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Telescopes and radio telescopes

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1. Why are radio telescopes larger than optical telescopes ?

2. Why do optical astronomers put their telescopes on the tops of high mountains, while radio astronomers put their telescopes in deep valleys.

3. a)What is the purpose of the telescopic eyepiece ?
b) What aspect of the eyepiece determines the magnification of the telescope?
c) In what circumstances would the eyepiece not be used ?

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Solution Preview

1. Radio wave spectra are longer and thus carry less energy per unit time. So a larger dish is a "collector" of this faint energy.

http://www.nrao.edu/index.php/learn/radioastronomy/radiotelescopes

2) Optical instruments are placed on high to get above atmospheric interference as much as possible. (Twinkle, twinkle is NOT what an astronomer wants) and air itself, dust, water vapor and city lights all add elements that foul up the "seeing" So higher is drier, less air between ...

Solution Summary

Solution deals with some general questions regarding telescopes (specifically eyepieces) and a bit more detail regarding radio telescopes. Includes external reference links

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