Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Bill Gates and Microsoft Fund Telescope

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the he's-still-a-nerd-people dept.

Space 171

coondoggie writes "Bill Gates and the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences this week donated $30 million to an ambitious telescope that researchers say will be able to survey the entire sky every three nights — something never done before. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Project got $20 million from the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences and $10 million from Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates. Expected to see its "first light" in 2014, the 8.4-meter LSST will survey the entire visible sky deeply in multiple colors every week with its 3 billion-pixel digital camera, probing the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy and opening a movie-like window on objects that change or move. With the telescope scientists will be able to quickly find Earth-threatening asteroids and exploding stars called supernovas and will be able to map out 100 billion galaxies, according to researchers."

cancel ×

171 comments

ay. Telescopers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922880)

I like Telescopes. I like money. Bill Gates has money. Bill Gates funds telescope. Oh boy. We need more telescopes. We need more money to fund telescopes. Makes me happy. Happy Happy Joy Joy.

ac

Re:ay. Telescopers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21924554)

Bill Gates funds telescope. Oh boy. We need more telescopes. We need more money to fund telescopes. Makes me happy. Happy Happy Joy Joy.
Bill Gates and The Microsoft Fun Telescope!

ah! (4, Funny)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922884)

but does it run Linux?

Re:ah! (5, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923288)

Most probably not.

In addition to receiving funding from Bill Gates and Microsoft, another sponsor was the Charles Simonyi Foundation. Charles Simonyi [wikipedia.org] , for those who are not aware, was responsible for Microsoft Office as head of Microsoft's Applications division for many years. Much of the early version of Microsoft Word for MS-DOS and Multiplan were coded by Simonyi. He is the originator of the so-called 'Hungarian' notion for identifiers prevalent among M$ developers, where an identifier's type is embedded in the name, so you get variables like sName or nCount.

Re:ah! (1)

jcaldwel (935913) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923648)

g_bHungarianNotCausesBrainDamage = TRUE;
:-)

Re:ah! (2, Informative)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925384)

His version of Hungarian notation was a bit different from the one used now. For him, it wasn't type as in string vs. int vs. pointer to a long, it was about different kinds of data within types. For instance, a string guaranteed to be valid & null terminated would have one prefix and a string with no such guarantee could have another.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/Wrong.html [joelonsoftware.com]

sName and nCount is a bit of a perversion on that theme, given that a good IDE will show you the type if you want it and a compiler will throw errors everywhere if you use the wrong type. Arguably, things like typedef also make Simonyi's Hungarian obsolete.

Re:ah! (2, Informative)

Chief Camel Breeder (1015017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923386)

Yes, it probably will.

All modern control systems for research telescopes and instruments involve a supervisory layer and that is often run on a Unix or Unix-like system. LSST also has to do an unprecedented amount of soft-real-time processing on the data stream (see their tour page [lsst.org] , and this kind of astronomical software typically runs on Linux and/or Unix.

Re:ah! (1)

aurb (674003) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923786)

I want my money back!

Bill

Re:ah! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21923826)

Wrong. Most use TRON, QNX, or other real-time OS. Linux, even with the real-time patches, doesn't cut it.

Re:ah! (2, Informative)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923970)

I work at Steward Observatory, who is a major collaborator in the LSST project (and will make its mirror). The telescopes that Steward makes usually use Linux for the control systems, since it provides a reasonable level of real-time control capability and is fairly sane to administer. Telescope control requires getting rather close to the hardware, some thing that Windows is not especially good for. Our office is pretty much a 50-50 mix of Windows and Linux machines, with Windows used grudgingly in most cases for engineering software.

But they may use a big honkin' Microsoft data server farm to manage the images if they get that much money from Microsoft-enriched folks.

They WILL USE Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21924250)

Astronomical tradition is UNIX and more recently Linux oriented; besides, most astronomical software is Open Source. It would be hard to port all this software to Windows. That is, unless Mocrosoft donate money for that or do the poprting themselves.

No, but... (1)

td04impostor (1200577) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924268)

...of course it runs NetBSD!

Re:ah! (3, Informative)

chrisd (1457) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924930)

Please note that the LSST -isn't- about os politics, but about near earth object detection, and the telescope is going to create a crapton of data that needs storing and processing but last I talked with the engineering team, they were planning on running Linux across the -many- machines they need to process the data.

