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

Stargazing Telescope acting like microscope

  1. Nov 8, 2005 #1
    I know this guy, and he say the Hubble telescope is worthless and has never done anything because it cannot take clear pictures of the Apollo landing site. This because he think it was a hoax and he wants proof:uhh: .

    He is currently not convinced of the reason Hubble cannot take such photos as explained on the official Hubble site. I have tried convincing him that Hubble is not worthless, I told him to look up the Deep Field Images and told him about the new moons around Pluto.

    So does anyone have anything to comment about why the Hubble cannot just zoom in like a microscope and take these photos of the Apollo debris on the Moon?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2005 #2

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Do you or him know how over-subscribed the Hubble is? Practically every second of its existence is being used for a research observation, and there are tons of people and institutions waiting in line to gain access to it. Call me crazy, but looking at the moon for the debris of the apollo landing is NOT a research project of any degree of priority, not especially when it costs THAT much.

    Besides, why would one need the Hubble to verify this? You CAN see the remnants of the apollo missions from ground based telescope. So get this person to one of the larger telescopes, pay for access, and see for himself! What's the big deal of only using the Hubble, especially when the Hubble was meant to look at something else with such dim intensities.

    Zz.
     
  4. Nov 8, 2005 #3

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    All that aside, isn't it simply a matter of resolution?
    The thing you and your friend need to understand is that the resolution of a telescope is dependant on it's aperature. Go to the astrophotography thread in astronomy and look at my pics of the planets, or look at a telescope advertisement and check for where it lists the resolution.

    Also, afaik, the Hubble doesn't have variable magnification (though different instruments have different resolutions/fields of view) - so there is no "zooming". According to THIS site, resolution in degrees is .039/aperature. According to THIS site, Hubble's resolution on the moon is about 50-100m. Have your friend Google the distance to the moon and the aperature of Hubble and verify that for himself.

    I suspect, however, that your friend will not listen to reason on this subject. I mean - if NASA is taking the pictures, why would your friend believe NASA about this, but not the Apollo missions themselves?

    edit: THIS site goes through the calculation for him...
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2005
  5. Nov 8, 2005 #4

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    One more thing - there is a difference between a telescope and a microscope that should be obvious: a telescope is focusing on objects, essentially an infinite distance away (as far as the optics are concerned) and a microscope is focusing on objects any where from a couple of milimeters to a couple of centimeters way. The optics work differently.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Telescope acting like microscope
  1. Building Telescopes (Replies: 3)

  2. Telescopes & astronomy (Replies: 6)

  3. Muons and telescopes (Replies: 4)

  4. Telescopes (Basics) (Replies: 15)

Loading...