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Thread: Radio / Radar Astronomy

  1. #1

    Smile Radio / Radar Astronomy

    Hello...everyone. I have had a short vacation. I am looking for a 'timely' response to a question so I can gage the responsiveness of people associated with this forum. When will the project to radar map planets around other stars other then our sun will begin? I have seen radar maps of Venus because optical telescope can not see to the surface. I also, know that they bounce radio waves off of other surfaces in the solar system to get a sense of their surfaces..so I am thinking you could do that with planets around other stars.

    Any and all responses welcome.

    Have a nice day.
    Bye
    Peter

  2. #2
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    The resolution would be an issue. So would time of flight. To bounce a signal off a planet around even the nearest star would take an 8 year round trip time. Basically - very unlikely to ever be possible. Active systems are just not good over these sorts of distances.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaula View Post
    The resolution would be an issue. So would time of flight. To bounce a signal off a planet around even the nearest star would take an 8 year round trip time. Basically - very unlikely to ever be possible. Active systems are just not good over these sorts of distances.
    Going a little beyond Shaula's great answer, signal strength for such operations go as the inverse 4th power of distance. Imaging Venus this way took a huge amount of power from Arecibo. A planet around Alpha Centauri might be a million times as far away as Venus when we do this, and so would require 1024 times the power we used to image Venus. This number would get smaller with a larger dish, but it would still be a huge number, and require the patience Shaula described above.
    Forming opinions as we speak

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