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# Questions tagged [telescopes]

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### If we increase the aperture of a telescope and decrease its magnification, can it be harmful to the eyes?

The full moon is the brightest object in the night sky. I believe that if we increase the aperture of the objective, and decrease the magnification of the telescope, it might concentrate a dangerous ...
19k views

### What are ADU (analog-to-digital units)?

Can someone explain simply what are ADU's? I was reading this post here: http://www.qsimaging.com/blog/understanding-gain-on-a-ccd-camera/ However, I still don't quite understand this statement: "...
415 views

### Why isn't Zemax showing a tilt on the wavefront on my telescope design?

Attached is a Zemax file Zemax File for an afocal telescope system. When i tilt the field by an angle of 2 degrees (In green) I would expect a wavefront tilt at the "Image " plane, however when I ...
4k views

### How to Ray Trace Chief and Marginal Rays in Thin Lens Systems

Looking at the below images, the chief and marginal ray appear to be modeled just fine. But, those lines don't seem to conform to the rules typically used in thin lens ray traces. An example of ...
2k views

### Keplerian Telescope Exit Pupil Location - Whats the Basis for It's Formula?

For a simple two lens Keplerian telescope, this is the formula for the location of the exit pupil: $$z'=\frac{f_2}{f_1}(f_1+f_2)$$ Where $z'$ is the distance to the exit pupil location (i.e. eye ...
127 views

### Non-discoveries by the Kepler space telescope: exomoons, co-orbital planets, trojans

I am just reading the review article Advances in exoplanet science from Kepler (arxiv preprint: http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.1595), and I found a remarkable paragraph (last paragraph in section "...
74 views

### Data/signal from a black hole to observe a singularity

I wonder if a situation is possible where, we measure some signal/property concerning a black hole. Supposing the measurement we make with some telescope, gets us the Fourier transform coefficients of ...
7k views

### What can be seen with a 114mm Aperture 675x Zoom Telescope?

I choose to post this question on the physics exchange seeing there would be a bigger audience for answers than the astronomy exchange still in BETA. But i'm looking to buy a telescope and was ...
352 views

### WHY is a Refracting telescope image distance $S'=-\infty$?

In the above slide, it says that "Eyepiece '2' makes the image distance $S'$ approach $-\infty$." However, What I don't understand is that if I place my eye right at the Eyepiece 2, then I would see ...
6k views

### Is it possible to 3D print a mirror to create a high quality telescope?

Is it possible to 3D print a mirror with todays available materials? If so, would there be a reduction in image quality?
620 views

### Absorption lines in the context of identifying elements in far away celestial objects

I understand that absorption lines are used to identify elements but how are individual absorption spectrums identified in the light that is received by a telescope?
3k views

### Can I use one convex lens to create a telescope?

Is it possible to create a telescope with only one convex lens? Specifically, is the image I drew below possible? (This was supposed to be rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise.) In this picture, the ...
426 views

### Does sign convention in geometric optics fail to explain the cases of image formation by virtual objects?

Here is an example of Cassegrain telescope: Parallel rays from a distant object get reflected by the concave mirror forming an image at its focus behind the convex mirror. This image acts as a virtual ...
2k views

### Are there any astronomical objects at night that are dangerous to look at (through a telescope)?

Are there any astronomical bodies that would be dangerous to my vision to view through a telescope? Obviously the sun is dangerous, but are there other bodies at night I should avoid?
17k views

### Why did high quality mirrors use aluminum coatings instead of silver?

I have two questions on mirrors. I’ve read that in the past quality mirrors were coated with silver but that today vacuum evaporated coatings of aluminum are the accepted standard. When I look at the ...
1k views

### CCD's and the photoelectric effect

Do charge coupled devices as found in telescopes use the photoelectric effect if not what eles librates the electons. Also what is charge intergration in reation to CCD's.
463 views

