i don't understand this, can someone explain it please?

I have two questions that i don't know how to answer,(is it like in my opinion?), please help!!

For questions 2-3 consider that often in astronomy committee are formed to decide which telescopes should be funded and built. Use the following criteria to choose which telescopes should be funded and built.

1. how effectively telescopes work at different wavelengths

2. space telescopes are much more expensive than Earth-based telescopes

3. only certain wavelengths reach the Earth's surface.

2. choose between :

a. A gamma ray wavelength telescope, located in antartica, used to look for evidence of the presence of a black whole. or

b. A visible wavelength telescope use in the search for planets outside the solar system, located on a university campus.

3. choose between :

a. An x-ray wavelength telescope, designed specifically to look at the sun, that is located near the north pole. or

b. An infrared wavelength telescope used to view supernovae, placed on a satellite in orbit around Earth.

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    So 2: Choose between a and b - you'd want to build b - the Visible Wavelength Telescope, as our atmosphere absorbs gamma rays, and a telescope built on Earth's surface would not be very effective at gathering this information. So, on your considerations: 1 - the Gamma ray scope's effectiveness would be less than the visible light scope, 2 - while more expensive, the gamma ray scope makes more sense to place into orbit. 3 - gamma rays don't penetrate Earth's atmosphere as easily as visible light waves do.

    3) Both of these make sense, however - The x-ray scope (designed to look at the sun) will be in Earth's shadow 6 months out of the year - arguable, as each *day* the scope would be in Earth's shadow....The infrared scope would be much more expensive, but you'd want to place it in orbit to avoid the heat in Earth's atmosphere.

    So, this one will boil down to cost.

  • 9 years ago


    Gamma rays are the shortest, highest frequency wavelength. They are not good at penetrating Earth's atmosphere. The Antarctica is probably a good location to minimize that problem, but gamma ray telescopes only really work at high altitudes. Visible wavelength telescopes do fine in the Earth's atmosphere.

    3) X-rays have similar problems as gamma rays with regards to the Earth's atmosphere. It would probably be a waste of money. Edit: your teacher may argue that since it is looking at a bright source like the Sun, it would be okay at the north pole and much cheaper than putting an infrared observatory into orbit, which doesn't really need to be in orbit. However, I can't find anything that says a ground based x-ray telescope would work. I recommend you research this one a little more.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.