This article was published on September 8, 2020

Space telescopes are great — so why do we still build ground-based ones?

Space telescopes are great — so why do we still build ground-based ones? Image by: Unsplash: Patrick Hendry
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The future of astronomy advancing both on the ground as well as in space, as seen by the proposed European Extremely Large Telescope on left and the James Webb Space Telescope seen in an artist’s conception on the right. Image credits: Swinburne Astronomy Productions / ESO (left) and NASA (right).
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While visible light and some radio waves easily make their way through the Earth’s atmosphere, most wavelengths of infrared radiation are blocked. Image credit: NASA
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A laser is beamed into the atmosphere, where it will react with sodium several kilometers above the observatory, creating an artificial guide star for astronomers utilizing adaptive optics at the Very Large Telescope in Chile. Image credit: ESO (cc)

This article was originally published on The Cosmic Companion by James Maynard, founder and publisher of The Cosmic Companion. He is a New England native turned desert rat in Tucson, where he lives with his lovely wife, Nicole, and Max the Cat. You can read this original piece here.

Astronomy News with The Cosmic Companion is also available as a weekly podcast, carried on all major podcast providers. Tune in every Tuesday for updates on the latest astronomy news, and interviews with astronomers and other researchers working to uncover the nature of the Universe.

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