November 9, 2011
#975: 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#2 (in smaller letters): He has a point…