Questions tagged [telescope]

Questions related to the physical instruments for astronomical observations.

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2answers
208 views

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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564 views

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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1answer
298 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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439 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
220 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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891 views

I need help using this telescope!

The telescope I'm using is a National Geographic 76 Diameter, 700 focal length, Equatorial Mount. It's hard to use the equatorial mount, as this is my first telescope it's hard to use. Everything I ...
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2answers
124 views

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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1answer
820 views

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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3answers
209 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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1answer
69 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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How many celestial 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 ...
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3answers
157 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
83 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
177 views

How do I see Deep Sky Objects in my telescope? [duplicate]

I just bought a new telescope. I tried it out, and I even woke up at 3am when the moon set so there was light pollution. I have an 8 inch dobsonian telescope with a focal length of 1200 mm. For some ...
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1answer
77 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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72 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 ...
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4answers
268 views

Why not use only one support vane for the secondary mirror, to avoid multiple diffraction spikes?

Each vane holding the secondary mirror in front of the primary causes a diffraction spike. Couldn't the secondary mirror be held with only one vane? If stability is the issue, couldn't it be ...
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1answer
36 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
26 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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153 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
72 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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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 ...
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1answer
88 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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1answer
298 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
77 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
135 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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8answers
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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 ...
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1answer
890 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 ...
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1answer
92 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
298 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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77 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
69 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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109 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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3answers
481 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
61 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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1answer
3k views

Has THC been detected in space?

I was wondering if and how astronomers have/had detected the molecule Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), commonly known for it's effects in marijuana, in space. I had previously seen a hoax regarding the ...
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1answer
42 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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3answers
385 views

When did “resilvering” large telescope mirrors actually refer to aluminization, and why was it necessary?

This answer nicely summarizes the general picture of historical use of silver for mid to large size telescope mirrors, and the shift to aluminum once good quality vacuum pumps and chambers suitable ...
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1answer
242 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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1answer
157 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 ...
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53 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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63 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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47 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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126k 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 the details of Jupiter what was expected. ...
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2answers
693 views

What should I expect to see with my telescope with what EP's?

Recently got a Celestron 130 SLT (first "real" scope) and have a question. I have the following: 130mm F/5 newtonian, 650mm focal length scope 9 and 25mm factory EP's (more on that later) Svbony 2x ...
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3answers
237 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-...
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1answer
211 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-...
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2answers
10k views

Which planets, nebula, and other objects can be seen using Celestron Astromaster 130EQ

I have got a Celestron Astromaster 130EQ telescope, which lens should I use to see the various planets and nebula? When I tried to see Mars it was only a small red dot on scope. As per the ...
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1answer
130 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 ...

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