Chris DiBona

Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fund? (3, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922912)

As opposed to the bridge to nowhere or the Woodstock memorial.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (4, Insightful)

Amiga Trombone (592952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922966)

It might be arguable that it should, but the reality is that it never will.

One more argument for keeping money in the pocket of the people who earn it, rather than the government's....

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923106)

The founders of the U.S. had a problem with taxation without representation, not taxation in general. As long as elected representatives have overseen taxation and government expenditure, all is running as intended. This Slashdot mentality of "This money is mine, and the government is just stealing it!" is just elitist dismissal of democracy, because you think you know better how money should be spent than your community. Plus, it's crazy to claim that the money is yours alone when, hey, there wouldn't be coinage without the government and they can determine what to do with it. If you don't like it, start bartering.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (2, Insightful)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923248)

It is in no way an "elitist dismissal of democracy". Is it so bad to think for ourselves instead of expecting big brother to do it for us?

Your mentality is nothing more than you can't do it yourself, you have to have the government. Just another way to destroy individualism.

Moderate taxation isn't a problem, heavy taxation to support social programs is.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923508)

Moderate taxation isn't a problem, heavy taxation to support social programs is.
And choosing between these relative qualifiers is pretty much the reason governments exist. Or at least, the major reason governments should exist =).

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923666)

I'd say that governments should exist for the protection of the populace from external threats (other nations), and the protection of their rights and freedoms (for example, if someone were to try to murder you, or if some group were to try to overthrow the government to set up a new government which was more tyrannical). The government should then have to make a choice between "no taxes" and "some taxes", striving for the optimal balance of "just enough taxes to do the two jobs previously listed". It would seem that the founding fathers agree with me, based on some of the evidence they've left behind (Constitution, Federalist Papers, Bill of Rights, etc.).

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (2, Insightful)

brusk (135896) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923716)

No roads, then? No schools?

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924824)

People can organize to do things without resorting to theft. You've partly got me on the issue of roads, for some infrastructure the ideal balance of efficiency and ease of implementation is at the national level. Once it is built, however, why can't it be maintained by local government, paid for by user fees? That is both the easiest AND the most efficient solution. On the schooling issue, you are clearly a product of public education. Even if you WANT schools to be completely public, then all of human history up to the present day shows this is best done at the local level, not the federal level. Believe me, we don't need a federal government that's even 20% of the size it is today. Grow some balls and realize that you actually can survive without a corrupt, bloated bureaucracy telling you how to live your life and spend your money... at gunpoint.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (2, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923882)

Try to put those tasks on paper in an algorithmic form, the founding fathers did and this is where the US ended up. It's not that they had a bad idea, its simply that in terms of humanity there is rarely a condition with only a binary set of solutions or "valid" reactions (no matter how much media groups and marketers wants you to think this way, and by "valid" i mean the kind where you hear the why's of what someone did and you say "i can see that.."). Subjectivity is the root reason for governments to exists, and is also the root reason that any government can have its influence subverted or diverted given powerful enough interest groups.

sucks.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924686)

I have to agree with most of what you said, except for one statement: "Subjectivity is the root reason for governments to exist"... and I even agree with the part of the sentence after that statement. I still think the root REASONS government exist are the ones I postulated... over time, the government changes its purpose to suit its own needs, as you stated, and that is an unfortunate fact. However, saying that government exists to become corrupted by compromise and greed until it falls and is replaced is simply not true. That's like saying the reason ice cubes exist is because they melt. Yes they melt, but we make them to absorb heat. Melting is a gradual, unavoidable result of this, but when they are all melted, do we say "great, now that they're melted, we should strive for more puddles of water"? No, we say "dump out that water, let's make some new ice cubes".

Insightful?! (2, Insightful)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923440)

Sorry buddy, I think you're pigeonholing all the founders into a category of men who only cared about taxation without representation and nothing more... but lets ignore the fact that the majority of the founding fathers were individualists and against large government in ADDITION to disagreeing with taxation without representation, and take on your argument as if all your premises were true. Sorry, but when you take MY money, apply it to YOUR favorite pet programs that I feel are not worth the money or a detriment to myself and the country, then guess what... I am not being represented in government adequately for the taxes I pay. Dumbass.

