Back to Home

ATM Forum Message

Forums: Atm · Astrophotography · Blackholes · Blackholes2 · CCD · Celestron · Domes · Education
Eyepieces · Meade · Misc. · God and Science · SETI · Software · UFO · XEphem
RSS Button

Home | Discussion Forums | Amateur Telescope Making | Post

Be the first pioneers to continue the Astronomy Discussions at our new Astronomy meeting place...
The Space and Astronomy Agora
Re: Amateur Multi-mirror Telescope

Forum List | Follow Ups | Post Message | Back to Thread Topics | In Response To
Posted by Zack/">Zack on February 8, 2000 00:46:18 UTC

Due to the difficulties in aligning, much less phasing, an array of mirrors, the only real application for a telescope like this would be as a light bucket.

The image quality from an array of mirrors will be less than that of a single mirror due to interference between the separate wavefronts. Mirror arrays like the Keck telescope that do succeed in behaving like a single mirror only work because the mirrors are in phase. This means that they are held in very very very careful spatial alignment in such a way that their optical surfaces can act as one continuous surface. For example, if one of the segments of a Keck mirror drops down by half a micron relative to its neighbors, you have a mirror that acts like a single mirror with a big fat 1 wave depression in it. Another problem is that an array of mirrors has more “edge” per unit surface area than a single mirror. This will increase diffraction, though if you managed to even have to worry about this, bravo!

If all you want is a light bucket, say for spectrography, the idea isn’t all that bad. But then you could probably find someone with a big crappy mirror they would be willing to sell cheap, and forget the whole problem of making the elaborate mirror cell.

Follow Ups:

    Login to Post
    Additional Information
    About Astronomy Net | Advertise on Astronomy Net | Contact & Comments | Privacy Policy
    Unless otherwise specified, web site content Copyright 1994-2024 John Huggins All Rights Reserved
    Forum posts are Copyright their authors as specified in the heading above the post.
    "dbHTML," "AstroGuide," "ASTRONOMY.NET" & "VA.NET"
    are trademarks of John Huggins