Old 12-06-2013, 06:29 AM #1
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Post Shining a Laser at The Moon!

These are two lasers shining at the moon not one reflecting off of it. It would be pretty cool if it was reflecting though



Quote:
This photograph shows the Laser Ranging Facility at the Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The observatory helps NASA keep track of orbiting satellites. In this image, the lower of the two green beams is from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's dedicated tracker. The other laser originates from another ground system at the facility. Both beams are pointed at the moon -- specifically at LRO in orbit around the moon.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:50 PM #2
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Default Re: Shining a Laser at The Moon!

Ha that does look like a reflection of the beam. Cool stuff happening close to home
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:51 PM #3
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Default Re: Shining a Laser at The Moon!

By the time that beam arrives at the moon its over 30 Km wide.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:03 PM #4
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Default Re: Shining a Laser at The Moon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blarg King View Post
By the time that beam arrives at the moon its over 30 Km wide.
All things considered 30Km sounds like pretty good divergence. But... does it burn?
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Old 12-14-2013, 12:21 PM #5
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Default Re: Shining a Laser at The Moon!

Do you guys figure you can actually see the dot with a huge ass telescope?
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Old 12-14-2013, 04:01 PM #6
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Default Re: Shining a Laser at The Moon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicrox View Post
Do you guys figure you can actually see the dot with a huge ass telescope?
That's something I would sure like to see, but if the dot was 30Km wide it would have to be pretty damn bright to be visible. This brings up another question, what is the practical limit on distance for communication by laser? Could we communicate by laser between Earth and Mars? I would think that with the best optics that the beam may be wider than the planet after traveling that distance and then might not be powerful enough even with the best equipment but I don't know.

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Old 12-14-2013, 04:23 PM #7
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Default Re: Shining a Laser at The Moon!

You can always lower divergence by increasing diameter. For huge distances it probably makes sense to use a 1000x beam expander to get very low divergence.
Lets say you have a 1mrad, 1mm beam - with a 1000x beam expander you'd have a 1urad, 1m beam instead. The dot on the moon would "only" have about 385m.
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Old 12-14-2013, 04:42 PM #8
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Default Re: Shining a Laser at The Moon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicrox View Post
You can always lower divergence by increasing diameter. For huge distances it probably makes sense to use a 1000x beam expander to get very low divergence.
Lets say you have a 1mrad, 1mm beam - with a 1000x beam expander you'd have a 1urad, 1m beam instead. The dot on the moon would "only" have about 385m.
Now that I think about it your right. They would have to do that because the probe (the LRO) communicates both ways by laser, if the beam when it reached the LRO was 30Km wide I doubt you could put sensitive enough equipment on something so small for it to work.

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Old 12-14-2013, 05:07 PM #9
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Default Re: Shining a Laser at The Moon!

You would also need a powerful enough laser...
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:07 PM #10
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Default Re: Shining a Laser at The Moon!

What are the possibilities if the Hubble was reconfigured to be a focusing lens?
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