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Telescopes and spectrographs

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This free course, Telescopes and spectrographs, looks at how they are designed to improve our ability to observe the universe. You will examine how different technologies have been developed over the last four hundred years to enable us to look deep into space.

By the end of this free course you should be able to:

  • understand the application of basic principles in geometrical optics;
  • appreciate the phenomena relating to the wave nature of light.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 10 hours
  • Updated Monday 15th October 2012
  • Intermediate level
  • Posted under Science
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Telescopes and spectrographs


Unit image

We are used to seeing spectacular astronomical images in the press and on the internet. This unit gives an in-depth introduction to two of the most important instruments used to create these images and explore the science behind them – telescopes and spectographs.

This unit is drawn from the preparatory work for the practical residential school at the Observatori Astronomic de Mallorca. The unit image shows a student at work in one of the telescope domes at the Observatori.

This unit is used for training by the Faulkes Telescope Project,

This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Observing the universe (SXR208) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this subject area [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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