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CampEmbarrassed170 t1_ixedhrg wrote

Would be great if I saw the exoplanet’s actual image and not some artists’ impressions.


WhatAGoodDoggy t1_ixf8bm8 wrote

Unfortunately we won't have anything that can visually resolve a planet with any level of detail for a very long time.


Acceptable-Ticket242 t1_ixf9cpg wrote

Lets be real, probably never. Theres only so much advancement that can be made with even the most advanced telescopes we have, its physical limitations, not computing power or digital. Most likely we will always be left to illustrations.


onFilm t1_ixg8v44 wrote

You're severely understimating our capabilities. Making an array of telescopes in a large enough area would allow us to resolve far away objects pretty easily. We already do this here on earth, and even as we circle the sun, now imagine if we managed to get telescopes in an array much larger than our straight path around the sun.


space_fly t1_ixgudy0 wrote

If you ever used a projector, you might have noticed that the further you move away from the screen, the dimmer it gets because light is spread over a bigger surface are.

Observing far places in space, we basically have the same problem. The biggest limitation is that the light reaching our telescopes is very dim and spread out. This is why there's a lot of effort to build larger and larger telescopes... a higher surface area means more light reaching us.

The second big issue is that bright sources of light like our sun makes it much more difficult to observe things that are dim. Also, the atmosphere is blocking certain wavelengths of light. Of course, these issues have already been solved with Hubble and other telescopes that are in space.

The biggest technological limitation is how to build a larger mirror, and how to send it in space. JWST had some clever ideas, like breaking the mirror into multiple segments that would unfold.

Some interesting ideas being explored right now are to use big bodies like the sun as lenses, or having an array of mirrors spread out in space that would focus light to a single point where the sensor would be. If you remember that picture of a black hole we got not long ago, that was done by building a telescope array that builds on that idea, by observing from multiple points on earth at the same time and then building a picture out of that.

Personally, I think JWST's successor will still be a monolith structure, having multiple mirror satellites would get pretty expensive, and the logistics of getting them aligned into position and maintaining that alignment are pretty complex. But it might be sent up in multiple parts that would get assembled in orbit.


WikiSummarizerBot t1_ixgues3 wrote

Event Horizon Telescope

>The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a large telescope array consisting of a global network of radio telescopes. The EHT project combines data from several very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) stations around Earth, which form a combined array with an angular resolution sufficient to observe objects the size of a supermassive black hole's event horizon.

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barath_s t1_ixfzwjg wrote

Just jump on a rocket and head 700 light years in the direction of Virgo constellation. /s

We don't have the ability to image most exoplanets.

> The planet’s discovery, reported in 2011, was made based on ground-based detections of the subtle, periodic dimming of light from its host star as the planet transits, or passes in front of the star.

That said, JWST did take a picture of a planet 7x size of Jupiter 400 light years away.

They think JWST may be able to take more such exoplanet pics, down to maybe even 1/3rd Jupter's mass. However Wasp39b is about 0,28 jupiter's mass, 700 liht years away and super close to its star (<5% of the distance from the earth to the sun, or about 1/10th the distance of mercury. Might not be feasible even when JWST reaching full flow)