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Written Assignment #2 - Jason Mallette Astronomy Written...

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Jason Mallette 11/27/2010 Astronomy Written Assignment #2 1. Electromagnetic Radiation a. Radiation is anything that radiates from a given source. Electromagnetic radiation can either act as a wave and is measured in wavelengths or it can act as a flood of particles. A particle from electromagnetic radiation is referred to as a photon. A photon can be thought of as a bundle of waves. The wavelength of a photon shows the amount of energy that it carries. Infrared, gamma rays, and x-rays are types of electromagnetic radiation. b. Two types of telescopes are refractor telescopes and reflector telescopes. Refractor telescopes are best suited for infrared radiation because refractor telescopes suffer from an effect called chromatic aberration. This effect produces a color of rainbows around the image and would affect gamma and x-rays. A reflector telescope would be best suited for gamma and x-rays because it doesn’t suffer from chromatic aberration. c. By studying a star we can determine how bright it is and try and project its distance from earth. (Not sure if I understood this question correctly). d. Modern astronomers use two types of special instruments to help study starlight. A CCD (charge-coupled device) is used to record images. It contains a million microscopic light detectors that can detect both bright and faint objects. A CCD can be read directly into a computer memory to look at
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later. Astronomers also use a spectrograph, which is an instrument used to spread out the light according to the wavelengths in a spectrum.
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