astlcc2 - Laboratory 3 - Celestial Coordinates II Materials...

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21 Laboratory 3 - Celestial Coordinates II Materials Used: Schmidt telescope on an equatorial mount, SkyMap© software. Objectives: To understand how to use a telescope to locate and view celestial objects; to become acquainted with SkyMap - a digital sky atlas. Discussion: Previously you were introduced to right ascension (RA), declination (DEC) and other celestial coordinates. In this lab you will learn how to use these coordinates to locate and track objects with a telescope. You will also become acquainted with SkyMap computer software. SkyMap is a complete sky atlas with many features of interest to observers of the night sky. The Telescope The telescopes used in this lab (and in the night observation sessions) are Schmidt- Cassegrain telescopes. A schematic of a Schmidt-Cassegrain is shown on page 15 of the “Introduction to Lenses and Telescopes” procedure . The ma in body of th is type of te lescope consists of a thin “correcting plate”, a spherical primary mirror, a spherical secondary mirror and an eyepiece. Light enters the telescope through the correcting plate (a thin lens designed prevent blurring, an aberration caused by the spherical primary mirror), proceeds to the primary (objective element), then secondary mirrors, and then to the eyepiece at the rear of the telescope. Is the Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope a reflector or a refractor? Why? A small finderscope is mounted on the side of the main body of the telescope. It is usually attached via a holder with several set screws holding the front and rear ends of the finderscope in place. The finderscope shows a larger piece of the sky, or a wider field of view than the main telescope but at much lower magnification. The wider field of view of the finderscope makes it useful in locating objects in the sky. If the finderscope is collimated with the main body of the telescope, once an object is located with the finderscope it should appear in the telescope as well but bigger and brighter. The
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22 The base of the telescope is mounted on a tripod with an interfacing device known as an equatorial wedge . The purpose of the equatorial wedge is to align the polar axis of the telescope and its base with the celestial pole. This is known as a polar alignment . When the telescope is correctly polar aligned, RA and DEC may be used locate any object in the sky.
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This note was uploaded on 01/16/2012 for the course PHYS 153 taught by Professor Hackwrth,m during the Spring '08 term at Idaho State University.

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astlcc2 - Laboratory 3 - Celestial Coordinates II Materials...

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