# Tag Info

## Hot answers tagged telescope

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### Why are we building larger land-based telescopes instead of launching larger ones into space?

It's cheaper. (1) With adaptive optics you can get 0.1 arc second resolution on the ground (admittedly only on a mountain top with particularly good air flow, but still!). This eliminates one of the ...
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### Why is Starlink polluting the night sky a big concern if we have space telescopes?

It's a problem because there are still lots and lots and lots of ground-based telescopes. Ground-based telescopes are still (by far) the biggest optical telescopes, and the cost of space telescopes ...
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### Is it possible to mount a telescope on a plane? Is it beneficial?

This has been done. SOFIA is an infrared observatory built into a Boeing 747 SP: SOFIA takes advantage of the fact that some infrared bands are visible at atltitude, these are attenuated by water in ...
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### Why do small mirror imperfections matter with modern computers

correct for the distortion An imperfect mirror does not produce a distorted image - it produces a blurry image. With light-field sensors and phase imaging, one could possibly correct for the blur, ...
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### How much magnification is needed to see the planets of solar system?

You're probably asking the wrong question - which I am going to answer anyway, and after that I am going to answer the question you should have asked instead. As a general rule, there isn't much ...
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### What would happen if someone had a telescope and watched Betelgeuse when it goes supernova?

No, it would not be a problem. Supernovae are not at all like flashbulbs – they brighten over a period of many days and dim again even more slowly. Here are a number of different light curves taken ...
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### Why are almost all modern telescopes reflectors?

Several aspects of refractors limit their usefulness for large telescopes. First is chromatic aberration. Because refractors focus light with refraction, and refraction varies at different ...
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### Please check my Mars photo

(Much of this echoes what antlersoft says in their answer) For a phone photo through the eyepiece that looks about right to me! The size... the brightness... both are as I expect. What you could try ...
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### Shouldn't this cause a fire?

It could start a fire if the screen is at the focal point of the optical system. That is how you light fires with a magnifying glass. Here, the blackboard is likely away from the focal point, so you ...
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### Could we detect the light of cities at night in other solar systems?

No. There are very few exoplanets that can even be imaged as "dots". There are none that can be resolved as discs and it would be well beyond current technology to see lights on the ...
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### What will succeed the Arecibo Observatory?

There's no simple answer. In the immediate future, different radio telescopes around the world will pick up the slack in various ways; how that happens will depend on the needs of individual observers ...
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### Shouldn't this cause a fire?

For a magnifying lens or mirror to be able to ignite something with light from the Sun, its surface area must be large relative to the square of the focal length. Solar energy will be spread ...
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### Could we detect the light of cities at night in other solar systems?

No, at least not with currently deployed telescopes. However, it is theoretically possible with current (or near future) technology. We could potentially image the lights of an exoplanet using a Solar ...

### Why do small mirror imperfections matter with modern computers

Also see answers to Could mirrors be replaced with CCDs? Is Digital Adaptive Optics Possible? The problem is that light imaging detectors convert amplitude to power during the detection process. ...
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### Telescope on drones to escape light pollution?

Yes, but not in the exact way you think of. To avoid light pollution it is better to go sideways. If you are in a light-polluted city, there would still be light pollution at an altitude of 400ft (...
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### What would happen if someone had a telescope and watched Betelgeuse when it goes supernova?

If you insist on observing the exploding Betelgeuse at peak brightness, you could potentially damage your eye. The complete answer enters the realm of physiology. Here I'll discuss the astronomical ...
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### Why different specifications for telescopes and binoculars?

With a binocular, all its optical components are fixed - the user can't change them. What's important for the user to know is the size of the front lens, which determines the brightness (and in ...
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### Could we parallax measure stars just based on the Earth's size?

In principle, it's not impossible. The Gaia spacecraft, designed primarily for measuring stellar positions, is able to measure parallaxes up to 10 kpc away with 20% uncertainty. Its baseline is 2 AU; ...
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