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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

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    Gold Member

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

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

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

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airy_disk
     
  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.
     
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