Questions tagged [telescope]

Questions related to the physical instruments for astronomical observations.

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21 views

Telescope focal length, reducer and/or Barlow

Say I have a scope with a given diameter $D$, a given focal length $f$, and a given exit barrel diameter $B$. It has a maximum true FoV of $B/f$ (supposing $B<<f$). Would adding a 0.5x focal ...
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Which Barlow lens should I choose, 2x or 3x?

I recently bought a 6 inch reflector, 750 mm focal length and I want to get a Barlow lens to get better observations. I have 2 eyepieces, one 9mm and one 25mm. My question is should i go for a 2x ...
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How to plot curvilinear coordinates in the frame of a Cartesian telescope field of view

I am wondering what projection is used to produce plots like this: (Image taken from here, author: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech, Image credit: Software Bisque) More generally, I am trying to figure out the ...
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Frames per second capabilities cameras currently installed in Modern Telescopes?

What are the present real-time capabilities of various modern telescopes as video cameras? How do these compare with the capabilities various of space telescopes? For example, if it was known that ...
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I can't see any detail through my telescope

I have a AILINK 114mm diameter, 900mm focal length, reflector telescope. I'm able to see the moon very well however, I can't see Planets very clearly The first two images are what I can see and the ...
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1answer
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Which telescope would be better with a DSLR?

I'm interested in astrophotography and since I haven't left my home in six weeks, my interest in photographing the skies has been growing. I'm on a tight budget and I've found these two options: A ...
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Why are telescopes positioned in Lagrange points?

In this Wikipedia article about the list of space telescopes to be launched (which I assume is exhaustive), of the 11 telescopes yet to be launched, 6 will be positioned at the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange ...
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How does diffraction occur in a reflecting telescope?

It's understandable how diffraction occurs in refracting telescopes, because the lens itself is a small aperture for light to pass through. But what about reflecting telescopes? Since light is ...
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298 views

How do focal length, angular magnification and field of view relate?

The larger the focal length the larger the angular magnification The smaller the focal length the larger the field of view. I don't understand why this applies. I'm talking specifically about ...
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Why are Cassegrain telescopes shorter than Newtonian reflecting telescopes?

Many websites say this is because the effective focal length of the objective is increased by making the secondary mirror convex. This allows a Cassegrain telescope to be shorter than a similarly ...
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Why are larger hex mirrors round and the smaller aren't?

Per this diagram why are the larger (30 meter and European) mirrors filled out to nearly a full circle, while the smaller mirrors composed of hexagons retain a hexagonal border limit instead of ...
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Yesterday I saw multiple moving objects in my telescope when i was looking for M31. Do you have any idea what it could be? [duplicate]

Yesterday, when I was looking at the Andromeda Galaxy in my telescope. I saw three star like objects, moving across the sky. I followed them to see what is was, though i still don't know. They where ...
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Is looking through a telescope to do astronomy a thing of the past?

Do astronomers actually look through a telescope with the naked eye or do they mostly look the the data generated by telescopes on computers? Are they mostly working behind the computer and pencil ...
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lousy mirror corrected by software

Would it be possible to get a terribly shaped mirror, like a large sheet of something reflective, give it a general shape like a telescope mirror, but not anywhere near as precisely shaped as in a ...
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Space telescope located in outer solar system

I want to pose a question from someone who's astronomy knowledge would fit neatly onto a single piece of paper so please bear this in mind with any comments or answers. I am interested and want to ...
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What could I resolve with my Telescope

I recently won a Common 50mm refracting telescope with Solar Filter too.. I'm trying to Understand things I can skygaze with it. It's pretty basic and I should have known. Unfortunately, I don't ...
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How was astronomical data meant to be handled on HST precursors?

The first drafts for a large space telescope such as Hubble were made in the 60's, and the idea of a space observatory originated long before that. From Wikipedia: In 1968, NASA developed firm ...
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Verifying refractor lens about scratches

I found an used Skywatcher 70mm telescope for buying, but its lenses are a little suspect about harming. In one photo, it looks clearly a scratch, but in the another, it is not visible. Could it be an ...
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1answer
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DSO in a 60mm telescope

I am thinking about buying a telescope, but here in Brazil they are very expensive and hard to find where to buy. So, the better telescope I can pay for is a Celestron Powerseeker 60AZ. My main ...
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1answer
246 views

Is moisture harmful to a Newtonian Reflector?

It is often cold outside, especially in the evening. So when I take my Newtonian Reflector back in my house, it starts condense. Can the water destroy my telescope? or the mirrors? Do I have to clean ...
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mirror image of the earth in the past [duplicate]

For example, if there was an object somewhere in the room, say 100 light years away, which would have to be very large and have the surface of a mirror, you could theoretically point the telescope at ...
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What's the cheapest lens to buy for showing ISS to a flat earther?