### How to calculate error of parallax and sextant based navigation?

First of all, why wasn't the sextant ever used for land navigation? The horizon is easier to see at sea, but land based sextants could be used in conjunction with artificial horizons (as at sea when ...
114 views

### What do the latest FERMI results say about dark matter?

There was an announcement at a recent UCLA symposium on dark matter by the FERMI collaboration which hints at some evidence of dark matter. The results aren't yet published, but the symposium news ...
69 views

### need data-point: count rate of APD (avalanche photo-diode) for specific aperture and stellar magnitude

I hope lab / experimental physics is fair game for this web-site. If not, sorry! I'm designing a sensor system to perform specialized [astronomy and space-sciences] experiments, and need a "reality ...
195 views

### Is it possible to build an optical system that increases the perceived surface brightness?

So is it possbile to build a system from lenses and mirrors that can make faint gas nebulas brighter or can be used as nightvision? If you increase the size of the aperture of a telescope it will ...
2k views

### Radio vs optical telescope imaging

As I understand, the visible light from an optical telescope is focused on a sensor which correlates light exposure to an electrical voltage, which is then converted to an image. A single antenna ...
306 views

### When viewed from a telescope, does an object get more magnified if its angular diameter is increased?

and if yes, how can the diameter be increased? Lets say I want to view saturn from a small telescope. Increasing the angular diameter will give a better magnification if the answer to the above ...
264 views

### Will a telescope show a more magnified image if the object is brighter?

I have a small telescope which shows me the moon's craters a little bit magnified. Consider a situation where the moon is very very brighter than its current brightness, so that the telescope's ...
4k views

### What is the highest useful magnification todays largest telescopes can offer?

I know that the maximum (useful) magnification is limited by the diffraction limit, but I was not able to find numbers for the highest useful magnification factors using modern large telescopes. How ...
269 views

### Could a mirror array used for thermal solar power plant double as a telescope at night?

I was looking at the Ivanpah Solar facility and it occurred to me that the large array of mirrors could double as some sort of telescope array at night. The climate in the desert would be ideal for ...
643 views

### Why aren't there any arrays of visible light telescope?

There have been many radio telescope arrays which are capable of resolving stars significantly fainter than can be resolved with a single "small" radio telescope. Why don't they do the same with ...
101 views

### Any projects to build a telescope in space?

Like in the title. With E-ELT we are pushing the limit of what we can build on the ground. With JWST we are pushing the limit of what can we launch into space. So instead, why don't we launch tools ...
259 views

### How many watts of light do instruments in modern telescopes need?

I just calculated that if the European extremely large telescope(978 m^2 area) would be pointed at the Andromeda galaxy once it is built, it will only get mere 1.2*10^-6 Watts of power from Andromeda. ...
913 views

### How to measure the altitude of an object in the sky?

If I use a telescope to observe a plane in the sky, how can I find the altitude of the plane(altitude of the plane with respect to the ground)?
548 views

### Why are telescopes on top of Mauna Kea instead of Mauna Loa?

Many large and important telescopes are located on top of Mauna Kea on Hawaii. This is a great location for many reasons: it's tall enough to be above the weather, an inversion layer at night keeps ...
719 views

### How big of a telescope to view Gliese 581g in great detail?

I've always been interested in mega sized telescopes and how big they would have to be to see exoplanets in great detail. So, Gliese 581g is 22 light years away. Could we build a telescope in space ...
587 views

### Is it possible to take a picture of a star?

In this question I am not considering the sun, but only other stars. Stars are big, but they are also far away. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star The nearest star to the Earth, apart from the Sun,...
11k views

### What is the theoretical limit for farthest we can see back in time and distance?

13.2 billion years ago the universe was rather small, having started only half a billion years ago. Today, with the help of Hubble Space Telescope, we are able to capture the light of galaxies emitted ...
1k views

