Mirrors in Telescopes
The human eye cannot detect much light because of the small diameter of the retina, so telescopes and microscopes are used to help us see more than what humans are naturally capable of. Lenses and mirrors are the two things that can make a star that is a billion miles away look like it so much closer. Arizona is home to one of largest telescopes in the world, the Large Binocular Telescope. It has two twenty-seven foot mirrors to create the best and clearest image for the human eye. “If you want higher resolution and more light, you need to put more than one mirror together and make them work together,” explains Robert Angel, a professor of astrology at the University of Arizona (Giant Mirrors to Capture the Universe). Just as we learned in our lab, we need a good source of light for something to become clear. The mirrors that are used for the telescope cause the light to be reflected off of one mirror onto the other which then create a clear image from the large convex lens. “Because these light rays are parallel to each other, the reflector telescope’s mirror has a parabolic shape to focus the light rays back to a single point on the secondary telescope mirror. The secondary telescope mirror is flat and reflects the light to a focal plane at the side of the top of the telescope tube in the simple Newtonian reflector design” (Plotner). The focal point of the second is short enough that it allows for the greatest amount of magnification to allow the clearest image, because the shorter the focal point, the greater the magnification. Although the two mirrors have different shape and purpose, they work together to create a pristine image that is unparalleled to any other images previously seen. Professor Angel’s new method of creating these super-sized telescopes could revolutionize how people create telescopes from now on.Work Cited "Giant Mirrors to Capture the Universe." The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. N.p., 3 Mar. 2012....
Cited: "Giant Mirrors to Capture the Universe." The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. N.p., 3 Mar. 2012. Web. 25 Feb. 2013. <http://www.arizona.edu/features/giant-mirrors-capture-universe>.
Plotner, Tammy. "Telescope Mirror." Universe Today RSS. N.p., 10 Aug. 2008. Web. 20 Feb. 2013. <http://www.universetoday.com/16674/telescope-mirror/>.
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