Questions related to the physical instruments for astronomical observations.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
2answers
71 views

What should I look for in an astronomy tripod?

I have a Celstron SkyMaster 20x80 binoculars, and a tripod — Vanguard 263AT with a SBH-100 head. The binoculars weighs 2.2kg, while the head is rated to a loading capacity of 10kg, and the legs to a ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Method to determine the amount of reflected starlight necessary for an exoplanet to be visible from a given distance/angle?

What is the method to determine the amount of reflected starlight necessary for an exoplanet to be visible from a given distance/angle? (Not from occlusion but actually visible on its own.) Further, ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Smallest body that can be observed from Earth?

What is the minimum size of an object that can be observed from Earth with our most powerful telescope? I understand that the answer depends on how far the object is from Earth. For the sake of ...
4
votes
2answers
134 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.
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Is it possible to steer the sight of a Liquid Mirror Telescope using a plain mirror scheme? If yes, why hasn't it been done?

I have read about Liquid Mirror Telescopes in a number of places, and according to these sources, a major disadvantage of these telescopes is that they can only "see" straight up. In a nutshell, the ...
3
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

What are the nearest galaxies I can observe?

What are the nearest galaxies I can observe using my Telescope? Does it require to be out of the city lights?
2
votes
2answers
33 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
26 views

What range of exit pupils work for observing the full moon?

I'm observing the full moon, from a major city, with heavy light pollution and dust. The objective size is fixed, for this comparison, something between 4 and 6 inches. The question is about the ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Is there a theoretical limit on telescope's resolution?

Is there a theoretical limit on what we can see with a telescope of fixed size based on Earth's orbit or the Moon, that is in Earth's region of Solar system outside the Earth's atmosphere? Why not ...
5
votes
2answers
146 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
24 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?
3
votes
1answer
28 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
53 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?
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Starting out in practical astronomy [closed]

I want to start observing the night sky, what advice would you give to get started?
1
vote
1answer
34 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?
1
vote
2answers
39 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
votes
1answer
53 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
vote
0answers
27 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
votes
2answers
60 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
40 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?
5
votes
4answers
157 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?
1
vote
1answer
64 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
votes
1answer
82 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.
5
votes
1answer
639 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
98 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
119 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
288 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
47 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
2k 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? ...
4
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
127 views

What limits the usable focal length of telescopes currently?

What barriers - of technology, physics and possibly economy (things that would be possible technologically but are simply too expensive) sets the upper bound on quality of telescopes for observation ...
2
votes
0answers
36 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
468 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
votes
1answer
157 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
votes
1answer
144 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
54 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
108 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
101 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
votes
1answer
180 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
654 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
861 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
165 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
votes
1answer
176 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
votes
1answer
110 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 ...