Chapter 6: Telescopes

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Dusan Keres

Ch. 6 Telescopes -Light gathering power: ability to collect light -Resolving power: ability to reveal more detail Telescopes: bigger is better *The larger the mirror surface area, the brighter the image. (brighter image, not necessarily bigger) *Larger mirror diameter results in better angular resolution (ability to see smaller angular separation) -angular resolution: the smallest angle over which we can tell that two dots—or two stars—are distinct -diffraction limit: a limit on angular resolution -refracting telescope: transparent lens to collect light --used by early astronomers -reflecting telescope: primary mirror collect light --used by astronomers now Atmosphere: 1) distorts image 2) prevents most of the forms of light to penetrate the atmosphere 3) light pollution -adaptive optics: clears up distortion from the atmosphere Practice Questions:  Suppose two stars are separated in the sky by 0.1 arcsecond. If you look at them with a telescope that has an angular resolution of 0.5 arcsecond, you will see one point of light that is the blurred image of both stars.  The angular separation of two stars is 0.5 degrees. The typical angular resolution of human eyes is 1/60 degree. A person will be able to see both stars.  How much greater is the light-collecting area of a 6-m
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