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Electromagnetic Radiation and Telescopes. (How we get information about the cosmos and how we gather the information). Clicker Question. a) bend around corners and edges. b) separate into its component colors. c) bend through a lens. d) disperse within a prism. e) reflect off a mirror.

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slide1

Electromagnetic Radiation and Telescopes

(How we get information about the cosmos and how we gather the information)

slide2

Clicker Question

a) bend around corners and edges.

b) separate into its component colors.

c) bend through a lens.

d) disperse within a prism.

e) reflect off a mirror.

Diffraction is the tendency of light to

slide3

Clicker Question

a) bend around corners and edges.

b) separate into its component colors.

c) bend through a lens.

d) disperse within a prism.

e) reflect off a mirror.

Diffraction is the tendency of light to

Diffraction affects all telescopes and limits the sharpness of all images.

slide5

Light Hitting a Telescope Mirror

huge mirror near a star

*

*

small mirror far from a star

In the second case (reality), light rays from any single point of light are essentially parallel.

slide6

Light rays from a distant source, parallel to the "mirror axis“, all meet at one point, the focus.

CCD

*

*

optical telescopes
Optical Telescopes

Reflecting and refracting telescopes

slide8

Optical Telescopes - Refracting vs. Reflecting

Refracting telescope

Focuses light with a lens (like a camera).

image at focus

object (point of light)

Problems:

- Lens can only be supported around edge.

- "Chromatic aberration".

- Some light absorbed in glass (especially UV, infrared).

- Air bubbles and imperfections affect image quality.

slide9

Reflecting telescope

Focuses light with a curved mirror.

<-- object

image

- Can make bigger mirrors since they are supported from behind.

- No chromatic aberration.

- Reflects all radiation with little loss by absorption.

slide10

Refracting Telescope

Reflecting Telescope

Yerkes 40-inch (about 1 m). Largest refractor.

Cerro-Tololo 4 -m reflector.

slide11

Chromatic Aberration

Lens - different colors focus at different places.

white light

Mirror - reflection angle doesn't depend on color.

slide13

Clicker Question

a)light passing through lenses can be absorbed or scattered.

b)large lenses can be very heavy.

c)large lenses are more difficult to make.

d)mirrors can be computer controlled to improve resolution.

e)reflecting telescopes aren’t affected by the atmosphere as much.

Modern telescopes use mirrors rather than lenses for all of these reasons EXCEPT

slide14

Clicker Question

a)light passing through lenses can be absorbed or scattered.

b)large lenses can be very heavy.

c)large lenses are more difficult to make.

d)mirrors can be computer controlled to improve resolution.

e)reflecting telescopes aren’t affected by the atmosphere as much.

Modern telescopes use mirrors rather than lenses for all of these reasons EXCEPT

Reflecting instruments like the KECK telescopes can be made larger, and more capable, than refractors.

slide15

Mirror size

Mirror with larger area captures more light from a star. Can look at fainter objects with it.

Keck 10-m optical telescope

30-100 m optical telescopes now being considered!

slide16

Image of Andromeda galaxy with optical telescope.

Image with telescope of twice the diameter, same exposure time.

slide17

The Two Main Types of Observation

Imaging (recording pictures)

Spectroscopy (making a spectrum) usually using a diffraction grating

In both cases, image or spectrum usually recorded on a CCD ("charge-coupled device")

slide18

Resolving Power of a Mirror

(how much detail can you see?)

fuzziness you would see with your eye.

detail you can see with a telescope.

(a) 10′; (b) 1′; (c) 5″; (d) 1″

slide19

"Angular resolution" is the smallest angle by which two objects can be separated and still be distinguished.

For the eye, this is 1' (1/60th of a degree). Or 100 km at

distance of the Moon.

wavelength

mirror diameter

angular resolution 

For a 2.5-m telescope observing light at 5000 Angstroms (greenish), resolution = 0.05".

