Telescope mirrors

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Main Question or Discussion Point

A telescopes sensitivity, or how much detail it can see is directly related to the size of the mirror area that collects light from the objects being observed. So a bigger mirror means higher resolution so you can see more detail at greater distances right? does it also mean it can collect more light so it will be able to see dimmer stars that wouldn't usually be able to be seen??
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
davenn
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So a bigger mirror means higher resolution so you can see more detail at greater distances right?
yes

does it also mean it can collect more light so it will be able to see dimmer stars that wouldn't usually be able to be seen??
and again yes, tho regardless of the size of the scope, it will still have a limiting magnitude for that particular size
 
  • #3
davenn
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tho regardless of the size of the scope, it will still have a limiting magnitude for that particular size
for example my 9.25 inch mirror scope has a limiting magnitude of M 14.4
one link on the www told ne that for the Hubble Space Telescope is about M 28


Dave
 
  • #4
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does it also mean it can collect more light so it will be able to see dimmer stars that wouldn't usually be able to be seen??
If you are talking just about stars, then yes, the size of the mirror is the limiting factor. If you are talking about extended objects (nebula, planets) then the f/number is the important parameter.
 

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