Radio Telescopes

Radio Telescopes - stars Hydrogen atoms are the most common...

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Radio Telescopes Radio telescopes are much larger than optical telescopes because radio wavelengths are much longer than optical wavelengths. The longer wavelengths means that the radio waves have lower energy than optical light waves. In order to collect enough radio photons to detect a signal, the radio dishes must be very large. Both optical and radio telescope reflectors use a parabolic shape to perfectly focus the light to a point. Increasing the size of the radio dish is also necessary in order to improve the clarity of the radio images. I will discuss the issue of image clarity further in the next two sections. Radio telescopes detect the emission from cool clouds of hydrogen in the space between the
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Unformatted text preview: stars. Hydrogen atoms are the most common type of atoms in the universe and much of the hydrogen gas is too far away from any star to produce emission in the optical wavelength band. In addition, there are cold clouds made of over a hundred different types of molecules including organic molecules. Stars and planetary systems form in these molecular clouds. Therefore, radio telescopes are a vital tool in understanding the universe. I will discuss further the use of radio waves to explore the material between the stars and the structure of our galaxy in the interstellar medium chapter ....
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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