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what are the advantages and disadvantages of radio astronomy over visual astronomy?

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Radio astronomy is the study of celestial objects that emit radio waves. With radio astronomy:

    --Scientists can study astronomical phenomena that are often invisible in other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

    --Since radio waves penetrate dust, scientists use radio astronomy techniques to study regions that cannot be seen in visible light, such as the dust-shrouded environments where stars and planets are born, and the center of our Galaxy, the Milky Way.

    --Radio telescopes are used to measure the surface temperatures of all the planets in our solar system and as well as some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.

    --Utilizing radio telescopes equipped with sensitive spectrometers, radio astronomers have discovered more than 100 separate molecules, including familiar chemical compounds like water vapor, formaldehyde, ammonia, methanol, ethanol, and carbon dioxide. The important spectral line of atomic hydrogen at 1421.405 MHz (21 centimeters) is used to determine the motions of hydrogen clouds in the Milky Way Galaxy and other galaxies. This is done by measuring the change in the wavelength of the observed lines arising from Doppler shift.

    --Radio observations of quasars led to the discovery of pulsars.

    --Solar flares and sunspots are strong sources of radio emission. Their study has led to increased understanding of the complex phenomena near the surface of the Sun.

    --Radio astronomy can be done during the day as it is unaffected by sunlight.

    Some disadvantages of radio astronomy are:

    --There is a lot of interference generated by commercial television, radio, satellite, & microwave communications.

    --Since the wavelength of radio is much larger than that of light, radio telescopes have worse resolution & require larger apertures (including synthetic apertures generated by arrays of dishes).

  • 7 years ago

    Advantages include:

    1 Use of different frequencies/wavelengths tell us about different physical processes

    2 Some wavelengths/freqeuencies can penetrate gas/dust/atmospheres better than light

    3 Radio 'scopes can be used during the day in many cases.

    Disadvantages include:

    1 The wavelengths are much longer, so the 'scopes have to be much bigger for the same resolution

    2 They are therefore difficult to site and to engineer. Interferometry is often needed.

  • 7 years ago

    Radio astronomy uses a completely different part of the electromagnetic spectrum. As a result, astronomers can detect the presence of objects that emit in the radio and microwave spectrum, and that would otherwise be invisible.

  • patton
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

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