Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 1 month ago

How come I can't see the mass of Rigel or Betelgeuse using my telescope?

All I can see is the light it creates.

9 Answers

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  • F
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You have to say it three times.

  • 1 month ago

    Why would you see mass?  Do you mean size?  All stars apart from the Sun are too far away to show in any telescope as anything more than points of light.  However, there is an optical technique for processing the light which can sometimes reveal a disc, which has happened with Betelgeuse. I think it involves the interference of light from opposite flanks.

  • 1 month ago

    It requires a highly complex and temperamental telescope in the professional class costing millions of dollars and needing a team to operate it in order to see a star as anything more than a point of light..

    Why not turn your scope to the moon and marvel at all the craters, mountains and other features, or turn it to some of the Messier catalog objects then learn about what you are seeing, rather than bust yourself on the impossible task of seeing a star's "mass" in an amateur scope?

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Of course all you can see is the light they create - what do you think their "mass" would look like?

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  • 1 month ago

    Do you mean the image of the disk?  For all intents and purposes - in smaller telescopes, stars are simply point-sources of light; unless you're using a several-meter-wide telescope, smaller scopes simply don't have the resolving power to see details of a star from several hundred light years away. 

  • 1 month ago

    Because you cannot see the amount if mass of ANYTHING. While it is true that the mass of a star determines which nuclear fusion processes predominate in the core and how fast hydrogen is fused and mass determines the range of frequencies and wavelengths and color of light and surface temperature  is maximum, NO ONE can measure mass visibly. 

  • Adam D
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    That's how you see everything - by the light traveling from that object to your eyes.

  • 1 month ago

    The Hubble Space Telescope and a couple 8+ meter telescopes on Earth are barely able to resolve Betelgeuse as a disk.  You don't mention the make or size of your telescope, but I'm sure it is too small to resolve anything like a star.

  • 1 month ago

    How do you "see the mass" of anything?  How do you see the mass of a car, or a building? Do you have some way of seeing besides light?

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