Seminar @ DF-AS - M. Trenti - The SkyHopper Space Telescope: Big Science with a Tiny Telescope

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09/11/2018 - 11:30
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09/11/2018 - 12:30
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Orbiting telescopes, large or small, have been so far confined to complex missions run by government agencies. However, thanks to dramatic technological improvements, CubeSats (nano-satellites based on standardised dimensions) are now offering new scientific opportunities. I will discuss how observations from space will advance astronomy in the next decade, and motivate within this context the SkyHopper mission concept, a proposed 12U CubeSat (~20kg mass) with an infrared space telescope, envisioned to be launched by 2022. SkyHopper will carry a four channel camera covering the spectral range from 0.8 to 1.7 micron simultaneously, and be capable of autonomously pointing to new targets within two minutes. The combination of timeliness on target and low-noise infrared image quality from space will offer a facility unique in the world for multiple areas of astronomy, from discovery of potentially habitable Earth-size planets around nearby cool stars to measurement of the Cosmic Infrared Background, which encodes information of galaxy formation processes across time. SkyHopper's rapid-response infrared imaging will also be ideal to complement current and future high-energy satellites such as Swift, SVOM, and the Hermes constellation to detect gamma-ray bursts generated by the explosion of massive stars out to the edge of the observable Universe.


Villa Bazzoni


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Last update: 09-10-2018 - 15:30