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6 - Telescopes.docx

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Department
Astronomy
Course
Astronomy 1021
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Fall

Description
AstronomyChapter 6Telescopes61 Eyes and Cameras Everyday Light SensorsLight waves slow down when they hit your eye because light generally travels more slowly through denser matter than through airoThe change in speed causes the wave the bend this is known as refractionThe place where the image appears in focus is called the focal plane of the lensAny device that records light is called a detector62 Telescopes Giant EyesThe light collecting area tells us how much total light the telescope can collect at one timeAngular resolution is the smallest angle over which we can tell that two dotsor two starsare distinctThe ultimate limit to a telescopes resolving power comes from the properties of light oSince light is an electromagnetic wave beams of light can interfere with one another like overlapping sets of ripples on a pondThe interference limits a telescopes angular resolution even when all other conditions are perfectThe angular resolution that a telescope could achieve if it were limited only by the interference of light waves is called its diffraction limitoThe diffraction limit depends on both the diameter of the telescopes primary mirror and the wavelength of the light being observedThe two types of telescopesoA refracting telescope operates much like an eye using transparent glass lenses to collect and focus lightoA reflecting telescope uses a precisely curved primary mirror to gather light this mirror reflects the gathered light to a secondary mirrorAll telescopes used in current astronomical research are reflectors
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