How Big Would a Telescopes Mirror Need to Be to See Close Exoplanets?

If you do some simple maths you will find that in order to see exoplanets out to 10LY with the same clarity that Hubble sees the surface of Pluto would require a telescope with a mirror about 60kilometers in diameter. (Hint: Hubble has a 2.4metre mirror, Pluto is 30AU away at perihelion, and there's about 64,000 AU in a LY). The Pluto images are vague and needed a lot of processing. Realistically you would need a mirror that could resolve at least an order of magnitude better or more. So you would be looking at an optical system with a diameter of around 600kilometers. Cheers!

1. Which of the following aren't used by telescopes?

(b). Telescopes use light. Sound is not light

2. why do astronomers use telescopes to look at a distant starts?

Under ideal conditions, an optical telescope is intended to resolve stars as the smallest pinpoints of light possible. For the most part, the actual magnification power of a telescope is not as important as its total resolution. One of the more novel ways of increasing resolution today is the use of multiple telescopes to resolve a single area of the sky. For extra-Solar purposes, optical telescopes are quite useful in that they can provide the brightness of stars and assist in exo-planet detection with repeated observations (among other things, such as cataloging objects). This is all done without a compromise of resolution that other mediums outside visible light often constrain their respective telescopes to, and optical telescopes can be operated from Earth.

3. Why has the telescope been a crucial tool for scientists attempting to study the sun?

I am not sure but i think that kind of telescopes allows you to see what type of radiation goes out of the sun. By knowing that they can study the sun's composition and measure his temperature, etc, etc

4. What are these telescopes/monocular things actually called ?

Wow, 55x. I think Jack Bauer used one of these in season 5

5. Which of the following is not an advantage of the Hubble Space Telescope over ground-based telescopes?

The answer is "a" it is only a few hundred miles above the surface of the Earth. The objects it is viewing are many trillions of miles away

6. How do satellites impede current telescopes?

Satellites already cause problems for telescopes, but not by obstructing their view. Actually the light reflected from satellites is a bigger problem, and for observations of radio waves, their communications are the really big problem.In terms of reflected light, you might remember the controversy around the "Humanity Star" being too bright. The same applies to starlink, which this image shows really well:Radio wave observations are important because they allow astronomers to look the furthest back in time towards the big bang, when everything was strongly red-shifted. They are also used for measuring pulsars, and for SETI. Satellites only use discrete frequencies for communications (broadened by doppler shifting) but there are already so many communications, and signal strength is so much stronger than what we receive from distant galaxies that removing the noise is a topic of active research. Due to the long wavelengths, radio wave antennae have to be quite large, so these telescopes are usually earth based - there are not many radio wave telescopes "above" LEO orbit which would give us an untainted view.While researching this, I read that variations in the brightness of a star are important for detecting exoplanets, and satellites blocking that light momentarily could disturb the measurement. I would have expected that the timescales for the satellite and the planet to be blocking the light would be different enough that you could filter that out - but it would be an additional noise source for what is already a very sensitive measurement.

7. Why is it important to place optical telescopes at as high an altitude as possible?

A refractor uses lenses to gather and focus the light, while a reflector uses a curved mirror. When light passes through the lens of a refractor, the light is bent, but not all colors are bent equally. This causes little color fringes, called "chromatic aberration" in the image. In a reflector, the light is bounced off the front of the mirror, so that does not happen. Also, with a reflector, only one surface has to be optically ground, while two surfaces (four on a better refractor that uses multiple lenses) have to be ground, making a reflector cheaper. Also, a lens can only be supported by the edge, which limits how big the lens can be before the glass begins to "sag" from it's own weight. Since the light does not pass through the mirror on a reflector, the entire back of the mirror can be supported, so it's easier to make the telescope larger. Because those are the only two bands of electromagnetic radiation that are not blocked by the earth's atmosphere. The air at higher altitudes is clearer, so there is less dust, pollution, and other stuff to see through. Also, there is less air to see through at higher altitudes, when can reduce the effect of turbulence in the air. The only advantage to putting a scope close to the equator I can think of is that it allows you to see more of the sky from a location. Very often, the two scopes are used in tandem to look at the same object. A telescope's "resolving power" (how close two things can be to each other, and still distinguished as separate objects) is a function of the diameter of the lens or mirror. If you use two telescopes to image the same object, the data from them can be combined, and that gives you a telescope with the resolving power equal to building a giant mirror as big as the distance between the two scopes at a much lower cost.

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