Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Angular resolution

  1. Apr 1, 2012 #1
    Supposing a perfect optical instrument, what is the best angular resolution possible when observing distant stars?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2012 #2

    Filip Larsen

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You may want to read up on the concept of "diffraction limited telescope".
  4. Apr 1, 2012 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The depends almost entirely upon the diameter of the aperture and the wavelength you are asking about.

  5. Apr 1, 2012 #4
    The previous answers are entirely correct, but also note that ground-based telescopes (as apposed to space-based) are often more limited by 'seeing' than the diffraction limit. Atmospheric Seeing is deterioration of the signal based on variations (turbulence, etc) in the atmosphere.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook