Category: space is the place

This Is Why We Can’t Just Do All Of Our Astronomy From Space

“There’s no doubt that going to space provides humanity with a window on the Universe that we’d never get to exploit if we remained on Earth. The sharp, narrow-field images we can construct are incomparable, and as we move into the next generation of space-based observatories like Athena, James Webb, WFIRST and (maybe) even LUVOIR, we’ll answer many of today’s mysteries concerning the nature of the Universe.

Yet there are some scientific tasks that are far better suited to ground-based astronomy than space-based astronomy. In particular, deep spectroscopic imaging of distant targets, direct exoplanet studies, identification of potentially hazardous objects, hunting for objects in the outer Solar System (like Planet Nine), all-sky surveys for variable objects, interferometry studies and much more are all superior from the ground. Losing the benefits of ground-based astronomy would be both catastrophic and unnecessary, as even a small effort can prevent it. But if we continue to be reckless and careless with our skies — two all-too-human traits — they’ll disappear, along with ground-based astronomy, before we know it.”

So, you don’t care of we lose ground-based astronomy, because astronomy from space is better anyway? I bet you don’t even know what we’ll lose if we lose ground-based astronomy. 

Because it’s substantial, it’s irreplaceable, and if you’re going to allow it to slip away, you’d better know what we’re losing.