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Modern Astronomy Print Page

Tools & Telescopes

  • Altazimuth mounting
    From Astronomy Encyclopedia
    Telescope mounting that has one axis (altitude) perpendicular to the horizon, and the other (azimuth) parallel to the horizon.
  • Astrophotography: Topic Page
    se of photography in astronomical research. The first successful photograph of a celestial object was the daguerreotype plate of the Moon taken by English Scientist John W Draper in March 1840.
  • Barlow lens
    From Astronomy Encyclopedia
    Concave (negative) LENS placed between a telescope objective and eyepiece to increase the magnification, usually by two or three times.
  • Binocular: Topic Page
    Small optical instrument consisting of two similar telescopes mounted on a single frame so that separate images enter each of the viewer's eyes. As with a single telescope, distant objects appear magnified, but the binocular has the additional advantage that it substantially increases the range of depth perception of the viewer because the magnified images are seen with both eyes.
  • Cassegrain telescope
    From Astronomy Encyclopedia
    Reflecting telescope with a concave paraboloidal primary and a convex hyperboloidal secondary. Light is gathered by the primary and reflected to the secondary, which is placed in the light path on the optical axis.
  • Dobsonian telescope
    From Astronomy Encyclopedia
    Newtonian telescope equipped with a low, stable altazimuth mounting; its designer, by John Lowry Dobson (1915-), refers to it as a sidewalk telescope.
  • Equatorial mounting
    From Astronomy Encyclopedia
    Telescope mounting in which one axis, the polar axis, is parallel to Earth's axis of rotation, and the telescope can be moved about the other axis, the declination axis, which is perpendicular to the polar axis.
  • Maksutov telescope
    From Collins Dictionary of Astronomy
    A catadioptric telescope named after its Soviet inventor, Dmitri Dmitriyevich Maksutov, who published its design in 1941. A Dutch telescope maker, Albert A. Bouwers of Amsterdam, arrived independently at the same design in the same year.
  • Photometer
    From Astronomy Encyclopedia
    Instrument with which astronomers can measure the intensity (that is, the brightness) and various other properties of visible LIGHT , and also of infrared radiation and ultraviolet radiation.
  • Radio astronomy: Topic Page
    Study of celestial bodies by means of the electromagnetic radio frequency waves they emit and absorb naturally.
  • Reflecting telescope
    From Collins Dictionary of Astronomy
    A telescope that employs a mirror (the primary mirror) to bring light rays to a focus. The various configurations include the Cassegrain, Ritchey–Chrétien, Newtonian, Gregorian, and coudé telescopes. There are also the Maksutov and Schmidt telescopes, which are catadioptric telescopes.
  • Schmidt telescope
    From Collins Dictionary of Astronomy
    A catadioptric wide-field telescopic camera first built in 1930 by the Estonian Bernhard Schmidt. A short-focus reflecting telescope with a spherical mirror suffers from severe spherical aberration. This is normally corrected by modifying the surface to a paraboloid.
  • X-ray astronomy: Topic Page
    The study of X-ray emissions from celestial objects, using instruments mounted on rockets or satellites.


  • Albert Einstein (1879-1955): Topic Page
    U.S. physicist and mathematician, born in Germany. He formulated the special theory of relativity (1905) and the general theory of relativity (1916), and made major contributions to the quantum theory, for which he was awarded the Nobel prize for physics in 1921. He was noted also for his work for world peace.
  • George Gamow (1904 - 1968): Topic Page
    Russian-born US physicist who provided the first evidence for the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe. He predicted that it would have produced a background of microwave radiation, which was later found to exist.
  • Thomas Gold (1920 - 2004): Topic Page
    Austrian-born astronomer, working in England and the U.S.: with Bondi and Hoyle he proposed the steady-state theory of the universe.
  • George Hale (1868 - 1938): Topic Page
    US astronomer. He made pioneer studies of the Sun and founded three major observatories. In 1889 he invented the spectroheliograph, a device for photographing the Sun at particular wavelengths.
  • Stephen Hawking (1942 - ): Topic Page
    British theoretical physicist noted for his research into the origin of the universe. His work influenced the development of the big bang and black hole theories.
  • Ejnar Hertzsprung (1873 - 1967): Topic Page
    Danish astronomer: he discovered the existence of giant and dwarf stars, originating one form of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.
  • Edwin Hubble (1889 - 1953): Topic Page
    American astronomer who proved that the spiral ‘nebulae’ were galaxies lying far beyond our own Milky Way.
  • Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996): Topic Page
    US astronomer and popularizer of astronomy whose main research was on planetary atmospheres, including that of the primordial Earth.
  • Karl Schwarzschild (1873 - 1916): Topic Page
    Schwarzschild became interested in astronomy as a schoolboy and published papers on binary orbits at 16. He became director of the Potsdam observatory in 1909. Although an excellent observational astronomer who made great advances in photographic methods, Schwarzschild’s lasting contributions are theoretical and were largely made during the last year of his life.
  • Otto Struve (1897 - 1963): Topic Page
    U.S. astronomer, born in Russia, noted for his work in stellar spectroscopy and his discovery (1937) of interstellar hydrogen.

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