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DIY Instruments for Amateur Space by Sandy Antunes

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Chapter 1. Understanding Measurement

Anything can be measured. A sensor is a device for measuring quantity. Sensor and detector are fairly synonymous. An instrument is one or more sensors. A telescope is one or more instruments coaligned, often with a focusing device.

Do you know what a creepmeter measures? Measurement is the heart of science. What distinguishes science from opinion or philosophy is measurables. The root of science is facts that are determined by actual observation, compared, then extended into predictions.

Any good measurement has three parts: the number value, the units you’re using, and the error. If I say I am 6 feet tall, that’s a number (6) and a unit (feet), with a presumed error of within an inch or two. All three parts ...

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