### Is it possible to surpass the diffraction limit for telescopes?

Telescopes have angular diffraction limit depending on the observed wavelength and aperture diameter. I've read that it's possible to go beyond the limit for microscopes. But is it possible to do the ...
1k views

### Optimal telescope size?

Consider a diffraction-limited telescope with unobstructed aperture $D$. Such a scope is capable of yielding an angular resolution $\alpha$ that scales as $\lambda/D$, with $\lambda$ denoting the ...
16k views

### Why do focal lengths affect magnification?

For compound lenses, the image formed by first lens acts as the imaginaryobject for the second lens. In telescopes, the objective lens projects an image on its focal point which works as the object ...
2k views

### Telescope size to view saturn

What is the properties (size, etc) of required lenses for minimal telescope to see the Saturn rings clearly?
2k views

### Do I need to focus the telescope?

I purchased a 90x refractor telescope with below configuration. Objective: 50mm diameter with 360mm focal length 2 Eye pieces: 6mm, 20mm (10-1/ 8" scope) 1.5x erecting eye piece It measures 13- 5/8”...
319 views

### Why is the Hubble Space telescope able to see farthest in the universe?

What determines how far a telescope can see in the universe? How does recording data for a very long time (~10 years) help? If we could build a telescope which work at microwave region, will it be a ...
666 views

### Why does a blue sky at dusk appear nearly black through a telescope?

Earlier this evening I was looking at the Moon through my cheap toy telescope (x150 magnification) when I noticed a (rather mundane) optical effect I couldn't explain. The Sun had just dipped below ...
837 views

### Future space-based telescope array

Radio-telescopes (e.g. the Very Large Array (VLA)) can simulate one gigantic dish by using separate smaller dishes. Q: Could such an array of optical telescopes potentially see an exoplanet at say 20 ...
399 views

### Why do we stop using optics for photons above a certain energy?

I'm reading about how the soon-to-be-launched NuSTAR is on the cutting edge of focusing x-rays, which captures 5 to 80 keV radiation by focusing them with optics that have a 10.15 meter focal length ...
225 views

### Distance at which a 300m asteroid is visible

Using the best available telescopes, and assuming a typical albedo of 10%, at what distance can a 300m asteroid be seen (well enough to start plotting its course) in 1) visible and 2) infrared ...
131 views

### Adaptive Optics Capability in the Visible Range

Telescopes with adaptive optics (AO) have been in use for several decades. To my knowledge, the lowest wavelengths utilized are in the near-infrared. It's known that Fried parameters are smaller for ...
456 views

### Error analysis of flux from telescope-CCD setup (photometric calibration)

I am doing photometric calibration of a telescope and am trying to work out the errors on the flux that I measure. I have attempted to work out the errors due to the process of removing bias, dark ...
32k views

### How to ‘correct’ reflected image on my telescope?

When viewed using my reflector telescope, the image, for example the moon, is flipped over and upside down (reflected). Therefore I need to do the ‘opposite’ movements when I want to align something. ...
222 views

### What sort of equipment would I need to take a photo like this?

I'm interested in doing some astrophotography and I'm looking into the equipment needed to get a photo like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cscunha1984/6619321531/in/faves-heyvian/ I'm not looking ...
7k views

### How to correct flares and sharply focus on my telescope when viewing planets.

A month or two ago I purchased a “Skywatcher Explorer 130P Newtonian Reflector” telescope - which so far is brilliant when looking at the Moon, esp. using a neutral density filter. However, when ...
44k views

### Having difficulties finding objects with Celestron Telescope

I have a Celestron Astromaster 114 EQ, which I saw was highly recommended as a great beginner scope. But I just can't seem to find anything in the sky with it. Yes, I've removed the lens cap, yes I've ...
4k views

### Can you damage your eyes viewing Venus?

Whilst I know it is extremely dangerous to view the sun using a telescope (or even just looking directly at it for prolong periods) can you do permanent damage to your eyes looking at Venus through a ...