But, blurring by atmosphere limits resolution of optical telescopes to about 1". This is called seeing.

slide20

Seeing

*

Air density varies => bends light. No longer parallel

Parallel rays enter atmosphere

dome

No blurring case. Rays brought to same focus.

Sharp image on CCD.

*

CCD

Blurring. Rays not parallel. Can't be brought into focus.

Blurred image.

slide21

Example: the Moon observed with a 2.5 m telescope

1" => 2 km

0.05" => 100 m

Hubble Space

Telescope image,

0.05” resolution

Ground-based telescope image, 1” resolution

slide22

North America at night

So where would you put a telescope?

slide23

Kitt Peak National Observatory, near Tucson

Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawaii

slide24

Clicker Question

a) larger telescopes & longer wavelengths.

b) infrared light.

c)larger telescopes & shorter wavelengths.

d)lower frequency light.

e)visible light.

Resolution is improved by using

slide25

Clicker Question

a) larger telescopes & longer wavelengths.

b) infrared light.

c)larger telescopes & shorter wavelengths.

d)lower frequency light.

e)visible light.

Resolution is improved by using

Diffraction limits resolution; larger telescopes and shorter-wave light produces sharper images.

slide26

Clicker Question

a) they don’t require chemical development.

b) digital data is easily stored & transmitted.

c) CCDs are more light sensitive than film.

d) CCD images can be developed faster.

e) All of the above are true.

An advantage of CCDs over photographic film is

slide27

Clicker Question

a) they don’t require chemical development.

b) digital data is easily stored & transmitted.

c) CCDs are more light sensitive than film.

d) CCD images can be developed faster.

e) All of the above are true.

An advantage of CCDs over photographic film is

slide28

Clicker Question

a) the quality of the telescope’s optics.

b) the transparency of a telescope’s lens.

c) the sharpness of vision of your eyes.

d) the image quality due to air stability.

e) the sky’s clarity & absence of clouds.

Seeing in astronomy is a measurement of

slide29

Smeared overall image of star

Point images of a star

Clicker Question

a) the quality of the telescope’s optics.

b) the transparency of a telescope’s lens.

c) the sharpness of vision of your eyes.

d) the image quality due to air stability.

e) the sky’s clarity & absence of clouds.

Seeing in astronomy is a measurement of

“Good Seeing” occurs when the atmosphere is clear and the air is still.

Turbulent air produces “poor seeing,” and fuzzier images.

slide30

Radio Telescopes

Large metal dish acts as a mirror for radio waves. Radio receiver at prime focus.

Surface accuracy not so important, so easy to make large one.

But angular resolution is poor. Remember:

Effelsberg 100-m (Germany)

Andromeda galaxy –

optical

wavelength

mirror diameter

angular resolution 

D larger than optical case, but wavelength much larger (cm's to m's), e.g. for wavelength = 1 cm, diameter = 100 m, resolution = 20".

Andromeda radio

map with

Effelsberg telescope

radio astronomy
Radio Astronomy
  • Longer wavelength means poorer angular resolution.
  • Advantages of radio astronomy:
  • Can observe 24 hours a day.
  • Clouds, rain, and snow don’t interfere.
  • Observations at an entirely different frequency; get totally different information.
slide32

Parkes 64-m (Australia)

Jodrell Bank 76-m (England)

Arecibo 300-m telescope (Puerto Rico)

Green Bank 100-m telescope (WV)

slide33

Interferometry

A technique to get improved angular resolution using an array of telescopes. Most common in radio, but also limited optical interferometry.

D

Consider two dishes with separation D vs. one dish of diameter D.

By combining the radio waves from the two dishes, the achieved angular resolution is the same as the large dish.

slide34

Example: wavelength = 1 cm, separation = 2 km, resolution = 1"

Very Large Array (NM). Maximum separation 30 km

Very Long Baseline Array. Maximum separation 1000's of km

VLA and optical image of Centaurus A

slide35

Clicker Question

a) improve angular resolution.

b) give greater magnification.

c) increase the range of waves they can collect.

d) detect shorter waves than optical telescopes for superior resolution.

