Questions tagged [telescope]

Questions related to the physical instruments for astronomical observations.

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2
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1answer
55 views

What's the origin of Clyde Tombaugh's 9-inch Newtonian telescope?

Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh is shown in a now-famous photograph at the age of 24 with his "homemade" 9-inch Newtonian telescope in this image also shown in Elva R. O'Hara's Clyde W. Tombaugh: Farm Boy ...
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3answers
70 views

Meade ETX-90 with computerized mount slews too far during auto-alignment

I've been trying to get my new ETX-90 to properly align itself these past few nights, but without success. I've mostly been using the Easy align functionality, which has been choosing Arcturus and ...
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1answer
42 views

Difference between first (focal length (fl.) 500 mm, ocular (o.) 10 mm) and second telescope (fl. 1000 mm, o. 20 mm)? (both 50 x)

Magnification is defined as $f_{objectiv}/f_{ocular}$. If I had the first telescope with the focal length of 500 mm, ocular 10 mm and second telescope with the focal length of 1000 mm, ocular 20 mm, ...
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1answer
68 views

Does anybody recognize this kind of prism?

Supplemental to this answer to Did Edmund Scientific 4¼ inch Newtonians have 90° prisms as secondary mirrors in the 1970's? I was poking around a bit further and ran across this "1960's Edmund ...
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2answers
48 views

Did Edmund Scientific 4¼ inch Newtonians have 90° prisms as secondary mirrors in the 1970's?

I mentioned my old telescope's secondary mirror in this answer (stiffness) but I'm not certain I am remembering correctly. My first telescope was a Edmund Scientific 4¼ inch Newtonian reflector. This ...
2
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1answer
23 views

Telescope focal point and inversion

When looking at a diagram of the optical path through a newtonian reflector, the lines always cross before the eyepiece. I understand that the eyepiece is used to focus this diverging light cone so ...
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1answer
24 views

Comparing info for WISE and GALEX

I'm trying to compile a table showing the wavelengths and flux at m=0 for WISE, Spitzer and GALEX, but I can't find the right data for GALEX. Here's what I have so far: ...
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2answers
124 views

Why does this Lowell Observatory telescope have so many knobs? What do they all do?

The Fox News article Arizona city played critical role in moon exploration history covers several interesting activities that took place in Arizona in preparation for the Apollo Moon landings. It ...
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2answers
52 views

Which Lowell Observatory telescope is this? (used to draw Moon maps for the Apollo program)

The Fox News article Arizona city played critical role in moon exploration history covers several interesting activities that took place in Arizona in preparation for the Apollo Moon landings. It ...
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1answer
63 views

Old Telescopes versus New

I am having trouble finding the quality of old telescopes. My question is how does a decent modern telescope that cost about a couple hundred USD compare to the top-notch telescopes in the nineteenth ...
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3answers
2k views

Why different specifications for telescopes and binoculars?

Sorry for the noob question but I don't seem to be able to find the answer on the internet. I've been looking through some telescopes and binoculars and noticed that shops typically give different ...
3
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1answer
291 views

Unable to locate Big Dipper through Polar Axis Finder

I have recently purchased a CG-4 Polar Axis Finder for my CG-4 mount. This PAF has markings on the lens for aligning with Big Dipper or Cassiopeia, which looks like this: I have aligned the PAF to ...
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0answers
69 views

Telescope was working and now it's not

We have a Celestron 70AZ 70mm f/10 refractor that has been working perfectly. Our children knocked it over the other day, and now when we try to view the moon, it ...
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1answer
129 views

How to find the source of the light? [closed]

There are millions of galaxies out there in the entire universe. When a telescope is set to a direction to to identify the stellar objects, it can capture all lights from all the objects. How do we ...
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1answer
853 views

Recording Spectral Lines at Home

I was wondering if it would be possible to record the emission/absorption spectra of stars without expensive spectroscopy equipment. Would it be possible to somehow utilize diffraction grating? I own ...
2
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1answer
79 views

Custom telescope

I am currently trying to make a Keplerian telescope from "scratch" with plano-convex lenses bought online. I have found my objective and eyepiece lenses. I'm just not sure if they will suffice to ...
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2answers
96 views

How to locate nebulas visible through AstroMaster 114 telescope without device assistance?

