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Handbook of Optical Design, 3rd Edition by Zacarías Malacara-Hernández, Daniel Malacara-Hernández

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14

Astronomical Telescopes

14.1  RESOLUTION AND LIGHT-GATHERING POWER

The subject of astronomical telescopes has been treated by many authors; for example, the books by Dimitroff and Baker (1945), Linfoot (1955a, 1955b), Maxwell (1972), and Schroeder (1987, 1993) are excellent references. In this chapter, astronomical telescopes will be studied in some detail.

To begin, let us consider the resolution of a telescope, which is limited by several factors, like diffraction and atmospheric turbulence. The light-gathering power is another important characteristic in a telescope. In the first sections of this chapter, these important concepts will be reviewed.

14.1.1  DIFFRACTION EFFECTS AND ATMOSPHERIC TURBULENCE

The atmosphere has large inhomogeneities ...

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