Incidentally, a democracy is not what we have, and thank God. Before I let you go, ever hear of the tyranny of the majority? 51% of the people who are mildly in support of something can screw over 49% of the people who are vehemently against it. Just because you and your like-minded friends in the community think it'd be nice to build a $10 billion Museum of Rainbows and Sunshine doesn't make it right to tax me and my friends all our money to do it. Talk about elitism.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

Amiga Trombone (592952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923710)

The founders of the U.S. had a problem with taxation without representation, not taxation in general. As long as elected representatives have overseen taxation and government expenditure, all is running as intended. This Slashdot mentality of "This money is mine, and the government is just stealing it!" is just elitist dismissal of democracy, because you think you know better how money should be spent than your community.

You might want to try reading the original Constitution, prior to the 16th Amendment. You might notice that not only did it proscribe direct taxation of the citizenry, but the word "democracy" doesn't appear even once.

Something tells me you don't understand the intentions of the founders as well as you think you do.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924110)

Plus, it's crazy to claim that the money is yours alone when, hey, there wouldn't be coinage without the government and they can determine what to do with it.

You say that like it matters - Do you really believe "wealth" doesn't exist without the underlying pyramid-scheme of fiat currencies?

Perhaps more relevantly - The US Treasury just last month cracked down on a popular form of exactly what you claim we wouldn't have without the government. Doesn't it strike you as strange that they would need to have laws against something that can't exist?



If you don't like it, start bartering.

Sorry, no can do - The government expects its share of that too... Except that leads to the intentionally unmeetable requirement of paying taxes with money you don't have.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

scottv67 (731709) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924700)

If you don't like it, start bartering.

I agree that the idea of switching to a barter-based system is appealing. But the age-old question will still have to be answered: Who runs Bartertown?

And representation without taxation is good? (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924734)

The problem is that those of us who are paying more and more in taxes are effectively suffering taxation without representation anyhow.

This is because "our" representatives spend a lot of money on bread and circuses [wikipedia.org] to benefit people who don't pay their "fair share".

My definition of fair:

(Cost of Government) / (Number of Citizens) = the fair tax per citizen.

Anything else is unfair, but necessary simply because not everyone can afford their share.

All the shenanigans of modern tax code boils down to the politics of extracting unfair amounts of money from whomever can pay.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

Amiga Trombone (592952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924982)

Plus, it's crazy to claim that the money is yours alone when, hey, there wouldn't be coinage without the government and they can determine what to do with it. If you don't like it, start bartering.

Actually, there were people trying to do exactly that, [libertydollar.org] but the government didn't like the competition...

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925112)

No, the government didn't like the fraud. If they had made their own currency in a different shape and appearance than U.S. coinage, there wouldn't have been a problem.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

Amiga Trombone (592952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925388)

That's odd - nobody has been charged with fraud. Or anything else, for that matter. Who is claiming to have been defrauded?

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925472)

By using disc-shaped pieces of metal and rectangular pieces of papers as their currency and recommending them for general purchases, the Liberty Dollar project could have confused the general public. The law 18 U.S.C. 514 is meant to protect against that.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

Amiga Trombone (592952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925512)

I believe the Canadian government, among others, is also manufacturing disc-shaped pieces of metal and rectangular pieces of papers as their currency and recommending them for general purchases. When are we invading?

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

emilper (826945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925448)

if those that make the "liberty dollars" imagine silver or gold are not "fiat" money too, they are deeply ignorant, or crooks. You should search for purchase power variations for an ounce of gold or one of silver ... it went down a lot, on average, since the XVIth century, and in the meantime it varied a lot, with huge ups and downs. All money are "fiat", and all monetary exchange is kind of a barter ... whether it's paper money or gold or seashells or glass beads.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21923056)

Isn't this what my Microsoft tax money is supposed to fund?

There. Fixed that for you.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (2, Interesting)

ChadAmberg (460099) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923428)

As a thought experiment, how is this any different than SpaceShipOne? Lots of geeks cheered when private enterprise started doing space travel. And now just because private philanthropy is providing a very capable telescope, suddenly it's why isn't the gummint paying for this? Let's take money away from widows an orphans on this...

