Resolving Power - Resolving Power The desire for greater...

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Resolving Power The desire for greater resolving power is the main reason why radio telescopes are so enormous compared to their optical counterparts. Radio wavelengths are LARGE so the radio telescope must be LARGE to get decent resolving power (and also to increase the signal strength of the low-energy radio waves---light-gathering power!). The Keck 10- meter telescope is considered a very large optical telescope. However, it is easily dwarfed by the HUGE 305-meter Arecibo Radio Telescope at the Arecibo Observatory . A picture of this telescope is shown at left. This telescope was built in a natural bowl-shaped valley in Puerto Rico. Clicking on the image will show the telescope from other perspectives. Another way to increase the resolution is to connect telescopes together to make an interferometer . Radio waves from an object reach each telescope in the interferometer at slightly different times, so the waves are out of sync with one another. Knowing the distances
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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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Resolving Power - Resolving Power The desire for greater...

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