Science

New Developments in Telescopes

In the hundreds of years since telescopes were invented, there have nearly literally been hundreds and hundreds of new developments that have come about as well. Constant improving and updating has been followed by technological advancements in telescope design as well as functionality. One new development in telescopes has to do with the optical resolution. An optical telescope’s resolution—the ability to see fine detail—increases with mirror or lens size. However, Earth’s turbulent atmosphere provides a practical limit on resolution because it blurs incoming starlight. This effect makes stars appear to twinkle at night. With the use of computers, astronomers are developing adaptive optics that essentially take the blur out of starlight. Astronomers use computers to analyze the blurring c...