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Veteran Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: oaktown
2010-04-14, 20:12

I wonder what the upper limit of photo-like multi-source imaging is? I mean, the things we're seeing now seem almost beyond belief-- to be able to image the interaction of objects hundreds of light years away, with sufficient precision to be able to say reasonable things about mass and relative proximity-- it just boggles my mind.

And these images seem to be getting better all the time. What are the limiting factors? Sensitivity of the instruments? Sophistication of the processing algorithms? Is there some kind of natural limit on how much information can be derived from a given distance, involving the dissipation of energy across space and the accumulation of noise in the signal, or are we one day going to be looking at topographical representations of planets 1000 light years out?

That which doesn't kill you weakens you slightly and makes you less able to cope until you're completely incapacitated