In this interactive use different telescopes to image objects in space.

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Rights: The University of Waikato Published 28 June 2016 Referencing Hub media

Different telescopes detect different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Choose the best telescopes to obtain various images of space objects.

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Transcript

Welcome

You must be the new astronomer. Good to have you with us!

You will be working with four different telescopes, each viewing different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. You need to help other astronomers with their research, including finding hidden or exploding stars.

Select a telescope

Select one of the images above to learn about the different telescopes you'll be using, or select the arrow to carry out the research.

Name: Radio telescope

Part of spectrum viewed: Radio (wavelengths a lot longer than visible light)

Location: On the ground, as most radio waves get through the atmosphere.

Sources of radiation:

  • Many radio waves in space come from cold clouds of hydrogen gas.
  • Most stars do not give off many radio waves.

Name: Infrared telescope

Part of spectrum viewed: Infrared (wavelengths longer than visible light)

Location: In orbit, as most infrared is blocked by the atmosphere

Sources of radiation:

  • Stars give off infrared as well as visible light.
  • Cool stars give off more infrared than visible light.
  • Dust that has been heated gives off infrared.
  • Infrared can pass through dust clouds.

Name: Optical telescope

Part of spectrum viewed: Visible light

Location: On the ground, as visible light gets through the atmosphere

Sources of radiation:

  • Hot stars give off visible light.
  • Light can be reflected from dust clouds.
  • Dust clouds can block visible light

Name: Ultraviolet telescope

Part of spectrum viewed: Ultraviolet (wavelengths shorter than visible light)

Location: In orbit, as most UV is blocked by the atmosphere.

Sources of radiation:

  • The hottest stars (very young or very old) give off the most UV.

Instructions

Drag and drop the star icon to the left of the task onto the appropriate telescope. To learn more about  the telescopes, select the image to read their specifications.

Select a task

Task 1
The star cluster called Matariki (also called the Pleiades) only seems to have a few stars.
Which telescope will give you a close-up view of visible light from these stars?

Task 2
Are there any stars hidden behind the dense dust clouds in the constellation Serpens?
Which telescope is best suited to seeing cools stars through dust clouds?

Task 3
Why is one of the nebulae in Orion called the Witch Head?
Which telescope will show you the shape of a dust cloud with visible light

Task 4
What does the shock wave from a supernova (exploding star) look like?
Which telescope will you use to see heated dust giving off radiation with longer wavelengths than visible light?

Task 5
The distant Pinwheel galaxy looks like a white disk in visible light. Are there other stars outside the disk?
Which telescope do you need to show very hot, young stars that don’t give off much visible light?

Task 6
Are galaxies made only of stars, or do some contain material that does not give off visible light or heat?
Which telescope will you use to detect very long wavelengths of radiation?