Improving the Telescope

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exevien

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So i was sifting through the bazillions of pictures of space i could find.<br /><br />I came across a weird idea (i think its weird because im new to this). Here goes.<br /><br /><br />I was thinking along the idea of how we are able to view our planets. We are very close to them etc, and have a very very narrow view when we see them through a scope.<br /><br />As we look further away, we are observing larger and larger areas of space. <br /><br />Even though our telescopes are not changing size, the actual distance between our bottom end view and our top end view increases dramatically.<br /><br />If we view through a smaller hole, would that be able to focus more efficiently on what we are trying to view?<br /><br />Ideally I would love to see if there was a difference between a normal telescope, and one with a microscopic view ability. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
 
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adrenalynn

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The aperture of a reflector represents the amount of light it gathers. The size of the view is a combination of the eyepiece power and the focal length of the scope.<br /><br />Dropping the aperture of a reflector scope lowers its light gathering. Increasing the "power" (magnification) of the eye piece decreases the view area but increases the detail (to a limiting point).<br /><br />On a refractor, a smaller aperture can increase the sharpness but again decreases the light gathering ability and cuts the limiting max magnification.<br /><br />Lowering the size of the aperture on a reflector can increase its sharpness - to an extent.<br /><br />So I don't think optical physics runs with your proposal - unless I missed something. It's early AM and that's a distinct possibility. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />Welcome to SDC, btw! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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exevien

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And isn't that what we need in order to see planets from other solar systems, or even galaxy's? Less light from the other stars blurring everything out?<br /><br />I suppose the correct term wouldn't be blurring, but im sure you understand me nonetheless.<br /><br />btw tyvm<br />
 
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CalliArcale

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>And isn't that what we need in order to see planets from other solar systems, or even galaxy's? Less light from the other stars blurring everything out? <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Unfortunately, no. The light from extrasolar planets is itself so faint that you need a large apeture to see it at all -- even ignoring light pollution from their parent stars. This is why it's such a challenge to try to resolve a fantastically dim extrasolar planet hiding in the glare of its parent star. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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emperor_of_localgroup

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Good topic. I myself is bothered by the slow progress in telescope technology.<br /><br />Are you suggesting we build a 'telescope-microscope'? A telescope that can be used as microscope at long distances, a telescope that magnifies objects like a microscope? IIRC, the difference between an ordinary telescope and a microscope is swapping the positions of Objective lens and Eyepiece.<br /><br />My next comment probably fits in the Human biology forum, but I wondered why do the object size gets smaller when we get farther and farther from the object? Obviously the reason is the 'lens' in our eyes and the brain. So, if there is no 'lens', wouldn't we see a small portion of the object even when we move away from the object? It's hard to explain my 'incomplete' thought. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#ff0000"><strong>Earth is Boring</strong></font> </div>
 
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exevien

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Well lets start with how we look for most planets?<br /><br /><br />While looking for planets, do we look directly at the stars and look for darkspots, or do we look beside the stars looking for planets that appear from our view coming around from the back end of a star? would that not have some reflection, much like a full or partial full moon effect? Any other way im missing here? What else do all planets put out into space that we can detect?<br /><br /><br />It just seems ridiculous to me that we are still unable to see planets. <br /><br />Radiation from the sun right? Every planet has a "belt" of radiation around it right? If we look for radiation rings not around the stars, but aside the stars. Ideally looking for planets closer to the said star as it would rotate around it much much faster allowing us to only take possibly months to detect a significant change in the radiation waves or ring around a possible planet?<br /><br />
 
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adrenalynn

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Actually, telescope technology is progressing fantastically fast. Have you seen what adaptive optics and lucky cam are doing? Palomar, an earth-based station, is crushing Hubble's best now. And this has just happened in the last year or so.<br /><br />Planets are "dark". They produce almost no radiation. Stars produce vast amounts of radiation. Planets, for the most part, produce nothing. They either reflect the star, or appears as "holes" as they occult their stars.<br /><br />If we can't even detect the surfaces of the nearest stars (outside of the sun) - trying to find a planet around one is beyond science-fiction (today).<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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bobunf

