Observations and telescope/microscope design questions

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homerwho
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what are the possibilities of telescope design after the human eye.
Greetings,

I was sitting around thinking and I began to think about Astronomy from school. We studied telescope design. Optical came to mind. Can a telescope sensor be designed after the human eye. Rods and Cones. It seemed somewhat trivial but at the same time I was thinking our eyes are close to a perfect light observing feature but maybe at scale. After all we, rely on our own vision to do the final determination of what we actually observe. And that is fundamental to what we truly believe we think we see. Granted there are other senses also. This may have been something already considered and discussed. Could it be considered analog and interpreted accurately?
 

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  • #3
homerwho
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What makes you think that is true? It really isn't.
I read the article. Thank you. I posted like usual to learn from others. In the article the acuity is in question for the human to perceive the photons and process the information and limitations of a reflexive action in response to exposure. So, what made me think that rods and cones as a sensor design is because it is natural occurring feature of much life. Likely evolving in the grand scheme anyway. That's all.
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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I read the article. Thank you. I posted like usual to learn from others. In the article the acuity is in question for the human to perceive the photons and process the information and limitations of a reflexive action in response to exposure. So, what made me think that rods and cones as a sensor design is because it is natural occurring feature of much life. Likely evolving in the grand scheme anyway. That's all.
Ok, fair enough. Evolution doesn't necessarily result in good, much less optimal solutions. As a general philosophy, any tool made to do science is invented specifically because it does a better job than an un-aided human could do.
 
  • #5
Andy Resnick
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Can a telescope sensor be designed after the human eye. Rods and Cones.

In a sense, this is how single-chip 3-color sensors work- there are color filters (Bayer filter) so that a single pixel is sensitive to mostly-red, or mostly-green, etc. There's no rule about what 'color' a pixel is sensitive to- infrared and UV sensors can be designed to only detect a particular waveband. There are hyperspectral cameras that can 'see' thousands of distinct colors.

But there are obvious differences in materials used and filter pattern- your eye has the color-sensitive fovea surrounded by mostly rods. And the mechanism that transduces electromagnetic energy into some other form- electrical (solid-state device) or chemical (biological device)- is different.

Designing a CCD to mimic the anatomy of your eye doesn't make sense- your retina, in comparison to solid-state devices, is incredibly fragile, highly temperature sensitive, and has very poor optical efficiency- your eyes face backwards.
 
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  • #6
sophiecentaur
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Summary:: what are the possibilities of telescope design after the human eye.

I was thinking our eyes are close to a perfect light observing feature
Far from "perfect". As with all your body features, the visual system has evolved to give something like the 'best value' in terms of energy and resources, for dealing with the requirements of our early ancestors. There are many shortcomings in the optical system and our nervous system does its best to get information that's relevant to requirements.

Astro imaging hardware and software still do far better than our eyes ever can. For a start, most images in the night sky are far too dim for us to appreciate the colour - even through the most massive optical scopes. But it's not a competition. The cleverest image processing is pretty dumb, compared without brains.
 

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