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Author Topic: Can we detect the heat signatures of comets and asteroids using Planck?  (Read 1265 times)

Offline thedoc

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Marc Beauboeuf  asked the Naked Scientists:
The Planck space telescope reveals tiny temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background from over 13 billion years ago...

Can we detect the heat signatures of comets asteroids and whatever other solar system leftovers that make up the oort cloud, kuiper belt, and asteroid belt?

Surely they are warmer than the background? It is difficult for a layman to understand why astronomers / cosmologists / physicists can speak of the ancient universe so specifically yet 'guess' at the location and content of 'nearby' phenomena like the oort cloud and kuiper belt...

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 02/06/2013 08:30:02 by _system »


Offline yor_on

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Don't think that's possible. First of all it's a incredibly long time ago, and all radiation we measure should have traveled that amount of years. The CBR is supposed to originate some hundreds of thousand years after the Big Bang, and be more or less evenly spread out in all of the universe existing, then it started to travel. In its own frame (and here some will consider this being wrong as it is light:) it haven't traveled long at all, time-wise as well as distance. To us measuring the light will have red shifted due to the expansion though.

If we assume us to be in  the exact middle of the universe :) Which we are allowed to do, as long as we accept that all points of the universe also should be able to be defined this way, then all light we see must have propagated for that time. But it does not tell us how 'big' it might be, you could imagine something at the 'edge' looking around same as we. What would they see? A universe, same as us? You can use the way space is 'distorted' by mass to guess at a size, assuming it's about the same everywhere, and as the universe seems very 'flat', not very distorted by gravity at all, those 13.7 bly we see becomes "less than 0.0001% of the volume of the Universe is presently or will ever be observable to us." from


Offline galaxysim

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frame stacking is easy when the target isn't moving much

This is one reason why nearby dark rocks are hard to track, they are moving and there are millions of them

They would probably look like a TV snowstorm even if you could see them.  Im not sure if there has been any real sustained mega buck efforts to investigate the numerous dark bodies in our solar system. Almost certainly you will need a good space based telescope.

« Last Edit: 04/07/2013 03:29:59 by galaxysim »

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