Questions related to the physical instruments for astronomical observations.

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1answer
20 views

Tools for creating a multiwavelength view of the sky

Not sure that this is the correct place to ask this question, but here goes. I am trying to find tools to accumulate image data (preferably in FITS format) on a given (RA, Dec)-coordinate of sky. ...
3
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2answers
83 views

Selecting a Telescope for Viewing Planets

I hope to observe planets like Jupiter and Saturn, and moons. I am a novice when it comes to telescopes and I know images in magazines are not taken with at least 12-inch telescope in a middle of ...
1
vote
1answer
10 views

How do I find the RA of sunset and sunrise in a specific location?

I want to make some observations with a telescope in Hawaii on Mauna Kea but I am living somewhere else (not Hawaii) and I want to plan a night's viewing on the Hawaiian telescope. How do I find the ...
4
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1answer
88 views

What can a lunar-based telescope do?

What can a lunar-based telescope do? If the band is ultraviolet and it can do high time sampling exposure, maybe it can be used to get distance for a star with stable pulses. However, the star should ...
1
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1answer
49 views

Starting out in practical astronomy [closed]

I want to start observing the night sky, what advice would you give to get started?
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2answers
47 views

Telescope on polluted environment

this one bothering me,to buy a telescope. I live in a city,unfortunately with dust and polluted air, is there any affect in viewing a nice capture of our galaxy? Or i need to buy a special telescope?
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1answer
27 views

How to polar align an equatorial mounted telescope when you are close to the equator?

I recently moved to southern Mexico (16 degrees N) and I wonder what would be the best way to align my EQ telescope when the polar star is not visible?
2
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1answer
22 views

Collimator for Dobsonian, same as Newtonian?

I have been looking on line for Collimator for my Meade Dobsonian. The only Collimators I can find are made for Newtonian Lenses. It's a 8" mirror with a 1.25" lens. Will this work for my telescope?
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2answers
34 views

Distance between each dish in an array telescope configuration

In an array telescope configuration, like VLA and ATA, what dictates the distance between each dish?
3
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1answer
46 views

How do telescopes “zoom” and change angle of view?

Images from the Hubble Space Telescope have widely different angles of view. Is this only the result of composing multiple images, or can the telescope itself change its "zooming" optically, ...
2
votes
1answer
17 views

How to compare a Catadioptrics light asorbtion with a reflector?

I used to have a 6" Dobsonian reflector, and the next telescope I buy, I want it to have the equivlant of about a 11/12" dobsonian reflector. I'm looking at this Nexstar VX 9.25 , it says 235mm ...
1
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0answers
23 views

Alt-Az or Polar?

I have a Meade wedge that I am to install on one of their LX200 telescopes. Will I be able to align in alt-az afterwards? Is polar easier or harder to make an alignment? Any other tips welcome. Thanks ...
2
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0answers
34 views

what will be the exact position of the Thirty Meter Telescope [closed]

TMT will be put at Mauna Kea in Hawaii. It should be near Keck and Gemini. However it seems there is no place left at that site. What is the exact position?
2
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2answers
49 views

Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope

What is a Schmidt-Cassegrain (SC) telescope? We have Newtonian telescopes and also Galilean ones. How is SC telescope different from other optical telescopes? What is its construction detail and ...
1
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1answer
40 views

CCD in telescopes: Observation and Astro-photography

This is a Celestron CPC 800 XLT telescope. It doesn't seem to have charge-coupled device (CCD) attached. Can a CCD be attached separately to this 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope even if it didn't come ...
4
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1answer
63 views

Any cheap (less than 100 euro) telescope for observing Jupiter? [closed]

The moon is not challenging. I would like to observe the big planets and their rings.
4
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4answers
140 views

Using the Sun as a Gravitational Lens

Can the Sun be used as a gravitational lens to achieve better telescopic viewing? Can this effect be practically used to view celestial objects?
3
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1answer
54 views

Calculate telescope orientation based on RA, DEC and Lat/Long

I'm parsing FITS files for a project based on data from a telescope. These files include 'DEC', 'RA' and lat long values. I understand roughly the concept of celestial coordinates and I assume that ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

What determines which frequency range a radio telescope has?

My simple understanding is that a parabolic dish focuses radio waves to a receiver. It is obvious that any parabola focuses visible light and heat, so I assume that it focuses all radio wavelengths ...
5
votes
1answer
84 views

Is Sahara desert a good place to build radio/optical telescopes?

At least Atacama Desert of northern Chile is a good place to build telescopes. VLT and ALMA locate there. What about Sahara desert? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atacama_Large_Millimeter_Array ...
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vote
1answer
102 views

Please Guide me to buy my first Telescope [duplicate]

I am a beginner and I've planned to buy a telescope(Newtonian reflector)for viewing planets and deep sky objects. As far as I know the most important factor to get a brighter view is that the ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Which type of telescope should I make?

I am not very much interested in observational physics but I just like to look at the night sky. It gives me a lot of inspiration. So, i was thinking about making a telescope for basic observations. I ...
2
votes
3answers
267 views

First night on a telescope questions

So I recently got into astronomy and I am using my fathers old Meade EQ1-B reflector telescope. This is my first night using it and I have come across a few questions. To begin, the telescope was left ...
5
votes
1answer
238 views

Best telescope for the viewing of Nebulae, Stars and Planets

So, I am a 15 year old interested into astronomy. My father used to have a reflector telescope, but was never so serious about it that he could recommend me a good telescope. I am looking to buy a ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

What is the bluest narrow band filter mounted on ground based telescopes?

If we want to check a QSO's lyman alpha narrow band image, could a ground based telescope do that? I mean under the circumstance that its lyman alpha shifts to 3300A.
2
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2answers
41 views

What is meant by Electronic Beam Steering and how is it achieved?

