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The modern high end amateur telecopes you can buy these days come with computer interfaces that when hooked up to a computer and some software like Starry Night (http://www.starrynight.com/pro_plus.html), let the observer aim the telecope at an object automatically.
As digital cameras get better
and cheaper and I'm sure people are using these with telescopes.
Now, add the Internet. Instead of software like Starry Night, the user sets up their telescope and lets other people use it remotely as part of a large telescope array.
For reasons of practicality, I don't imagine that people will just set up their multi-thousand dollar telescopes and leave them hooked up to the internet all the time. I imagine that an amateur would sign up for a particular viewing. They would then have their equipment up and connected to the central server during a specific time.
Imagine a few hundred telescopes aimed at the same object, all relaying a digital image back to a central location which combines and processes the images into one high definition image. I imagine that such an image could rival those of the largest and most expensive telescopes.
- too many images of not high enough quality.
- even though there are many images, it may not actually be possible to combine them and have a higher resolution image.
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004]
[DrCurry]'s version. [phoenix, Oct 04 2004]
Cellphone radio telescope
The radio-frequency version [hippo, Oct 15 2007]
it's starting... [gtoal, Mar 08 2008]
||Doesn't work with optical teleScopes. Only works with radio teleScopes. Giant fishbone in the sky.
||w8tvi, i can only assume you in 2004 didn't know why they built TWO keck telescopes in hawaii, or FOUR so-called "very large telescopes" in chile, or the TWO gemini scopes, one in arizona (? or maybe new mexico) and one in chile. it's not that it "doesn't" work, it's just harder to do with optical wavelengths. but the technology is fast upon us: handheld gps devices do the requisite corrections for realtime data routinely.
||but hey, mgrant, i do think that people "will just set up their multi-thousand dollar telescopes and leave them hooked up to the internet all the time." at least i would-- i enjoy the heck out of looking at the night sky with my telescope(s), but sometimes i am working, or sleeping, or lazy, or . . . you get the picture. and if i didn't have one of the last dialup internet connections in the states, it would be a simple matter to have one scope always online, either to show what i'm looking at or to see what someone else wants to look at.
||I read this as "Massively Amateur Telescope Array"
||"telecope" - what I sometimes have trouble doing with the halfbakery.