Amateur Telescopes

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1. Why Study Light?

For most of history, humans have used visible light to explore the skies. With basic tools and the human eye, we developed sophisticated methods of time keeping and calendars. Telescopes were invented in the 17th century. Astronomers then mapped the sky in greater detail––still with visible light. They learned about the temperature, constituents, distribution, and the motions of stars.

There are two main techniques for analyzing starlight. One is called spectroscopy and the other photometry. Spectroscopy spreads out the different wavelengths of light into a spectrum for study. Photometry measures the quantity of light in specific wavelengths or by combining all wavelengths. Astronomers use many filters in their work. Filters help astronomers analyze particular components of the spectrum. For example, a red filter blocks out all visible light wavelengths except those that fall around 600 nanometers (it lets through red light).

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Amateur Telescopes

Everything you need for your hobby