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Telescopes and spectrographs
This unit looks at how telescopes and spectrographs are designed to improve our ability...
This unit looks at how telescopes and spectrographs 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.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Telescopes
- 1.1 A milestone in the advancement of astronomy
- 1.2 Optical elements
- 1.3 Refracting telescopes
- 1.4 Reflecting telescopes
- 1.5 The characteristics of astronomical telescopes
- 1.6 Telescope mountings
- 1.7 Summary of Section 1 and questions
- 2 Spectographs
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Telescopes and spectrographs
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, http://faulkes-telescope.com/.
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 is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Science courses or view the range of currently available OU Science courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 27th May 2011
Last updated on: Monday, 15th October 2012
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
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