Radio dishes are large in order to

slide36

Clicker Question

a) improve angular resolution.

b) give greater magnification.

c) increase the range of waves they can collect.

d) detect shorter waves than optical telescopes for superior resolution.

Radio dishes are large in order to

Resolution is worse with long-wave light, so radio telescopes must be large to compensate.

slide37

Clicker Question

a)observations can be made day & night.

b)we can see objects that don’t emit visible light.

c)radio waves are not blocked by interstellar dust.

d)they can be linked to form interferometers.

e)All of the above are true.

Radio telescopes are useful because

slide38

Clicker Question

a)observations can be made day & night.

b)we can see objects that don’t emit visible light.

c)radio waves are not blocked by interstellar dust.

d)they can be linked to form interferometers.

e)All of the above are true.

Radio telescopes are useful because

The Very Large Array links separate radio telescopes to create much better resolution.

clicker question

When multiple radio telescopes are used for interferometry, resolving power is most improved by increasing:

A: the distance between telescopes;

B: the number of telescopes in a given area;

C: the diameter of each telescope;

D: the power supplied to each telescope

Clicker Question:

slide40

Astronomy at Other Wavelengths

Telescopes also observe infrared, UV, X-rays and gamma rays.

Mostly done from space because of Earth's atmosphere.

Infrared allows you to see radiation from

warm dust in

interstellar gas.

Spitzer Space

Telescope - infrared

slide41

Infrared also allows you to see through dust. Dust is good at

blocking visible light but infrared gets through better.

Trifid nebula in visible light

Trifid nebula with Spitzer

slide42

GLAST – Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope

Gamma rays are the most energetic

photons, tracing high-energy events in

Universe such as “Gamma-ray Bursters”.

Latest mission is GLAST – successfully

launched this year.

x ray optics
X-ray Optics

X rays and gamma rays will not reflect off mirrors as other wavelengths do; need new techniques.

X rays will reflect at a very shallow angle, and can therefore be focused.

Gamma Rays cannot be focused at all; images are coarse

slide44

Hubble Space Telescope and its successor-to-be: the James Webb

Space Telescope

Advantage of space for optical astronomy: get above blurring atmosphere – much sharper images.

Center of M51: HST (left; 0.05” resolution) vs.

ground-based (right; 1” resolution)

slide45

The James Web Space Telescope

Mock-up of JWST

Will have diameter 6.5 meters (vs. HST 2.5 meters) – much higher resolution and sensitivity. Will also observe infrared, whereas

Hubble is best at visible light. Expected launch 2013.

clicker question46

The biggest telescopes on Earth are:

A: Gamma-ray telescopes.

B: X-ray telescopes.

C: Optical telescopes

D: Radio telescopes

E: Infra-red telescopes

Clicker Question:

slide47

Much can be learned from observing the same astronomical object at many wavelengths. Here, the Milky Way.

summary of chapter 3
Summary of Chapter 3
  • Refracting telescopes make images with a lens.
  • Reflecting telescopes make images with a mirror.
  • Modern research telescopes are all reflectors.
  • CCDs are used for data collection.
  • Data can be formed into image, analyzed spectroscopically, or used to measure intensity.
  • Large telescopes gather much more light, allowing study of very faint sources.
  • Large telescopes also have better resolution.
summary of chapter 3 cont
Summary of Chapter 3, cont.
  • Resolution of ground-based optical telescopes is limited by atmospheric effects.
  • Resolution of radio or space-based telescopes is limited by diffraction.
  • Active and adaptive optics can minimize atmospheric effects.
  • Radio telescopes need large collection area; diffraction is limited.
  • Interferometry can greatly improve resolution.
summary of chapter 3 cont50
Summary of Chapter 3, cont.
  • Infrared and ultraviolet telescopes are similar to optical.
  • Ultraviolet telescopes must be above atmosphere.
  • X rays can be focused, but very differently than visible light.
  • Gamma rays can be detected but not imaged.