Stars and Telescopes Essay Sample
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- Category: astronomy
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Stars and Telescopes Essay Sample
Telescopes are considered to be an instrument that makes distant objects to appear closer, (Northwestern, 2012). These instruments have assisted scientists and astronomers in their studies of the universe. With the use of a telescope the studies have changed and become easier to study. This paper will provide information on how the telescope has changed the views of the universe, designs of telescopes, ground-based telescopes, strengths and weaknesses of the location of the telescope, different frequencies of light, and the wavelengths of a telescope. Studies of the universe occurred before the telescope was invented, but was much harder. Today, the telescope has assisted in the many discoveries of the universe. Without a telescope, many of these discoveries may have not been possible.
The telescope has become a main instrument and icon in the world of science. The telescope has opened up opportunities to scientists than in the past, improving the studies and discoveries. Telescopes have changed many views of the universe. The first view that was changed is that the Earth is not the center of the universe. The telescope allows viewing of mountains and craters of the moon, asteroids, new planets, etc. (NASA, 2010). The telescope has also allowed scientists to properly measure the speed of light and to understand the light of stars and Sun, (NASA, 2010).
While telescopes have opened up a new world of opportunities, there are many designs that can be chosen from. There are three main designs of telescopes; refractors, reflectors, and a catadioptric. The refracting telescope is one of the most common telescopes. The refractor telescope captures an image through the lens and bends it. After it is bent, it is sent to the focal point and modified by the lens and viewed through the eye piece, (Telescopes, 2013). The refracting telescope is among one the most popular telescopes because the strengths of the telescope. This type of telescope is long lasting, useful in viewing lunar, planetary and binary images, has a rugged design causes resistance to misalignment. Air currents are also eliminated due to the tube being closed off. Eliminating air currents can prevent improper visions and misinterpretations, (Astronomy, 2011). The weaknesses of refractors are that the telescope may experience color distortion at some point. This telescope is also less capable to view distant galaxies or viewing smaller objects in the sky, (Telescopes, 2013).
A reflecting telescope uses a curved primary mirror to gather light, reflecting the gathered light to a secondary mirror that lies in front of it. The gathered light or image can then be seen through the eye piece, (Bennett, Donahue, Schneider & Voit, 2010). Reflecting telescopes are great when viewing deep sky objects such galaxies, star clusters, etc. These telescopes create bright images, and are usually compact or portable. Reflecting telescopes have multiple strengths, but also have weaknesses. This type of telescope is not useful during terrestrial viewings, more care and maintenance needed, dust and air can negatively affect the images provided through the lens, (Telescope, 2013).
The last design, catadioptric telescopes are a combination of mirrors and lenses. The mirrors and lenses fold the optics and form an image. This type of design has strengths in viewing lunar, planetary, binary and terrestrial observations, and elimination of air current affecting images. This design has a weakness of light loss, due to the secondary mirror obstruction, (Telescopes, 2013).
Ground-based telescopes are used to observe and study exoplanets.