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Will it be possible to build a telescope using many small flat mirrors as a replacement for the prime curved telescope mirror?

If the answer is yes, can you please provide a formula connecting the telescope's aperture size and the maximum flat mirror size to make this work?

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You can make segmented mirrors for telescopes, but each segment must be curved and not flat in order to focus the light to a single point.

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  • $\begingroup$ Why can't flat mirrors focus light? What if each mirror would be extremely small, smaller than a millimeter. Surely there must be some limit to the perfection of the curved mirrors. $\endgroup$ – Ilya Gazman Jan 21 at 4:18
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    $\begingroup$ @IlyaGazman At what point would you say that a disco ball looks like a mirrored sphere? I bet you could tell the difference by eye even if each mirror were 1 mm$^2$. The light from a telescope needs to be focused with extreme precision - there's a reason that telescope mirrors are expensive. $\endgroup$ – J. Murray Jan 21 at 4:29
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    $\begingroup$ @IlyaGazman Also to answer your question, flat mirrors have infinite focal length. $\endgroup$ – J. Murray Jan 21 at 4:33

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