I will be going to the desert this month and it's my understanding that the night sky will be very dark there. I've got some practice locating the planets but I'd really like to get a look at a nebula ...
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71 views

Why look at an infrared telescopes's mirror with ultraviolet light? (Herschel Space Observatory)

While link-clicking for Where did Herschel Space Telescope go in 2013? I ran across the 2009 Time Magazine article Two Telescopes to Measure the Big Bang which shows the file photo below with the ...
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1answer
65 views

Long tube for eyepiece

I have two short telescopes. The tubes that the eyepieces fit in are different; one is short and one is long, such as the tubes on the Celestron first scope and the Jason Comet chaser. Why is this so ...
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89 views

How was the astrometry of the famous 1919 solar eclipse confirmation of General Relativity calibrated and verified?

The new New York Times article The Eclipse That Made Einstein Famous describes several events and discussions on the hundred year anniversary of the the 1919 solar eclipse and verification of the ...
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1answer
64 views

Second Telescope: Maksutov Cassegrain vs Refractor

I bought my first telescope, a 3inch refractor a few weeks ago. It has been a wonderful experience seeing the Moon , Jupiter, Satrun magnified and Andromeda, M33, M81 and much more for the first time. ...
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3answers
223 views

How would a Fast Fourier Transform Telescope work without a mirror, dish or lenses?

I recently came across a short article mentioning the idea for a telescope built without mirrors or lenses that instead uses an array of antennas and massive computing power to resolve an image. Such ...
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1answer
60 views

How to check what telescopes were looking at a certain portion of sky at a particular time?

I have some data that I collected from observations at a specific RA, DEC and I am trying to figure out what telescope surveys were looking at that portion of the sky at that particular time? I am ...
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2answers
5k views

What detail can Hubble see on Mars?

I'm researching a scene for a sci-fi novel in which the near-future protagonists observe earth through a station-mounted telescope in Mars orbit. My goal is to understand how much detail they ...
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2answers
149 views

What is the maximum distance measurable with parallax?

What is the furthest star or celestial object whose distance has been calculated with parallax and how does it compare to the theoretical limit using today's telescopes? And how exactly does telescope ...
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1answer
40 views

What determines the surface material of the ALMA and Spitzer telescope?

The transition between metal dish and mirror happens around hundreds of microns. For example, the shortest wavelength the ALMA(metal dish) can detect is about 0.3mm, while the longest wavelength the ...
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106 views

How does the black hole at the center of M87 look like in the visible spectrum?

I learned here that the picture of the black hole we saw all over the news was a false color image, based on the radio spectrum emissions. How would the black hole at the center of M87 look like when ...
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49 views

What description of the image can we expect from the image of first black hole? [closed]

The EHT has published the first image of a black hole. I was wondering what could be the size of the original image of the first black hole and the format of the image captured?
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1answer
150 views

Event Horizon Telescope Data Cleanup

I was wondering how the researchers were able to minimize or neutralize confirmation bias regarding the data collected? As I understand it, the algorithm pruned much of the data, which would make ...
5
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1answer
175 views

Why not us interferometry to take a picture of Pluto?

Interferometry is among the best ways (if not, the best way!) to have an image of a very distant object. Recently a picture of the black hole at the center of M87 was released. It is the result of ...
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2answers
59 views

What to observe with a remote telescope close to sunrise time?

I have an access to a remote telescope at 05.15-05.45 am at Hawaii time. The sun rises at 06.15 am. I will use this telescope for educational purposes for high school students. I wonder 30 mins is ...
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1answer
230 views

Why did the Event Horizon Telescope take so long to take a photo of a black hole?

The Event Horizon Telescope is in the news now because they are about to release the first ever picture of a black hole. They have been working on this since 2006. Why did it take 13 years to produce ...
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43 views

Within a given image of a multiple-image producing gravitational lens, does Fermat's principle apply?

