Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I think we're still on that topic, still trying to figure out what computers are, how they change us, why we use them."
- Neal Stephenson

Liquid Mirror Telescope on Mars  
  A large telescope using a spinning bowl of mercury as the mirror.  

Although Gallun did not invent the LMT, he makes good use of it as alien technology. Number 774, the Martian mentioned in the story, made great use of different exoskeletons to perform different tasks.

See if you can spot what appears to be an error in his use of the liquid mirror telescope in the quote below.

Enigmatic forms of weird apparatus crowded in bewildering complexity against the walls. Tipped at a steep angle at the center of the floor was a vast cylinder of webby girders. Piercing the dome, opposite the upper end of the cylinder, was a circular opening through which a portion of the starlit sky was visible; and at the base of the cylinder a great bowl rotated rapidly, like a huge wheel.

The bowl contained mercury. As the container spun on its perfectly balanced axis, centrifugal force caused the mercury to spread in a thin, precisely distributed layer over the inside of the bowl, forming a concave surface that acted admirably as a mirror for Number 774's gigantic reflecting telescope. It's area, and its consequent light-gathering capacity, was many times greater than any rigid mirror that could have been constructed without flaws.

From Old Faithful, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Astounding in 1934
Additional resources -

He states that the cylinder was tipped at a steep angle; a real liquid mirror telescope has to remain fixed with the "bowl" perpendicular to gravity's pull.

In the story, Number 774 discovers people of the Earth using the telescope; he positions it to look at a particular part of the Earth during each observation session. Since an actual LMT cannot be "steered" (it can only look at the patch of sky directly above the instrument), the user cannot choose to focus directly on any object in the visible sky, as you can with a regular telescope.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 8 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Old Faithful
  More Ideas and Technology by Raymond Z. Gallun
  Tech news articles related to Old Faithful
  Tech news articles related to works by Raymond Z. Gallun

Liquid Mirror Telescope on Mars-related news articles:
  - Liquid Mirror Telescope For Moon Studied By NASA
  - Telescopes With Liquid Mirrors Go Mainstream

Articles related to Space Tech
Tracking Spinning Space Junk
The Amazing Gravity-Assisted Journey Of Rosetta
Hayabusa-2 Asteroid Cannon Strategy From 1950's SF Novel
Man-Made Space Leaf Creates Oxygen From Water And Light

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

MIT's Robotic Cheetah Runs Free - And Frolics In The Grass
'THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail...'

Flying Robot Has An Arm
Drones with arms.

Strati 3D Printed Car
'You rode in it - you know how good it is.'

Tracking Spinning Space Junk
'Loose nuts and bolts... had been accumulating in Earth orbit'

Baidu Kuaisou Dune Poison Snooper Chopsticks
'Unobtrusive inspections with... snoopers... Will it be chaumas - poison in the food?'

Crystalized Light Created At Princeton
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'

The Amazing Gravity-Assisted Journey Of Rosetta
'...We used the [moon's] attraction to give us additional starting speed'

AirDog Auto-Follow Drone Captures Your Awesomeness
'Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me...'

Dell's Venue 8 7000 Tablet With RealSense Depth-Mapping
Focus on any part of a picture later.

Google's Cartographer Backpack For Indoor Mapping
'He reached to unsnap the cartograph from his belt.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.