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4

In terms of steadiness of the air and hence stability of the image (ie ability to see fine detail on planets or split close double stars), it could go either way, depending on the atmospheric conditions, including wind speed and direction, and the local topography. In contrast, valleys can sometimes provide better seeing because they provide some protection ...


6

With an 8" scope, a filter will very likely give you better results than observing without a filter. Although a filter does block light, the crucial aspect is that a filter increases contrast (by blocking light pollution and extraneous wavelengths of light more than the nebula), thereby allowing you to spot low contrast diffuse nebulae (like IC59 and IC1318) ...


9

File formats tend to be industry/field-specific, with the format, tools, and expectations of the field coevolving to become more dependent on each other over time. JPEG co-evolved with amateur digital photography, PNG co-evolved with the web. Likewise, FITS co-evolved with astronomical data processing, and so is naturally more suited for that purpose than ...


3

FITS has a lot of nice features which formats like PNG don't have, like astronomical coordinates (where in the sky does the image correspond to?) and storing multiple exposures. Most traditional image formats also aren't as flexible. For example, FITS supports floating point data storage, where pixels on an image can have precise values like 1.2324241, ...


9

You may know that a standard Newtonian telescope has two mirrors, they are called the primary and secondary mirror. The E-ELT has five mirrors: The quaternary mirror is simply "mirror number four", counting in the direction the light enters the scope. It's complex because that's where the adaptive optics sits: The quaternary mirror has an approximate ...



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