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Floating Astronomic Observatory

Can we get any more isolated than this?
  [vote for,

I believe that it should be possible to create a floating research base with a large optical telescope mounted on it.

Similar to floating oceanic research bases, it should be able to stay out at sea for months or years, though of course the scientists and crew would of course be on rotations of only a few months.

The main benefit of this idea is that there is no light pollution in the ocean.

The downside of course is that we would need a really awesome stabilization system to adjust for movement from waves, but I believe that this may be feasible.

goldbb, Dec 17 2016


       I'm not convinced.   

       For one thing, there are still plenty of places on land that don't suffer from light pollution, and where it's a lot easier to build and operate a large, stable telescope.   

       For another thing, the best telescopes are located at high altitude, to reduce atmospheric distortion and haze. A floating telescope would (unless I've missed something) tend to be at sea level.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 17 2016

       The idea could allow the widening of the otherway, that is, a network array of thousands of telescopes all across the globe's surface.
wjt, Dec 17 2016

       //the best telescopes are located at high altitude,   

       So, use a high part of the ocean. Generate a standing wave if the bit of the ocean you had your eye on turns out to be significantly beneath sea level.   

       But seriously, it's possible to do high-elevation observatories and water. Antarctica has the 16,050 ft Mount Vinson, which is covered in ice. A bit parky, but no light pollution bar the headlights on adventurous penguins.
not_morrison_rm, Dec 18 2016


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