Eyes of Neptune, The

Ultra Long Baseline Virtual Space Telescope

Eyes of Neptune
Image from Steve Bowers
Two clouds of space telescopes located at Neptune's Trojan Points, constructed in the First Federation Era
The Eyes of Neptune were, until the 55th Century AT, the largest telescope created by Terran Civilization. They were intended as an extrapolation of the Eyes of Luna, the previous record, like it a hypertelescope but with the observing components located at the L4 and L5 points of Neptune, as opposed to the Earth's Moon. In addition, the components would be assembled in situ by converting small Trojan asteroids of Neptune (using von Neumann replicator devices), as opposed to being assembled in Earth Orbit and sent to their intended locations. This allowed for much greater viewing area, as well as a longer baseline.

The proposal for the Eyes of Neptune were made as part of the Century 26 Plan, a list of scientific projects to be carried out during the 26th Christian century. However, the construction of the hyper telescope had barely begun when the Technocalypse halted the project for over half a millennium. The First Federation revived the plan as part of the Second Renaissance. Two clouds consisting of millions of large telescopes with a total surface area of millions of square kilometres were manufactured using asteroid material, capable of resolving planets in nearby galaxies. However dust and interstellar gas significantly reduced the resolution in most directions.

First light was achieved on Darwin 7, 1221 when the Eyes of Neptune were turned on the white dwarf WD J0917+4638, discovering the curious curlicues in this white dwarf's photosphere, which led to a re-evaluation of the physics of degenerate matter.

The Eyes of Neptune were eventually incorporated into the Argus Array via the Wormhole network, and now form an important part of this extended multispectral telescope system.
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Text by Tom MazanecInitially published on 19 November 2015.