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21923764)

I for one would much rather see a billionaire donating money to charity out of free will, rather than a coercive model which forces the individual to support the program irrespective of his beliefs (and also pay a cut to the middleman: the people in the business of government). What Bill Gates is doing here is true charity, quite unlike what goverment does.

If I was him, I'd do the same thing. I'd do everything in my power to keep my fortune out of the hands of those who employ coercion as a means, and everything in my power to distribute my fortune to those charities and projects which rely on true free will, not coercion -- whether commercial or not.

In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion he's doing exactly that. ;)

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924392)

As opposed to the bridge to nowhere or the Woodstock memorial.
Bridges and memorials don't pose a challenge to religious dogma.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925406)

You should write the President and ask him to give an executive order to not comply with earmarks that do not explicitly appear in legislation. Oddly, the vast majority of earmarks are from conference reports and lack the force of law This is somehow a way for congressmen to avoid taking responsibility for wasteful spending. There has been some talk of Bush doing this, but the pressure from powerful lobbyists and congressmen has turned the administration away from this crucial step.

Seriously, take ten minutes and write. It really does matter. The President's party lost big, partly for corrupt spending, and if enough voters chimed in, I'm confident Bush would take this opportunity to attempt to salvage his party's old fiscal steward position. Bush knows he is so unpopular there is really no way to attack him politically anymore, and this will not be true for the next president. If Bush doesn't do this, no one else will.

Re:Isn't this what my tax money is supposed to fun (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925466)

To be fair, the "bridge to nowhere" gets a bad rap. Two of Stevens' projects were dubbed as "bridges to nowhere," although one of them was arguably a pretty good idea.

The first, and the more famous never had a chance of being built, because even the locals thought it was a terrible and ridiculous idea. Stevens was stupid to propose it....

The second would have opened up large areas of undeveloped land in an area that is otherwise overcrowded, overpopulated, and expensive. Although the area is indeed mostly empty, the bridge would have almost certainly spurred massive development in the area. (Think of it like connecting New York to Long Island, which was very much a vast expanse of nothingness before the road link was constructed). The opponents of the project attached the label of "bridge to nowhere", which many confused with the first project, and it was swiftly voted down.

Stevens has had some awful ideas, although you can't give the rest of the senate all that much credit, as they've proven themselves unable to differentiate between the bad ideas and the good ones.

Gates Will Discover The Planet Ballmer (2, Funny)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922916)

Where its inhabitants greet the rising of its four suns by gathering en masse and screaming "DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS!!"

Re:Gates Will Discover The Planet Ballmer (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925442)

its inhabitants greet the rising of its four suns

Sun? No way! Planet Ballmer has no sun, only windows!

I bet... (4, Funny)

aurb (674003) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922946)

...they are going to use it to search for potential markets for Microsofts` products...

Re:I bet... (2, Insightful)

moondo (177508) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924426)

The guy put $30 mln of his own money. Let him do what he wants with it... and if we benefit in the process, let's be grateful. Maybe we can learn a lesson on business.

We all know... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922956)

It wont work until it gets a new service pack
  it will only look in the direction it chooses too
  Before looking though it, you will have to click ten boxes of "are you sure you want to look in that direction" are you sure you want to see that star", are you sure you want to see that spacecraft heading for earth.." and so forth.

Re:We all know... (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923090)

Ooh, you greedy bastard, chewing out all the bad jokes before anyone else gets a chance.

Re:We all know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21923338)

Your universe has encountered an unrecoverable error - all your life and starsystems has been lost. Do you want to:

Send an interdimensional error message?
Close down your universe without sending a message?

Please choose Send or Close Down..

Now why do I seem to think dark matter and dark energy is something Microsoft discovered years and years ago... and has already patented it?

