ASTR100 (Spring 2006) Introduction to Astronomy Collecting Light with Telescopes Prof. D.C. Richardson Sections 0101-0106.
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ASTR100 (Spring 2006) Introduction to Astronomy Collecting Light with Telescopes Prof. D.C. Richardson Sections 0101-0106
Why do we put telescopes into space? It is NOT because they are closer to the stars!…
Observing problems due to Earth’s atmosphere 1.Light pollution.
Star viewed with ground-based telescope. View from Hubble Space Telescope. 2.Turbulence causes twinkling blurs images.
3.Atmosphere absorbs most of EM spectrum, including all UV and X-ray, most infrared.
Telescopes in space solve all three problems Location/technology can help overcome light pollution and turbulence. But nothing short of going to space can solve the problem of atmospheric absorption of light. Chandra X-ray Observatory
Adaptive optics Rapid changes in mirror shape compensate for atmospheric turbulence. How is technology revolutionizing astronomy? Without adaptive opticsWith adaptive optics
Jupiter Much farther from Sun than inner planets. Mostly H/He; no solid surface. 300 times more massive than Earth! Many moons, rings…
Moons can be as interesting as planets themselves, especially Jupiter’s four Galilean moons. Io (shown here): active volcanoes all over. Europa: possible subsurface ocean. Ganymede: largest moon in solar system. Callisto: a large, cratered “ice ball”.
Saturn Giant and gaseous like Jupiter. Spectacular rings. Many moons, including cloudy Titan. Cassini spacecraft currently studying it. Earth!
Saturn Rings are NOT solid; they are made of countless small chunks of ice and rock, each orbiting like a tiny moon. Artist’s conception
Saturn Cassini probe arrived July 2004. (Launched in 1997).
Uranus Smaller than Jupiter/Saturn; much larger than Earth. Made of H/He gas and hydrogen compounds (H 2 O, NH 3, CH 4 ). Extreme axis tilt. Moons and rings.
Neptune Similar to Uranus (except for axis tilt). Many moons, including Triton.
Pluto and Eris Much smaller than other planets. Icy, comet-like composition. Pluto’s moon Charon is similar in size to Pluto.
Comets & Asteroids Leftovers from planet formation. Tiny worlds of ice and/or rock. Some even have moons! Comet P/Tempel 1 Asteroid 25143 Itokawa