Term Paper: Telescope

Sample Term Paper

Words 1,540

This term paper discusses telescopes in detail. Telescopes are instruments that collect light from distant sources and deliver to the observer to study far away objects. There are reflecting and reflecting telescopes. Reflecting telescopes use mirrors and refracting telescopes use lenses. Large telescopes use mirrors rather than lenses.

Prime focus is the point where incoming beam is focused and the analysis instruments may be placed. The light collected can form an image, photometer can be placed to measure the energy of light or a spectrometer may be used to study the spectrum of light. The light gathering power of a telescope depends on the collecting area. The larger the telescope the clearer the picture would be. Angular resolution  is also important as it helps in differentiating between objects. The limitation on the resolution of a telescope is it’s defraction, this makes it impossible to focus on beam properly.

Modern telescopes have charge-couple devices instead of photographic plates. By using active and adaptive optics the limitations of defraction can be controlled to a large extent. Active optics control the environment of the telescope and adaptive optics limit the blurring image of the atmosphere.

In addition to the basic types of telescopes are the radio telescopes, which are much larger, then the reflective telescopes. They need larger collecting area and there is a lot of defraction which can be controlled through an interferometer, which helps creating sharper images. Infrared and ultraviolet telescopes are also used and they are quite similar to optical telescopes. Radio, Infrared and ultraviolet telescopes are very important in astronomy as they allow the exploration of opaque sources, and help in studying objects that emit little or no light.

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