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Queen's University
Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy
ASTR 101

Observatories • Generally built in areas away from city light and above much of the atmospheric water vapor, such as the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope on Mauna Kea, however they can be built anywhere  Funded either through private funding (David Levy of the Shoemaker-Levy comet discovery that crashed into Jupiter in 1994), Private endowment (James Lick observatory in California) or collaboration of nations (CFHT) • Telescopes were once built wherever it was convenient  Lick Observatory: Built on Mt. Hamilton so Lick could see it from his house  Dunlap Observatory: Built in Richmond Hill so it could be accessible by streetcar from UofT • These days, telescopes are built in areas with political stability, easily accessed, and good weather, high altitude, good "seeing" (no turbulence) and dark skied regions  Mid latitude regions in both hemispheres are ideal to ensure that the entire sky can be observed Observing at Mauna Kea: • Exhilarating exploratory environment however high-altitude sickness such as pulmonary edema (HAPE) or cerebral edema (HACE) can occur  Dangerous because you cannot always leave the mountain due to weather, so you cannot always make it to a hospital • Many people want to use the telescope so it is difficult when there are weather-related issues that prevent data collection Why Glass is Used in Telescopes: • In Newton's time and for long there after glass was not used and other materials were coated will reflective surface, such as speculum, a metal alloy that polishes shiny  Glass is now used because it is more cost effective, light, easy to produce, and has unique thermal properties (does not expand/contract with changing temperatures)  Glass is coated with a thin layer of aluminium, which gives it reflective mirror properties  Aluminium layer is one of the most critical features of the telescope, and it weighs less than a coke can Making the Most of Optical Astronomy • Telescopes need to be designed to efficiently collect light from distant, faint objects  Needs to be able to collect data from faint stars/asteroids that do not reflect light  Rare objects will likely be far away due to vastness of the universe  To study beyond our universe, we need efficient telescopes • Photographic plates: Large glass plates that produce negative images, meaning where light hits the area is darkened, so stars are represented by black dots  Ver
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