Questions related to the physical instruments for astronomical observations.

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9
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4answers
313 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?
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Identify this 2 axis motorized tripod

I am NOT an astronomy person, so this may be a dumb question, however I have recently found a tripod that appears to be for star tracking as far as I can guess. I would like to know the type of tripod ...
6
votes
2answers
143 views

Ninth planet - what else could it be?

So recently it was announced that there might be a ninth planet out there. Some people (from NASA) say the odds are 50% that it is a real planet, since it hasn't been discovered by telescopes yet. ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Can angular information be known more precisely than the diffraction limit?

The diffraction limit deals with the ability to determine if two things are separate. I am interested in the ability to find the the centroid of a single object. Imagine a star with no near ...
4
votes
1answer
103 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
197 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
votes
2answers
6k views

How much magnification is needed to see planets of solar system?

I have a 3inch Newtonian reflector telescope with 300 mm focal length. I can use highest magnification of 75x using a 4mm eyepiece. But in 75x I can't see details of Jupiter what was expected. Instead ...
4
votes
3answers
593 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Beginner telescope for my daughter [closed]

My husband and I are trying to figure out what type of telescope to get our young daughter. We would like to be able to see planets but nothing too extreme. Just something to get her started. She has ...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

What was the largest telescope ever fitted with an eyepiece

Serious modern telescopes use CCDs to capture the results. This makes it convenient to process or display the results halfway around the world. However, there is something visceral about looking ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

How can we focus radio telescopes on a star when the earth is spinning?

Reading about the Star KIC 8462852, it has been said that the SETI project turned its radio telescopes towards the star to search for extra terrestrial radio signals as the star had strange ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

How are the gaps filled in images captured by CCD arrays?

Large telescopes don't use a single CCD; they use arrays of them. Since CCDs can't be seamlessly joined, this means that every captured image must have gaps. But, the resulting images almost never ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Diameter of Astronomical Object Using Magnification

I took a picture of Jupiter through my telescope, using an iPhone. I know the magnification of the telescope lens I used, and can Google to get the magnification of the iPhone lens (the magnification ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

When is Gamma Draconis closest to the zenith in London on April 4th

I am reading Roobert Hooke's paper An attempt to prove the motion of the earth from observations (1674, faksimile). Hooke writes The principal dayes of doing which will be about the 4 of April, ...
3
votes
2answers
85 views

Equation to find distance between objective and eyepiece

I have a home made astronomical telescope with 100 cm objective lens and 5 cm eyepiece.when viewing an object in infinity the distance between eyepiece and objective is 105 cm. So how could I ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

What would be the maximum theoretically possible angular resolution?

I have studied some basic astronomy, but I have difficulty conceptualizing the physics of luminosity and optics. We use electromagnetic spectra to detect existence and properties of distant planets, ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

How many bodies can I see with a 90x telescope?

I am a 9th class student so I'm a beginner at using a telescope, hence please help me. How many bodies can I see using a 90x telescope? How will I know when and where I should point a telescope to ...
2
votes
2answers
46 views

Astronomical telescope making

I am thinking about making a telescope. I have a 100cm focal length lens which I can use as objective lens in my telescope. So which is the best focal length I can use as eyepiece in my astronomical ...
1
vote
0answers
7 views

What makes small interferometers useful? Like NIRISS on JWST

NIRISS is an instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope. It has a "non-redundant aperture mask" which obviously covers most of the area of the sensor. It seems to be advantageous for high contrast ...
7
votes
1answer
158 views

Theoretically, what is the biggest optical telescope that may exist?

Recently, I read yet another news about E-ELT. It will have 39.3-metre-diameter segmented primary mirror. And I was interested in the next question: Theoretically, what size of the primary mirror ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

What is the cost and benefit of building two identical telescopes?

I suppose that (especially space) telescope costs is dominated by design and development, not by material and manufacturing. So once a telescope has been developed and designed, how much extra would ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Telescope collimation issue

Recently I purchase Chinese 8 inch reflector telescope from local store. When I observing starts and planets I've been having trouble getting really sharp image from this telescope. I observe Venus ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Moving from computerised to normal amateur telescope?

A few years ago I purchased a Celestron Nexstar 130 SLT computerised telescope thinking that it would be a perfect to get me into astronomy. The issue is the computer doesn't work at all and manually ...
4
votes
0answers
32 views

What visual artifacts are expected from the JWST?

What visual artifacts should we expect from the images that will be released from the James Webb Space Telescope? Specifically, do we expect 3-pronged diffraction spikes (any preview how they would ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

Calculate Dec and RA of a star from Euler angles and GPS data

I have 9DOF sensor (accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer) that gives orientation via Euler angles (yaw, pitch, roll). Along with GPS data (latitude, longitude, elevation, time) this is passed to ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Do bigger telescopes equal better results?