It'd scan the sky faster... (2, Funny)

GradiusCVK (1017360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21922958)

...if it didn't take so long to copy the images it takes onto external storage.

someone has to say it... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21922968)

Blue Sky Of Death

ITT we smack babies with frying pans (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21923012)

All the trolls have fucked off to 4chan while i hang along on slashdot. Since i am going to ls dafjklsfdjklsjldl fsdsdfsjl f jlkd jlkfajk fjk df jd ssfjljkl fds l jd dfljfdj dlj kfdsj lkjl jjkjk sj df jdf block fajkldlkfjdsjlfjlkdsjfdsjifdjl fdjf ddfjfdjlfjdfjdsjfkdjlfdkfkhhkafkjldjfkd jlfk dksfk jds fdjlff jsaf ldjdf jfd jfdj kjljidjifjdlfjlkdfdtafbndnrnrf jkfladlffjdljafjlkjlfaljfdjlkdafjklfdajfldlkjdafjd.da.

TL/DR with tesco value cherryade.

but if it's a VR simulation... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21923036)

why don't we just hack in and download the map directly? :P

Re:but if it's a VR simulation... (1)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925026)

because if we're living in the VR sim then how can we possibly store a copy of the sim within the sim...I think it would cause a buffer overrun.

Re:but if it's a VR simulation... (1)

Loke the Dog (1054294) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925664)

Well, it doesn't have to be that detailed. We just have to hack it to give us a lower resolution copy.

They're going to use it to watch . . . (3, Funny)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923038)

The winner of the Google Lander program land on the moon.

The entire sky in three days? (2, Informative)

Laguerre (1198383) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923066)

There is no place on earth where you can see the entire night sky over three days. There will always be stars hidden.

Re:The entire sky in three days? (2, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923188)

Indeed. Cerro Pachon [gemini.edu] is at 30 degrees south, in central Chile, meaning that a fair portion of the northern sky won't be visible.

Re:The entire sky in three days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21923788)

perhaps they should consider making a few MORE of these at various locations to cover the entire "sky"...distributed astronomy...
(or maybe nobody is worried about an asteroid hitting my part of Earth)

Re:The entire sky in three days? (1)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924002)

If you define "the night sky" to mean "that portion of the sky visible at night from where you are located", then it is quite possible.

Just be glad for the science (1)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923072)

I'm glad that private institutions/individuals care about pure science and exploration enough to build this. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if they licensed the telescope in order to turn it into a profit maker.

Earth-Killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21923080)

If Bill Gates happens to spot a giant earth-killing asteroid with his new telescope, will the slashdot community decide maybe Windows wasn't such a bad thing after all?

Re:Earth-Killer (2, Funny)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923178)

Depends if the OS of the nuke-intercept-missile crashes along the way to said asteroid...

It looks like you're trying... (5, Funny)

gimpeh (1209722) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923086)

...to scan the sky!

Do you want to
  • create a document template?
  • send an email to a friend?
  • send the invasion fleet to a new planet?

there is no dark matter .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923088)

"probing the mysteries of dark matter"

In my opinion this will go the way of the aether [wikipedia.org] and be totally discredited in time. The aether being denser than Iron and being able to propagate light .. er at the speed of light.

The basic evidence for 'dark matter' is that galaxies are rotating to fast and maintaining there shape differently than gravitational allows for. They should fly apart or never been formed. Rather then change the current theory, scientists went out and invented 'dark matter'.

Re:there is no dark matter .. (2, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923200)

The basic evidence for 'dark matter' is that galaxies are rotating to fast and maintaining there shape differently than gravitational allows for. They should fly apart or never been formed. Rather then change the current theory, scientists went out and invented 'dark matter'.

So care to explain why there appears to be an expanding universe? Dark matter is a stop gap, but unless you provide a better reason, its all we got. I think that was the point of projects like this to either prove or disprove 'dark matter'.

Re:there is no dark matter .. (1)

ChadAmberg (460099) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923476)

Isn't Dark Energy responsible for the expanding universe while Dark Matter the explanation for gravity being stronger than expected at larger distances? Two different things there... both dark though.

Re:there is no dark matter .. (1)

JetJaguar (1539) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923474)

There is dark matter. There is more evidence for it besides galactic rotation curves. Lookup the virial theorem and galactic cluster binding energy (in other words, without dark matter there's not enough mass to hold galactic clusters together). Google the Bullet Cluster, in this specific case they have been able to detect a distinct separation between the dark matter and visible matter. There is definitely something there, even if we don't know what it is.