The question Does gravitational lensing provide time evolution information? is excellent! When we see multiple images of the same object because of the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, do all ...
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3answers
186 views

Why does the Moon appear to be flat?

There's no way around it: when I look at the full moon at night it looks like a mostly flat disc, with at most a bit convexity in the middle. Phases of moon look like a full moon seen through a cut-...
6
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1answer
129 views

Angular diameter of the Sun's reflection from the ocean, seen from Sun-Earth L1?

I'm trying to understand how smooth the reflecting ocean surface would need to be to produce such a small bright spot as seen from the DSCOVR satellite at Sun-Earth L1. It appears to be only about 8E-...
3
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1answer
102 views

What I can observe with a 80/900 refractor telescope? What can I study?

Recently I bought a telescope after a very good conversation with an astronomer friend of mine. The main goal is to see planets. However, Mars is so difficult and is far to find it in opposition. I ...
2
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1answer
267 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 Harvard University, ...
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3answers
172 views

How did Johannes Hevelius' long telescope work? Why all the round holes?

The drawing below, found in Wikimedia and at lib.harvard.edu is of a very long tubed aerial telescope. I believe it is taken from his 1673 work Machinae coelestis. I've always wondered about the ...
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27 views

Combining lenses to make a telescope

Hi I have two Galileo 700mm x 60mm Astro/Terrestrial Refractor Telescopes. Can I take the lenses out and make one powerful telescope?
6
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1answer
243 views

If we had the right technology could we see a distant star in detail?

If, for instance, Hubble's camera was a 10^300 times better could it see a distant star in details or is there a limit to the amount of light that reaches the earth's orbit or perhaps does the light ...
2
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1answer
173 views

What soviet telescope is this?

A friend has a vintage telescope with a broken lens, I asked him to send me its catalog so I can see if I can buy him a new one, he gave me what looks like a Russian catalog, it seems a soviet ...
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1answer
209 views

76mm reflector vs 70mm refractor? Both are at sale at $200

I'm starting my astronomy hobby and looking for a beginner telescopes to start with. I've searched couple websites and found these 2 within my budget. I know for a fact that refractors gives you ...
2
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1answer
42 views

What are some formulas that are associated with the Schmidt corrector?

I want to fully understand how an SCT works. Thus, I figured out I can use some formulas that describe how an incident ray that is parallel with the axis would act after refracting off a Schmidt plate....
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2answers
108 views

What are the aberrations of an SCT? And how can they be eliminated?

The Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope is amazing! It is compact, suitable for astrophotography ,and it requires little to no collimation. However, the SCT has some inherent optical issues. What are they? ...
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3answers
69 views

Seeking advice regarding buying a telescope

I'd like to buy a telescope with a focal length of 700mm and an aperture of 60mm. Would I be able to use a telescope of this power to study the closer planets (for example Mars and Venus) and ...
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1answer
74 views

Why aren't corrector plates aligned with the center of curvature in an SCT?

According to wikipedia, Schmidt corrector plates must be aligned with the center of curvature to eliminate the spherical aberration. However, in compact SCT designs by Celestron and Meade, that is ...
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4answers
277 views

Can we see the color of nebulae?

Someone asked me this question: To see the color of the Great Nebula in Orion, how large the aperture of the telescope should be. I don’t even know whether this is possible. I understand that the ...
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3answers
120 views

Advice on first Telescope (refractor vs reflector), Barlow lens

I am planning on buying my first telescope. I am getting an 80mm refractor and a 114mm reflector for the same price range. Which would be a better option? Further, would a Barlow lens solve the ...
2
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1answer
77 views

Locate planets and stars for beginners

I am a beginner in astronomy. In fact, I just bought my first refractor telescope with 60 mm aperture and 600 focal lengths with 4mm, 12.5mm and 20 mm eyepiece and 3x barlow. Could I get info on ...
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2answers
83 views

How to see Comet 46P/Wirtanen?

I've got a Celestron Astromaster 114 telescope. I live in Los Angeles and would like to get a look at 46P/Wirtanen. Can anyone tell me when this comet is going to brightest and how best to locate it ...