There are many large reflecting/optical telescopes around the world, just to name a few: the Very Large Telescope, Large Zenith Telescope, and European Extremely Large Telescope. My question is does ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Ultra Low Cost Telescope Project

A few years or so ago there was a project that distributed small very low cost telescopes (perhaps around US$20). What was the name of (and links to) that project?
-1
votes
2answers
91 views

Southern hemisphere is short of radio telescopes? [closed]

In northern hemisphere, we have GBT, Arecibo, Parkes, Jodrell and VLA, while in southern hemisphere, only Australia has big radio telescopes. ALMA is in Chile, but it is in submm. It is not ...
1
vote
2answers
187 views

Can a astronomical telescope view objects on Earth

I am new to telescopes, and planning to buy an astronomical telescopes like "Celestron AstroMaster 114 EQ Reflector". Just curious to know that whether it can be used to view objects on earth ...
3
votes
1answer
270 views

How do I remove fungus from a telescope mirror?

I use a Celestron NexStar 130SLT Azimuthal Newtonian Reflector. I noticed that recently, due to the wet season, some tiny spots of what appears to be fungus have appeared. Having taking appropriate ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

How large must an object be to be seen through a telescope?

I've studied this in a few optics classes before, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment. If I know the aperture size and focal length of a telescope, as well as how far away the object I want to view ...
6
votes
3answers
235 views

Why are radio telescopes shaped so differently than optical telescopes?

Why are radio telescopes typically only a dish with a receiver above it, while optical telescopes have a primary, plus secondary and sometimes even a tertiary mirror? In other words, why do radio ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Who invented the blink comparator?

The Wikipedia page for the blink comparator fails to mention who invented it. Many other pages extol the importance of the device, but we cannot find any mention of an inventor. Wikipedia does ...
2
votes
2answers
198 views

Why is the moon a fuzzy, white ball?

I currently own a telescope, I'm an amateur astronomer and currently just trying to view the moon. I own the Celestron PowerSeeker 70AZ. Link for information on the telescope: ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

How can I use Polar Alignment to find objects in the sky?

I have a six inch telescope on an equatorial mount and I've been struggling to use the mount properly. For a couple months now, the only strategy I've used is just 'point and look.' I've watched some ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

Do Noctilucent clouds cause problems with telescopes?

Noctilucent clouds are at around 85km altitude and are formed of ice crystals. The ISS recently posted a number of photographs of these clouds and pointed out the key feature, which is the bright blue ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

How do we convert other waves of the EMS to visible light?

So I just had a quick question and I was wondering how we convert other waves of the electromagnetic spectrum to visible light waves. For example we use X-ray's or radio waves to see things in space ...
1
vote
2answers
337 views

Why does the focal length of a telescope have an effect on the magnification?

I previously asked that Is the angular resolution of a telescope irrespective of used eye-piece? I learned that the resolution is fixed when the light enters the telescope, and that the ...
2
votes
1answer
228 views

I'm having trouble achieving sharp telescope focus

I've been having trouble getting really sharp focus on my telescope. Using Saturn as a reference, with a 20mm eye piece it is very sharp. But when I go to 10mm or 6mm, it gets bigger and blurrier. I ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Photometer vs. CCD-camera

The Wikipedia article on photometry says that These have largely been replaced with CCD cameras that can simultaneously image multiple objects, although photoelectric photometers are still used ...
3
votes
2answers
149 views

Is the angular resolution of a telescope irrespective of used eye-piece?

Suppose a telescope has aperture $D = 20$ cm. The angular resolution of such telescope, according to the Rayleigh criterion (if I have understood it correctly), is given by $$\theta = ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

why are solar telescopes built on lakes? the site differnece between a solar and an optical telescope

According to the wikipedia page big bear, water can cool the observatory. Big bear is in the southern California. It is better to build it on a cold high mountain with stable and clear atmosphere? ...
-1
votes
2answers
114 views

why does not Australia/Russia have optical telescopes?

Their areas are large. However I only find a 2.3msliding telescope in Australia. As far as I know, there are lots of mountains in Australia and Russia. They may have different reasons because of ...
4
votes
2answers
147 views

What kind of things I could “see” with an amateur radio telescope?

There are apparently not many reasonably priced radio telescopes available for the amateur users. I only could find this one, which costs ~10 k€. Reading the page, I don't get a good overview what ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

Focusing light through plastic cable to extend telescope viewer

This question will seem out of place here, my explanation is that I want to build a system to view my telescope without being uncomfortable, as of now I have to stand up and bend over to view the eye ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Am I using my Celestron 8 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope correctly?

I became interested in astronomy a few years ago and started with a Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ refractor telescope. That seemed nice, and I wanted to upgrade to a go-to telescope that was also more ...
7
votes
2answers
124 views

Why aren't secondary mirrors offset to get rid of diffraction spikes due to the support vanes?

Some kind of ellipsoidal shape mirror could reflect to a secondary mirror which is not in the way of the infalling light. Two advantages are immediately obvious. The primary mirror would not be partly ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

How come, in our lifetime, we will see the first stars which ever formed?

Isn't it an unlikely coincidence that we live in such special times, that we will have observatories (JWST) that see all the way back to the first starlight in the universe? Are we dreaming, and is it ...
2
votes
2answers
193 views

Claim that 30-m class telescopes will have resolution far superior to Hubble: true?

This article makes the claim that the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT, number 4 in the list) will have resolution 10 times better than that of Hubble, while the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT, number 3 in ...
7
votes
6answers
278 views

Determine the moons of Jupiter through a telescope

I was doing my own "space exploration" last night with a telescope. Being a space noob I can't visually determine stars or planets (I know the moon, though), but I focused on one particularly bright ...