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Homework Set 5: Recap of Telescope & Object Basics

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Homework Set 5: Recap of Telescope & Object Basics

Turning in this homework set is optional!
If you choose to turn it in, it is due noon Monday, May 10. It will be graded by 3pm that day.
If you turn it in early (by 3pm Thursday), it will be ready for you by 9am Monday.

18 points total. (2 points per question or part of question.)

As always, answers with no explanation are worth no credit!

  1. A schematic of a “Schmidt-Cassegrain” telescope is shown below. The 10-inch telescopes on the roof are this type, with tubes about 50 cm long. Please answer the following questions regarding these telescopes.

  1. What is the purpose of the corrector plate?

  2. Is this telescope subject to chromatic aberration?

  3. You put in a 40mm eyepiece. What, approximately, is the magnification of this telescope with this eyepiece? Given this magnification, how close could two stars be in the sky, if you wanted to be able to distinguish them with your eyes?

  4. What is the maximum useful magnification of this telescope? What focal length eyepiece would you use to achieve this magnification? (Hint: There is a point where more magnification becomes pointless… what is this point?)

  5. What is the limiting magnitude of this telescope in a dark-sky location? (What is the faintest star this telescope could observe in a dark-sky location?) What is its limiting magnitude on the roof of Chamberlin (assume a limiting magnitude of +2.5 with your eyes on the roof)?

  6. You look for a Messier object that is brighter than the limiting magnitude of the telescope. You know that the telescope is pointing at the right position in the sky, but you don’t see the object. What’s going on?

  1. The right ascension and declination of an object will tell you whether or not you may observe the object from your location at any given time. Let’s say that you want to observe two Messier objects –

Messier 51 RA = 13h 30m Dec = 47 12′

Messier 57 RA = 18h 54m Dec = 33 02′

  1. What is the RA of the Sun today? (If you wish to look it up, that’s fine… but you must still explain why the Sun has that RA.) Use a diagram as part of your explanation.

  2. What is the best time of night for observing M51? M57?

  3. What is the maximum altitude of M51? M57? Please use a diagram as part of your explanation.

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