Section 5: Telescopes and satellites
In this section of the course you will discover how astronomers, cosmologists, planetary scientists and space scientists learn about the objects they investigate. As you will see, the key to this is utilising electromagnetic radiation, in all its forms, then designing telescopes that can detect and record this information. After introducing the idea of the electromagnetic spectrum, later parts of this section allow you to learn about optical telescopes, both on the ground and in space, and other telescopes that observe invisible parts of the spectrum, such as radio waves and X-rays. We then describe how satellites and space probes are launched into space, and how they operate once there, before finishing with case studies of two contemporary projects – the Gaia satellite and the Rosetta space probe.
In the following video, Prof. John Zarnecki of the Open University gives an introduction to telescopes and satellite observatories, as part of his lecture “50 years in space”.Looking through a dirty windowVideo player: 2_4x3_bb.mp4 (Credit: OU)