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Flashcards for physics 104 at Boise State University. 5-week summer session with Richard Beaver

Atmospheric Aberrations

turbulence in the atmosphere. Limits a telescope's abilities. Can be magnified by a telescope

Telescope Size

Size matters as far as light gathering ability goes. Sometimes a greater magnification just causes problems, though. And a larger scope can't necessarily magnify more. That is only controlled by eyepiece?

Chromatic aberration

Color distortion. This applies to lenses only. Distortion in a lens when the focal lengths don't match up and the separate colors become visible.

The Refractor Telescope

bends light. Uses a lens as the main light gatherer

The Reflector Telescope

Reflects light. Uses a mirror as the main light gatherer.

Newtonian Telescope

Reflector telescope. Can tell because the eyepiece is positioned on the side. Flat mirror to reflect into eyepiece.

Cassegrain Telescope

Reflector telescope. Uses a spherical mirror at the back and a flat mirror in the center (or flat for a Maksutov). Light bounces into the back then into the mirror in the center, then into the eyepiece.

The Catadioptic Telescope

Combo of the refractor and reflector. Also called a cat telescope. Uses a lens and a mirror as the main light gatherer.


Twin refractors (one for each eye).

German Equatorial Mount

Points towards Polaris for reference. T-shaped. Uses weights for balance.

Alt-Azimuth Mount

All world class telescopes use this. Can take a heavier and bigger telescope.

Adaptive Optics

Eliminates atmospheric turbulence. Newer telescopes use this feature. Developed during the cold war. Uses lasers making fake stars to measure turbulence and correct for it.

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