Re:there is no dark matter .. (4, Informative)

volsung (378) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923550)

Galactic rotation curves are only one of the pieces of evidence of dark matter. There is also a lot of evidence due to weak lensing that there are large invisible mass distributions. The Bullet Cluster is an especially impressive observation of two clusters colliding. The shockwave from the baryonic gases smacking into each other has separated the hydrogen from the dark matter, as seen when you overlay the xray map and the mass distribution reconstructed with weak lensing. Modified theories of gravity can most easily explain discrepancies when the visible matter and apparent invisible matter are concentric (such as in rotation curves). Then you just need to tweak the radial force strength at large distance. But in a system like the bullet cluster, the visible and dark matter have been separated, and that's a lot harder to explain with modified gravity. (Not that people aren't trying, of course...)

Astronomers fought long and hard against dark matter, but grudgingly accepted it after it became more and more difficult to explain galactic rotation curves, weak lensing, the large scale structure of galactic clusters, and the power spectrum of variations in the cosmic microwave background without it. It all fits together much better when you introduce a very weakly interacting source of mass into the soup that makes up the universe. (Weakly interacting enough to become a nearly collisionless fluid early on during the expansion of the universe.) The smoking gun will be the detection of dark matter in a controlled lab setting. Those searches are just now beginning to ramp up.

With all apologies to Roger Waters... (2, Funny)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923748)

There is no dark matter really. Matter of fact it's all dark.

Re:there is no dark matter .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21924522)

You might want to be a little more careful with your wording. There is certainly some missing matter (aka dark matter) that is normal matter we just haven't found. The people in the field think most of the missing matter might be non-baryonic, but there's no real evidence for this, just a lack of a better explanation. For such an extraordinary claim, I want some decent evidence. Still, my point is, everyone pretty much agrees that some baryonic dark matter is missing from our current inventory.

Re:there is no dark matter .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924682)

"You might want to be a little more careful with your wording. There is certainly some missing matter (aka dark matter) that is normal matter we just haven't found"

Matter that supposedly permeates this galaxy and solar system, is undetectable, that acts gravitationally on normal matter, but doesn't itself clump, the evidence being how galaxies keep their shape. Alternatives being the braneworld scenario [arxiv.org] , or Rotational Drag Forces [ultramax-music.com] . Maybe the gravitational constant isn't so constant after all .. :)

Maybe it will discover the mysteries of (1, Funny)

Anderlan (17286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923116)

the Blue Star of Death!

Waste of money (1)

suds (6610) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923160)

All that money just to show something blue!? Sure Bill knows a cheaper way! :P

Re:Waste of money (1)

bigsam411 (1043552) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925500)

Sure all he really has to do is run Windows ME for a few minutes and and we will see lots of blue.

Bill Gates and Simonyi foundation... (3, Informative)

$random_var (919061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923220)

...not Bill Gates and Microsoft. Anybody making that misattribution clearly didn't even read the headline of the actual article, let alone the chunk of text quoted in the summary.

Good investment. (1)

hovercycle (1118435) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923286)

How geeky of you Sir! Will Galaxy Zoo have access to this data?

Yeah, but ... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21923298)

... does it run Linux ?

3 billion pixels??? (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923306)

I can't wait to see the television they have to build to display those images...

can I buy it.... (1)

paxgaea (219419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923310)

the following month for $50 on Ebay when they come out with one that has 18 billion pixels at a cost of only $10 million?

I look at my 2 megapixel camera these days and struggle with whether I should buy batteries for it or not...

Expensive!! (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923484)

>> Bill Gates... donated $30 million to an ambitious telescope

Talk about an expensive subsitute phallus. Most guys just buy a Corvette and get over it.

Is that how much it costs? (3, Insightful)

johannesg (664142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923498)

Only $30 million to look for planet-destroying rocks from outer space? Is that really all it takes to saveguard our species and world from such threats? If so, why aren't there half a dozen of these things already scanning the heavens every second of the day?

Gee, *humans*...

Re:Is that how much it costs? (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924032)

Well, probably because of the fact that many would see it as $30mil to be able to look for planet-destroying rocks from outer space, and then watch as said rock slams into us as what the hell do we do about it currently =).

If theres a viable "... Then blows the offending chunk of matter into its constituent atoms" support system, then yeah crank em out.

Re:Is that how much it costs? (1)

sholden (12227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924336)

You have a strange idea of "safeguard". This makes it more likely me see it coming. It still hits and kills us.

