About This Chapter
Telescopes - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
Telescopes are powerful tools for observing astronomical bodies, including what they look like and how they behave. The video lessons here will introduce you to several kinds of specialized telescopes, how they work, and what kind of observations they're designed to make. You'll also learn about relevant concepts like the diffraction limit and adaptive optics. At the end of this chapter, you should be able to:
- Talk about how a telescope works
- Name three types of telescopes
- Describe three kinds of astronomical observations
- Understand what the diffraction limit is and what influences it
- Understand how Earth's atmosphere and other factors affect astronomical observation
|Light Sensors of Eyes and Cameras||Understand the similarities in how human eyes and camera lenses focus light, as well as why cameras can have advantages.|
|Properties of a Telescope||Describe key parts of a telescope and why they're important, especially the aperture.|
|Categories of Astronomical Observation||Understand imaging, spectroscopy, and timing observation styles and how they're carried out.|
|Diffraction Limit: Definition and Factors||Understand what the diffraction limit is, and discuss how the size of the telescope and wavelength of light can affect it.|
|Types of Telescopes: Radio, Reflecting & Refracting Telescopes||Gain an understanding of common types of telescopes and their ideal uses.|
|Telescopes & the Electromagnetic Spectrum||Discuss the electromagnetic spectrum with regard to Earth's atmosphere; learn why space telescopes are so important to astronomy.|
|Telescopes for Invisible Wavelengths vs. Those for Visible Light||Learn about images made using X-rays and infrared light and the telescopes that make them possible.|
|How Earth's Atmosphere Hinders Astronomical Observations||Discuss adaptive optics and why telescopes in space are essential for studying astronomy.|
1. Types of Telescopes: Radio, Reflecting & Refracting Telescopes
Learn about the different types of telescopes that astronomers use: X-ray, radio, gamma ray, reflecting and refracting. Learn what the differences are between them and what different things they show us about the universe.
2. Refracting & Reflecting Telescopes: Key Concepts
This lesson will discuss some key terms and concepts relating to the refracting and reflecting telescope: primary mirror/lens, eyepiece, focal length, focal point, chromatic aberration, and achromatic lens.
3. Telescopes: Powers & Limitations
This lesson will discuss some limitations and three important powers of the telescope: the light gathering power, resolving power, and magnifying power.
4. How Telescopes Form Images
This lesson will explain to you the fundamental points of how images are formed in refracting and reflecting telescopes as well as why our eyes need telescopes to help us see distant objects.
5. How Telescopes Detect & Measure Light
This lesson will go over the numerous methods astronomers can use to detect and measure light, including photography, spectroscopy, photometry, and CCDs.
6. Different Kinds of Traditional Reflecting Telescopes
This lesson will discuss three major kinds of traditional reflecting telescopes and their major differences. These include the Newtonian, Cassegrain, and Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes.
7. Major Forms of Telescope Mounts & Modern Mirrors
This lesson will discuss two major telescope mounts, the equatorial and altazimuth mount, as well as two modern kinds of telescope mirrors, the floppy and segmented mirrors.
8. Radio Telescopes & Interferometry
This lesson will go over some key concepts related to radio astronomy. We'll cover what radio telescopes are, the basics of how they function, and what their disadvantages are compared to optical telescopes and how this is resolved.
9. Telescopes & the Electromagnetic Spectrum
This lesson will teach you about which forms of light can reach the ground and which cannot and how we overcome this problem. We'll go over the concept of seeing as well as why we send telescopes into space.
10. Telescopes & False Color Images
How do we 'see' invisible forms of light if they're invisible? What would happen if your eyes had the ability for X-ray vision here on Earth? This lesson will help answer these questions.
11. Factors That Hinder Astronomical Observations on Earth
This lesson will discuss several important factors that affect the ability of someone using a telescope to see a celestial object clearly, including weather, dust, seeing, and light pollution.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the Astronomy 101: Intro to Astronomy course
- The History of Astronomy
- How Scientists Think and Work
- Matter in Astronomy
- Light in Astronomy
- Newton's Laws in Astronomy
- Momentum, Energy, Pressure, Temperature & Gas
- Rotational Motion in Physics
- Earth's Spheres and Astronomy
- Influences on Climate
- The Orbits of Celestial Bodies
- The Earth, Sky, and Moon
- The Moon: Formation & Phases
- The Atmosphere on Earth and Other Planets
- The Sun's Structure & Components
- The Solar System: Layout, Formation & Dating
- Characteristics of Our Solar System's Planets
- Small Celestial Bodies & Satellites in Our Solar System
- Measurement of Star Qualities
- Star Types and Significance
- The Birth and Life of Stars
- Star Death and Stellar Remnants
- The Milky Way Galaxy
- Galaxies: Properties & Characteristics
- The Universe: Key Concepts & Theories
- Life in the Universe
- Celestial Navigation & Timekeeping
- Relativity in Time and Space