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Deep South

11 Oct 2012, 14:03 UTC
Deep South
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While talking with people at star parties, or giving talks to schools, we are frequently asked: "How far can you see through your telescope?”. For people not really involved in astronomy, the usual answer will be in light years perhaps, highlighting objects like a bright quasar such as 3C273, or possibly by explaining the concept of magnitude, and relating it to telescopes like the Hubble. The explanation of aperture rather than magnification is one that can initially be complex for beginners.However, even professional research scientists need to know how far you can push the limit of the equipment for the work they do. This is an interesting question which we have recently tackled, as a result of a project Nick was invited to take part in with the Lowell Observatory in imaging and refining the orbits of Kuiper Belt objects, and one which the rest of us here at Remanzacco including Nick are now working on.This concept of measuring the telescope´s capability in terms of how deep an image we could take, in what time, under what conditions, would give us confidence in some projects involving long period cometary bodies, TNO´s and assisting the research work of professional observatories, many ...

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