Some people like to watch the doctor do the injection, other people like to close their eyes. Both methods still result in the injection happening...

Re:Is that how much it costs? (2, Informative)

johannesg (664142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924442)

These things don't show up with 4-hour warning. If you look carefully, you can see them coming years, even decades in advance. That gives us a reasonable amount of time to deflect it (which could be as easy as painting one half of it white!).

Re:Is that how much it costs? (1)

sholden (12227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924566)

If we found one tomorrow there is nothing we could do about it now. We'd be better off spending the efforts on coming up with those paint it white options and testing them on rocks we already know about (that aren't going to hit us, and that won't when we deflect them a bit, but have similar characteristics to ones that might) to see if we can deflect them enough to make a difference. Then maybe having a look-see might be worthwhile...

Re:Is that how much it costs? (2, Insightful)

thexray (1000044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924812)

What good this technology will be if we found ome tomorrow? I think we need invest into both areas at the same time.

Re:Is that how much it costs? (1)

Panseh (1072370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924960)

Bill Gates and Charles Simonyi only donated $30 million; in 2005, estimated costs [llnl.gov] were $300 million, $30 million for design and $270 million for construction.

Plus, according to NASA

The cost to find at least 90 percent of the 20,000 potentially hazardous asteroids and comets by 2020 would be about $1 billion...
Source [space.com] .

Re:Is that how much it costs? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925542)

There are government funded sky surveys that look for and track this kind of object.

The chances are low in the short term, but a 1000 year asteroid collision can cause serious devastation, which is likely centuries away. In terms of risk vs. reward, there are other problems where the money may be better spent.

It's a balancing act, in my opinion.

Go to the source (1)

martyb (196687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923794)

Here are links to the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) home page [lsst.org] and its layout and construction [lsst.org] .

Megapixels (1)

wardle (206858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21923814)

Don't they know that you shouldn't buy a camera just based on the number of megapixels....

Microsoft is not involved (1)

sledge_hmmer (1179603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924128)

I know this is Slashdot and nobody RTFA (especially not editors!), but TFA says nothing about Microsoft being involved. The only connection is Bill Gates and as far as is clear, he is funding this from his own pockets (not Microsoft coffers).

fuddles looking for a place to hide (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21924178)

after becoming a godless softwar gangster, & not a 'nerd' as robbIE so affectionately claims, he's likely plotting a getaway before the creators' newclear powered big flash happens.

if you don't care to learn about looking after/caring for each other, just continue following the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn. anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile;

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Dibbs, I found it first (1)

ptbob (737777) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924216)

So I get to name it. Right? Who gets to name all the new asteroids and comets they find? The first person to spot it in a photo frame?

Waste of Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21924246)

I don't seem to understand the point in "investing" millions of dollars into projects that will take more than a few years to complete. It just seems at the rate of technology nowadays, by the time 2014 comes around we'll all have one of these on our cell phones.

Re:Waste of Money? (2, Insightful)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924326)

..and what fuels this wonderful "rate" of technology, if not people investing millions into multi-year (i.e. DIFFICULT) projects.

If we stopped investing millions into projects like these, your cell phone in 2014 would look exactly the same as it does today.

30 TB of Data .... A Night!!!! (1)

RSwan (69788) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924394)

One of the major difficulties with this telescope doesn't have anything to do with the telescope itself, but how to handle the 30 Terabytes of data gathered each clear night. How many of us have 30 TB of storage at all, let alone storing and analyzing an additional 30 TB of data a night.

My God! (2, Funny)

Ranger (1783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21924906)

It's full of blue.

Compression (1)

IdeaMan (216340) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925340)

Is there a compression algorithm for video of skies?

V2.0 of this telescope should be able to survey the entire sky in real time, and compress the feed down to something reasonable. Tie 3 or 4 of these together in different countries and you have a continuous realtime recording of space as visible from the earth archived for researchers.

boinc, @home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21925698)

Let's hope someone figures out a way to make a boinc or @home project using the images from this new telescope. Looking forward to it.

Ya know... (1)

beej (82035) | more than 6 years ago | (#21925710)

I'm going to take back some of the things I've said about you, Bill. You...[handing over candybar] You've earned it.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...