescope's FOV.

So my question is... are there currently ways to collect more area from a single telescope or is being able to tilt the mirror just around the corner or what? Or am I stuck with either moving my observing site or changing scopes (i'm considering putting up a smaller scope on the site (the story takes place about 25 years from now, so I can prolly justify tossing in a 2m regular scope.)

John

Certainly the most direct solution is to move your scope to a site between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn (southern mexico, central america, northern australia come to mind). You can get farther south with the UBC sited liquid mirror scope if you move the detector off the zenith (at the expense of aberations in the image) but it would be tough to get far enough to even glimpse the ecliptic..