I recently came across an article about the Murchison Wide Field Array which said directivity is achieved by Electronic Beam Steering and not by Mechanical methods. It would be helpful if someone can ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

Build a high quality telescope from scratch [closed]

I am interested in building a high quality portable telescope from scratch in an attempt to better understand how telescopes work. What kind of materials do I need? How would I go about putting the ...
2
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0answers
28 views

need data-point: actual counts per second with APD (avalanche photodiode) detector

I'm designing a sensor system to perform specialized [astronomy and space-sciences] experiments, and need a "reality check" to support or adjust my theoretical calculations. What I need is the ...
2
votes
4answers
391 views

Why can't I see Mars clearly?

I just bought my first telescope - a Celestron CDC 1100. It came with a 40mm lens so with a primary focal length of 2800mm the power should be 70x. My problem is that I've looked at Sirius and Mars ...
3
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1answer
135 views

Do telescopes harm while observing sun through them?

I don't know whether we can observe a sun through a telescope. But if we can then will it harm our eyes and if such telescopes exists what is their configuration?
5
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1answer
96 views

What's a good step up from 7x50 binoculars?

I own a Nikon OceanPro 7x50 pair of binoculars, but I find that when I look at the moon, I would like more magnification. My requirements are: costs less than $400 weighs less than 10kg the length ...
4
votes
2answers
52 views

Is there an oxide layer on aluminum reflectors for telescopes?

I was watching a Nottingham Science video linked here (periodic videos) and they mention modern reflectors are made of aluminum. I can understand why mirrors are preferred over lenses, but what ...
4
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1answer
67 views

Pictures of large galaxies

The Andromeda Galaxy is tens of thousands of light years in diameter. That suggests that the most distant stars in the Andromeda galaxy is up to tens of thousands of years "behind" in their orbit ...
0
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1answer
102 views

Can you identify this telescope in a desert? [closed]

It should be in a desert. 5-15 similar lens cones are binded together,small size(about 30 cm?),same direction. The purpose is to find exoplanet? It is like WASP below. It is in a desert and lower ...
5
votes
2answers
85 views

How does a telescope measure parallax angle?

I know how stars' distances are measured by using parallax, but I want to know how the actual telescope measures the parallax angle. Any helpful links/ explanations are needed.
4
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1answer
136 views

Telescope buying guide for a beginner in India

I am located in the southern part of India and am looking forward to buy a telescope to gaze up to look ay farther planets, moons in our solar system and take pictures. How should I go about getting a ...
8
votes
1answer
436 views

Is there any telescope on Earth that can see the lunar rovers on the moon?

If I have the right numbers, it seems to me that even Hubble telescope might barely be able to make out a carcass of a blue whale on the surface of the moon, which puts objects as small as the lunar ...
0
votes
1answer
594 views

How to build a powerful home made telescope [closed]

Simple, I fell in love with the sky when my parents were constructing our new house I was a kid then and one day I ventured out on the terrace, to my amazement it was a full moon, ever since I've felt ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

How does a Bahtinov mask work?

For focusing the image of a telescope, one can use a Bahtinov mask. How does this mask work, and how did Mr Bahtinov get the idea to cut such a peculiar shape? Is it possible for me to design my own ...
4
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1answer
164 views

Colossus telescope, trying to outsmart aliens?

I was listening to Jeff Kuhn's talk on SETI's Colossus telescope project. Background: He explains his theory that a civilization living somewhere the galaxy would want to hide, and thus would ...
5
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1answer
96 views

Planned telescope to detect alien waste-heat

I remember watching a talk by someone who designed a telescope to view a single star at a time. The purpose of the telescope was to detect waste-heat which would presumably be emitted by any ...
4
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1answer
104 views

What are the next planned space telescopes?

We've had hubble for two decades. Its become the most famous space telescope, and lately Kepler seems to be running for the second place. Are there any more powerful, better telescopes planned for ...
5
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1answer
337 views

Most important feature of a telescope

I was taking an astronomy test, the following question came up: The most important function of the astronomical telescope is: Resolving power Light gathering power magnifying power ...
5
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1answer
131 views

Are Barlow lenses stackable for bright objects?

I'm back to the refractor that I own, and I want to maximize the zoom capacity. I realized today that I own more than one barlow lens, and I was wondering if I could stack them together for looking at ...
7
votes
1answer
40 views

Does the Reflection Method for Looking at the Sun Work For Refractors?

I own a newtonian reflector and occasionally use it (using the reflection method with paper) for looking at the sun. I happen to also own a refractor, but I'm not exactly sure if the reflection method ...
9
votes
1answer
130 views

How Does a Refractor Telescope Work?

As I understand it, the difference between a reflector and a refractor is that a reflector uses mirrors on the back to reflect the light to the secondary mirror then the secondary mirror reflects the ...
24
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3answers
1k views

How powerful a telescope would allow me to view the astronauts aboard ISS do a space-walk?

This arose from a comment posted against a question elsewhere on the stackexchange How powerful a telescope/binoculars would allow me to view the astronauts aboard the ISS do a space-walk? Aperture? ...
3
votes
1answer
208 views

Periodic error correction in automatic telescopes

I am starting a study on automatic telescopes and the correction of their periodic error. I found two ways of correcting it : with a CCD camera and manually by recording the error. I was wondering if ...
12
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3answers
550 views

Should I focus more on Aperture or Focal Length for a telescope?

Let's assume there are three types of telescopes with the following specifications: ...
5
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1answer
131 views

Why does squinting make hard-to-see objects clearer?

So I, like most other astronomy enthusiasts, have, at some point, not been able to see something clearly, such as a star, and have had to squint to be able to see it better. When this happens, the ...