Greatest extent

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Last seen on: Universal Crossword – May 31 2019

Random information on the term “UTMOST”:

An astronomical interferometer is an array of separate telescopes, mirror segments, or radio telescope antennas that work together as a single telescope to provide higher resolution images of astronomical objects such as stars, nebulas and galaxies by means of interferometry. The advantage of this technique is that it can theoretically produce images with the angular resolution of a huge telescope with an aperture equal to the separation between the component telescopes. The main drawback is that it does not collect as much light as the complete instrument’s mirror. Thus it is mainly useful for fine resolution of more luminous astronomical objects, such as close binary stars. Another drawback is that the maximum angular size of a detectable emission source is limited by the minimum gap between detectors in the collector array.

Interferometry is most widely used in radio astronomy, in which signals from separate radio telescopes are combined. A mathematical signal processing technique called aperture synthesis is used to combine the separate signals to create high-resolution images. In Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) radio telescopes separated by thousands of kilometers are combined to form a radio interferometer with a resolution which would be given by a hypothetical single dish with an aperture thousands of kilometers in diameter. At the shorter wavelengths used in infrared astronomy and optical astronomy it is more difficult to combine the light from separate telescopes, because the light must be kept coherent within a fraction of a wavelength over long optical paths, requiring very precise optics. Practical infrared and optical astronomical interferometers have only recently been developed, and are at the cutting edge of astronomical research. At optical wavelengths, aperture synthesis allows the atmospheric seeing resolution limit to be overcome, allowing the angular resolution to reach the diffraction limit of the optics.

UTMOST on Wikipedia