The Future of Space Telescopes | Space Time

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The mysteries of our universe seem limitless. However to unlock them, we’re going to need some incredible technologies to peer deeper and more sharply into space time.

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Previous Episode:

The Kepler mission has determined that terrestrial planets – that is, rocky planets like our Earth are extremely common, and may orbit most stars in the Milky Way. But these planets are extremely difficult to directly image because they’re dense and small. Our Sun is about ten billion times brighter than Earth. Train a distant telescope on us, and it will be overwhelmed by the Sun’s rays. So how can we find terrestrial planets around stars light years away?

Written by Alex Yep and Matt O’Dowd
Hosted by Matt O’Dowd
Produced by Rusty Ward
Graphics by Kurt Ross
Assistant Editing and Sound Design by Mike Petrow
Made by Kornhaber Brown (

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Tristan Sparrow says:

have we experimented with using valentablack in telescope applications yet? It's property of absorbing light could be useful in focusing the light in the aragoscope maybe. correct me if i'm wrong but the shade just wants to absorb and focus light not reflect it right?

tuusnullorum says:

How big would a starshade have to be if you stuck it tangent to the edge of the moon when viewed from Earth? Could you feasibly do that to avoid the need for two spacecraft (either as a part of a single satellite or to use in conjunction with Earth-based telescopes.)

Tanner Vogan says:

His beard is glorious.

Joe Johnston says:

Your puny physics problems are no match for sciencing.

Czeckie says:

Webster Cash is on fire

clawspace says:

Great videos, very informative!

Gregg Weber says:

At just before 12:00 you mentioned Space Time Fabric and that got me back to the thought of Ether or Aether.

bruno doussau says:

One could also mentions the hypertelescope project of Antoine Labeyrie.

Wiki : Labeyrie has proposed the idea of an astronomical interferometer where the individual telescopes are positioned in a spherical arrangement (requiring them to be positioned to a fraction of a wavelength). This geometry reduces the amount of pathlength compensation required when re-pointing the interferometer array, but otherwise is little different from other existing instruments. He has suggested a space-based interferometer array much larger (and complex) than the Darwin and Terrestrial Planet Finder projects using this spherical geometry of array elements along with a densified pupil beam combiner, calling the endeavor a "Hypertelescope" project. It might theoretically show features on Earth-like worlds around other stars.

Sean Klein says:

$750 million…."It's pricey". Country spends $35 billion on aircraft never used in war over a decade. Nice.

Ananya Gupta says:

I thoroughly love your Q&A which always gives me additional things to research and learn long after your video has wrapped up 🙂

3nglish Elusive says:

By the time starshade gets its first rise pedal tailored

3nglish Elusive says:

So we have to send starshade 8 thousand kilometers that way to open it and block out unwanted shine for a picture… kids in Africa would die and new be born only to die of the same reasons the previous died of

Richie Rich says:

This video turned out to be far more fascinating that I had initially anticipated.

Hunterxii says:

How do these videos only have 300k views… When i was a kid i dreamed of being able to learn more about space

Kneedragon1962 says:

"Who needs Mount Doom?" Lord of the Rings
"Hmmm. The Schwartz is strong with this one." Spaceballs

eredtfb says:

Around the seven minute marker aren't you just describing how television works

Rodrigo Amorim says:

The starshade reminds of shity star Wars legends super weapon

Teh Yong Lip says:

sadly the funding for space telescopes is extremely limited

Matt Langstraaat says:

Orbiting rainbow? Great, more space junk traveling at thousands of miles an hour to wipe out all other satilites… making them rainbow junk too.. when are u astronomers going to come to terms with the junk your leaving up there!.. keep it up and we will never make it past orbit… let alone mars.. get back down to earth now, or ban man from ever leaving it.

James Elger says:

If you look at the perfection of a reflective surface, you change it's size, and you change the decimal place at which errors can occur. Try Scaling a physical mirror verses a positioned cloud of plasma.

Devantejah says:

Is that a thargoid in the thumbnail?

aceyacey456 says:

Orbiting gay

Dapper Don says:

Watch at 1.25 x speed! Thank me later…

Gerhard Quaas says:

liked your monty python theme change.

Jose Hernandez says:

8:45 proudest telescope ever

frank x says:

Good morning starshine
The earth says hello
You twinkle above us
We twinkle below

onsean says:

the difference between sailing and surfing.

partymetroid says:

8:43 Orbiting rainbow gonna make space look all fab.
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Jacek Owsianski says:

If the telescope is on the Earth's orbit, and the star shade is 80000 km in front of the telescope, will it be possible to keep perfect alignment? In other words, telescope is rotating with Earth on the low orbit, and the star shade will have to keep up to stay in line while being over six Earth's diameters away. It'll be quite a speed.
Lets forget for a while about movements, just imagine a sniper trying to aim a laser beam at a 50 meters in diameter target that is 80000 km away. When you scale it down, it's like aiming from New York at a moving car in San Francisco.

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