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November 9, 2011

#975: Occulting Telescope

Occulting Telescope

[[A person is giving a lecture in front of a white board, pointing to a diagram with a pointer.]]

Lecturer: The occulting observatory consists of two parts – the telescome and the discs.

When the telescope sees a star, a disc is carefully steered to block its light.

[[A diagram of a satellite (labeled “telescope”) with waves going from it on the left, across to the other side of the diagram (labeled “light from star”) on the right. In the middle is a small vertical line (labeled “disc”), stopping some of the light waves from the right traveling to the left of the diagram.]]

This procedure is repeated until all stars are covered.

[[The lecturer looks down at a student.]]

Student (off screen): Wait,



Lecturer: I’ll feel better.

[[Close-up on lecturer.]]

Student (off-screen): I thought the point was to image extrasolar planets.

Lecturer: The point is that there are

too many stars.

– It’s been freaking me out.

Student: What?

Student#2 (in smaller letters): He has a point…