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"I myself is bothered by the slow progress in telescope technology."<br /><br />What do you think is a quickly progressing technology? These things are hard to quantify, but astronomical instrumentation seems to me to be progressing at an incredible rate. Bigger, better instruments used in more and better ways. <br /><br />Look at the discoveries in the last few years: <br />Higher and higher resolution of the microwave background radiation<br />What may be dark mater<br />What appears to be an accelerating expansion of the universe<br />Kuiper belt objects by the boatload<br />Hundreds of extra solar planets, including a five planet solar system within the last few weeks.<br />Maunder Minimum type cycles in other stars<br />And many, many more.<br /><br />Bob<br />
 
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origin

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"It just seems ridiculous to me that we are still unable to see planets."<br /><br />I am guessing that you do not have a grasp on the distances that we are talking about.<br /><br />Here is a way to visualize the distance; lets say that the earth is a pepper shaker and the mars is a salt shaker, place them on a table about 1 foot apart. That distance represents about 35,000,000 miles which is distance that seperates us when we are the closest. At that scale how far away do you suppose the nearest star is?<br /><br />It would be about 140 miles away, and that is the closest star (besides the sun).<br /><br />Space is Big....<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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exevien

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Because they are in the way of the radiation of the sun, they bend the belts as a result.<br /><br />So if we look next to stars very close to them for some periods of time, should we not see a fluctuation in the radiation as a planet would become theoretically viewable?<br /><br />Im lookin up the Palomar now. Thanks for the info sounds good. <br /><br /><br />Also, any idea when we can expect the hubble or perhaps a new telescope in space to have this advanced system of filtering out the distortions?
 
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adrenalynn

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The problem is still resolution and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)<br /><br />The amount of signal compared to the amount of noise is insubstantial. You're assuming a "perfect world" where you have nothing but signal. Trying to sort the minute genuine and valid change from all the noise is non-trivial. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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adrenalynn

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In a few hundred years, that could almost be feasible.<br /><br />Please also note (from the footnotes) that they were comparing to 1992 technology, not 2007 technology. Massive strides have been made since then. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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exevien

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I was curious about the foci of the sun theory.<br /><br /><br />Does every planet theoretically have a foci point?<br /><br /><br />Every moon? Everything that has a strong gravitational pull?<br /><br />
 
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MeteorWayne

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<br />Welcome to Space.com.<br />A very fuzzily worded question.<br />What theory are you referring to?<br />I've never heard of anything like that. Can you explain what you are trying to ask? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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Mee_n_Mac

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<font color="yellow">What theory are you referring to? </font><br /><br />The link refers to a hypothetical mission to put a spacecraft 550 AU out from the Sun to look for it's gravitational lensing effect. To say that gravity can bend and focus light, like a lens, also means you can assign a focal length to a body. For the Sun the article estimates 550 - 800 AU. <br /><br />To the extent that all bodies having mass warp spacetime, I guess you can assign a focal length to anything ... the Sun, the Earth, the Moon.<br /><br />At least that's what I think the OP means to ask.<br /><br /> <br /><br />BTW: to go back to the OP's 1'st post .... might I suggest he Google Airy disk and diffraction limiting. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>-----------------------------------------------------</p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask not what your Forum Software can do do on you,</font></p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask it to, please for the love of all that's Holy, <strong>STOP</strong> !</font></p> </div>
 
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nexium

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Big telescopes are much more costly because the minor flaws in the optics degrade more than smaller telescopes plus more and better detail is expected of very costly telescopes. The 550 AU telescope may not achieve good clarity. We won't know for sure until we try it. Neil
 
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exevien

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Yes, exactly Mee_n_Mac <br /><br />I suppose the actual theory is called "The Gravitational Lensing Effect" and yes i was wondering if all body's with a significant gravitational pull would have this effect, ie: a moon, planet and not just the sun.<br /><br />Thanks for the clarification, and google ideas. Ill do that now actually.
 
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