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chapter05_telescopes - Reflecting Mirror Refraction by a...

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Reflecting Mirror
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Refraction by a Prism Refraction by a Lens
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Reflectors & Refractors
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Largest Refracting Telescope, at Yerkes
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Mauna Kea Observatory
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Why build BIG telescopes? 1) Larger area to collect more  light Area of primary mirror =  π  D 2 /4                    Example 1:    A 1 hr. exposure on Gemini  (8.2 m diameter) is  equivalent to        1 hr x  (8.2/2) 2    = 16.8 hr exposure  on a 2-m telescope OR can reach same quality of data  in    1/16.8    as much time
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Example 2: The old “MMT” (Multiple Mirror  Telescope) 6 mirrors of 1.8m diameter  working together Effective area = 6 x area of a  1.8 m mirror Effective diameter = 1.8 x  m = 4.4 m!
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Sensitivity; effect of aperature on a photograph
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What else can big telescopes provide?
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Resolution Larger size: higher resolution Sharper images Spatial resolution (resolving  power): Ability to discern two closely spaced  objects from a distance
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Resolving Power
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Resolution Example: How much angular  resolution do we need to distinguish  the stars in a binary star pair at 2.65  pc separated by 20 AU (Sirius A, B)  ?
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Resolution
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  • Spring '09
  • Kulkarni
  • Hubble Space Telescope, Telescope, Refracting telescope, radio telescope, Multiple Mirror  Telescope, radio  waves

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