which of these is least important to an astronomer for observing the stars?

a. magnifying power

b. resolving power.

c. ability to expose an image for long periods of time.

d. light gathering power.

e. ability to aim the telescope in different directions.

please help!

2 Answers

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  • 9 years ago

    It is difficult to find an answer to which is the MOST useful, because it depends on the purpose of the observation.

    However, you will find a majority who will say that "a" is the LEAST important (except for a few, specific tasks).

    On my amateur telescopes (used for my own pleasure, as opposed to real work), I change the magnification by changing the eyepieces. I rarely use the eyepieces with the highest magnification, because it does not do much for my observing (except, perhaps, improve the contrast under certain conditions).

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    In the South African Large Telescope (SALT), the largest telescope on Earth (so far), with an 11-metre aperture, "d" and "b" are so important that they sacrificed "e" (that telescope can NOT be aimed in all directions)

  • 9 years ago

    I once had a professor of astronomy tell me that telescopes aren't used to magnify things (or he might have said they aren't used to make things bigger). They are used to collect more light and make them brighter. That statement never entirely made sense to me but although it is counter intuitive, I would say the answer is a) magnifying power.

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