Recently I entered a discussion with someone that has a relatively popular YouTube channel which says among other things that the earth is flat. I said that earth isn't flat because you can see the ...
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How to pick a telescope? [closed]

I am trying to find a started telescope for my high school sister and my goals are to have awesome pictures and to let her explore her interest in the stars! They live in a clear night sky area so Im ...
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Methods for testing a refracting telescope lens

I have an old (nearly 50 years old)alt-azimuth three-inch (7.6cm) refracting telescope that someone else made. They ground the lens, created the cylindrical body and added a rack and pinion style ...
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How can I determine if a typical low-end telescope is a refractor or reflector?

Is there a way to distinguish (with no manual, product info etc)?
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83 views

Number of actuators in adaptive optics

It is well known that diffraction resolution of a telescope depends on the exterior radius of aperture: One can, for instance, use just a narrow outer ring of a parabolic mirror and the resolution ...
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What are the benefits of a large refracting telescope?

Currently, refractor telescopes are limited in aperture because gravity will deform the main lens over time. According to Wikipedia the largest practical refracting telescope is 1m. If we were to ...
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Is it possible to build a ground-based telescope that can directly image Earth-like planets orbiting in the habitable zone of sunlike stars?

In the following discussion I will refer to Earth-like exoplanets planets orbiting in the habitable zone of sunlike stars simply as “Earth-like exoplanets." NASA is currently developing or ...
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How to determine Az-El pointing of a telescope spiral scan?

I am writing a simulation of an automated telescope observation program. One part of this is to run a spiral scan pattern on and around objects of interest. I would like to tile this scan pattern so ...
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If we've only observed Oumuamua as a single pixel, how can we know its shape?

On a separate Oumuamua question (Oumuamua alien space junk?), I was confused how shape could be inferred from a single pixel, per another user's (@Uwe) comment. It was suggested I ask this question ...
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Beneficial astronomical uses of satellite constellations like Starlink?

Has any thought been given to software that would use predictable occultations by Earth-orbiting satellites to improve (rather than degrade) astronomical observations? Potential challenges I could ...
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1answer
106 views

Would a 1000 km telescope be able to resolve microscopic detail?

I have calculated that a 100m telescope can resolve 16m on the moon. Does that mean a 1000km telescope is 10000x better and can resolve 1.6 mm objects on the moon and even smaller closer? Or is there ...
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311 views

Why are telescope mirrors made of glass?

Optical telescope mirrors are typically made from endlessly polished glass surfaces that have been aluminised to provide a very smooth surface of reflective aluminium. But why the need for glass at ...
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What are criteria to compare and evaluate different 12 inch truss Dobsonian telescopes?

What are criteria to compare and evaluate different 12 inch truss Dobsonian telescopes? I'm primarily interested in comparing mirror quality and weight (price I can do myself of course). Two examples ...
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Chromatic aberration in lens

Is there a way to prevent chromatic aberration without using an achromatic lens in refracting telescopes or in any other instruments...?
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Does it make more sense to upgrade our existing telescope or to buy a new one?

We're at a bit of a crossroads here, since we're faced with what appears to be a tough choice. We've got a Celestron 11" SCT tube with a Losmandy G11 equatorial mount, all bought in 1996. The mount ...
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346 views

Split telescope into two eyes

I am looking for an appendage to attach to the end of a telescope which splits the image into two eyes instead of one. Does such an appendage exist?
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Questions about amateur astrophotographer Nik Szymanek's telescope

The 2011 Sixty Symbols video Spy Satellites (from Deep Sky Videos) shows amateur astrophotographer Nik Szymanek and his telescope. Question: Can someone identify the model and design of this ...
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Minimum Telescope Needed to See Saturn's Rings

I am a total novice. My daughter, likes Saturn. Since Saturn is so close I thought it was a good time to view it with her. What are the minimum needed telescope specs? GC Update: Can answer ...
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302 views

Is there any site with telescopes data?

Is the data gathered from telescopes "open source"? If so, is there any website that group it all?
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What kind of telescope should I get my husband?

I'm very much an amateur when it comes to telescopes. My husband wants one for his birthday. I'm willing to spend up to $900 on one. Can any of you gurus give me advise as to which one I should buy? ...
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225 views

Why is this telescope so short? How hard is it to make such a fast primary?

The recently discovered object C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) is in the news because it might have an eccentricity greater than one, which means it might be from outside the solar system, though not necessarily. ...
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How can I obtain raw observation data of stars surrounding Sgr A*?

Are there any publicly available telescope that offers the sensitivity to observe the stars surrounding Sgr A*? If not, is there any raw data available that I could download?
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How can I observe Sgr A* with itelescope.net

I've been experimenting with itelescope.net and tried to observe Sgr A*. I was wondering if there are any suggestions how I can best observe the surrounding stars.
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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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