How a Telescope sees through time

It is a puzzle when we think how can a telescope look over past time? Let us take the example of the Sun. Perhaps it is not a good idea to stare at the sun. So, if we were to go out and catch sight of our beloved star, we could see the last rays of the sun which is of eight minutes previous to be exact.

So, in this way we can tell the sun that we are in future as we can say who is going to win the world series and make millions of dollars in solar gambling eight minutes before the sun. But we are too far to know what is happening to our sun right at this second.

The sun

Here or like at this essay help on Australian observatories, we will be discussing a bit more about the telescope and how do they see through time. In the language of technical science, we know that light travels at the speed of 300,000 km per second and that is how fast it is.

When the light is switched on at home, we do not wait for the light to reach us because the distance between us and the source of light is negligible. But on the other hand, the sun is far-far away from us which is approximately 150 million kilometres. So even the rays of the sun must travel quite a lot to reach us.

So, we get to know the sun as it was eight minutes back. In other words, if the sun disappeared for eight minutes then we would be blissfully unaware of it. Sun is just so close by. But there are millions of other stars which are many millions of light years away. For example, Alpha Centauri is 4.2 light years away from us.

Hubble space telescope

There are many telescopes which have seen through time and have kept a great deal of information for us. One among them is Hubble space telescope which is looking at galaxies hundreds of light years away which also means we are looking at how galaxies were some hundreds of millions of years ago. We could catch a Dinosaur era if our telescopes were powerful enough.

Hubble space telescope during a mission in 2009

So, if want to look at the edge of the universe which is expanding since time immemorial, for billions of years the light has been travelling. In fact, light from our own galaxy has left and has started travelling in the distant galaxies and they are able to see as how our galaxy was some billions of years ago which we could never do.

The most distant galaxy ever known was discovered by researchers recently and it is 13 billion light years away and some interesting information was gathered regarding the galaxy formation. Giant Magellan telescope is the biggest earth-based telescope which has planned for the first entry in 2021.

When we guise in space, we are not only looking at the distance but also the time back as it was some millions of years ago. So, if we are observing something which is billion light years away it means we are looking at as it was some billions of years ago.

7 Best Australian Observatories

Studying the stars, planets, and other celestial bodies would be a difficult task when there is a significant amount of light pollution being emitted. Thankfully, Australia has a controlled amount which allows scientists and researchers to study space with as much freedom and clarity.

Various observatories give one an opportunity to look at the night sky from the perspective of the southern hemisphere, and it would be as much of a learning experience as it is an enjoyable and inspiring activity to participate in. Here are some of the best observatories in Australia.

Australian Astronomical-Observatory

Located several kilometres away from the busy urban streets of Sydney, the AAO facilitates the use of the Anglo-Australian and UK Schmidt telescopes. Having once collaborated with the UK, the AAO now fully operates under the Australian government. It works in partnership with universities and agencies like Macquarie University and the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial-Research Organization to allow students to experience the professional environment in the field of astronomy. Apart from surveying space objects, they also work in crafting instruments that would complement telescopes and make them work more efficiently and accurately.

Siding-Spring Observatory

The Siding-Spring Observatory found in Coonabarabran, New South Wales houses one of the telescopes that the AAO operates, the Anglo-Australian Telescope. Situated at about an altitude of 1,100 meters on the observatory, this telescope has the capacity for both optical and infrared imaging. Researchers have made several discoveries of new planets, stars, and exoplanets through the telescope, even observing some of the most distant objects from Earth.

Sydney Observatory

If you have read one Unitutor’s best essay regarding the oldest observatories founded in Australia written by Ragbir Bhathal, you will know that it has gone through some struggles in the past which have led to its status now as a functioning museum instead of a full research facility. Visitors do have the opportunity to use the equipment to view the stars and planets in the evenings but the facility has been geared toward educational purposes rather than research

Murchison-Radio-astronomy Observatory

The most ideal place for an observatory is somewhere that would have the least amount of disturbance and the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory can be found literally in the middle of nowhere, in Western Australia. It is cradled in a designated zone of radio silence, so all you will see are rows of antennae that pick up signals from space. The facility uses two main equipment: the Murchison Widefield Array and the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder. The CSIRO currently manages the operations of Murchison.

Parkes Observatory

Another observatory in possession of a radio telescope. As one enters their grounds, the immediately noticeable feature in a display at the facility is the large radio telescope, given the moniker “The Dish”, because it is like a big satellite dish probing the reaches of space for signs of new celestial objects. It has become well-known for being one of the instruments used to transmit images from the Apollo 11 mission and has been dubbed “the most successful scientific instrument ever built in Australia”.

Canopus-Hill Observatory

Just outside Hobart in Tasmania, it allows observers to look at a sight to behold, the Magellanic Clouds. However, due to light pollution from nearby suburbs, the observatory has been closed down until the visibility may be restored. Its most commonly used instrument is a 16” telescope used when visitors would like to take a look into space when taking photos, and for official use of Tasmania’s Astronomical Society.

Mount-Pleasant Observatory

Lastly, Mount Pleasant Observatory is one of the three radio-astronomy observatories, along with Murchison and Parkes, located in Cambridge. They possess three radio antennas, two of which are active. One may also find the Grote Reber Museum where they show the role Tasmania plays in radiophysics. They are closely working with the University of Tasmania.