Questions tagged [angular-resolution]

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9
votes
2answers
534 views

Would Adaptive Optics be Useful in Radio Astronomy?

This Question and Answer got me thinking. If atmospheric seeing at visible wavelengths is the result of refractive index inhomogeneity, would it also be a similar problem for mm to cm wavelengths? ...
9
votes
2answers
431 views

Why aren't ground-based observatories using adaptive optics for visible wavelengths?

Adaptive Optics (AO) techniques allow ground based observatories to dramatically improve resolution by actively compensating for the effects of Astronomical Seeing. The atmospheric effects are quite ...
3
votes
1answer
286 views

Will the E-ELT use Adaptive Optics at visible wavelengths?

In this recent BBC article I read that the European Extremely Large Telescope or E-ELT is in final design and is planned to be on line by 2024, and that (of course) it will rely heavily on adaptive ...
6
votes
1answer
262 views

How did VLT's adaptive optics obtain this resolution for Neptune? Is it really working in visible wavelengths?

This image of Neptune taken with the VLT is really impressive. The resolution is achieved by recent improvements in the adaptive optics. Gizmodo: New Super-Crisp Images of Neptune Show How Far Our ...
8
votes
1answer
606 views

Plot of best available resolution vs wavelength - radio through gamma rays?

What I'm looking for is a graphic that shows in a general way the best available telescope resolution vs wavelength throughout the entire wavelength spectrum. So for example, there might be two very ...
4
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0answers
67 views

What actually determines the angular uncertainty of the source of a detected gravitational wave?

This answer and comments got me thinking. Astrometry 101 tells us that while we can use $\lambda/D$ as an estimator of resolution, if we can assume a point source we can determine the centroid or ...
3
votes
1answer
818 views

How does making a refracting telescope very long reduce the chromatic aberration of an uncorrected lens?

Below are two cropped views of "Johannes Hevelius's 8 inch telescope with an open work wood and wire "tube" that had a focal length of 150 feet to limit chromatic aberration." from ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Will the Magdalena Ridge Optical Interferometer be able to image extended objects like the surface of the Moon?

Inspired by several questions: When will a moon landing site be visible via telescope? Could the E.H.T. produce an image of the human artifacts on the moon? Picture of equipment left on the Moon? ...
69
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4answers
9k views

Is the moon only 60 pixels?

In doing research on vision, I have learned that "20/20" vision corresponds to a visual acuity of being able to resolve details 1 arcminute in size, that most people have around 20/15 vision, and that ...
14
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2answers
2k views

How does angular resolution of a telescope translate to its parallax precision?

We can often read in the scientific and also more casual reader literature and articles about the angular resolution of various telescopes and other optical equipment, be it ground based or onboard ...
11
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2answers
3k 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.
8
votes
1answer
319 views

Is there a cosmic, rather than technological, upper limit to what a telescope can resolve?

Space radio interferometers could have a baseline of millions of kilometers, but is there a point where a larger baseline doesn't improve the resolution anymore because the photons observed are ...
7
votes
1answer
340 views

How could a 20 inch space telescope “be able to make out Earth-size planets” orbiting alpha Centari?

The NY Times article Telescope to Seek Earthlike Planet in Alpha Centauri System describes a proposed effort to put a telescope into orbit fairly quickly with a narrowly defined purpose - to look for ...
6
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2answers
705 views

Why does radio astronomy offer higher resolution images than optical?

According to this lecture,"Radio astronomy has several advantages over optical astronomy...We can make the highest resolution images, and see things happening on the smallest scales." Why is this? If ...
5
votes
2answers
89 views

What resolution would earth-moon telescope achieve?

Event horizon achieved earth-size telescope by using seperate telescopes around the world to interpolate an image of a black hole at resolution of 60 arcmicroseconds. What resolution could we get if ...
3
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2answers
1k 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 = 1.22\cdot\frac{...
3
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0answers
216 views

Are they really sure this isn't an Airy disk? How was that ruled out?

How do they know that this is a spherical shell of gas, and not just something like an Airy pattern-like artifact produced by the VLT's large interferometric aperture? Image from: https://www.eso.org/...
2
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1answer
290 views

Under what situations can an aperture mask improve the resolution of a small/medium amateur telescope? Is this demonstrable mathematically?

@antlersoft's answer describes some of the challenges to seeing any details in the small disk of Mars in small amateur telescopes. In the case of reflecting telescopes, it mentions the use of either ...
0
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1answer
103 views

Why is the opening in the Anglo-Australian Telescope's dome so small?

Many older or "classic" telescope domes have a horizon-to-zenith opening in the dome, and this helps speed up the thermal equilibration between the inside and outside air, decreasing turbulence and ...