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What’s a Telescope’s Field of View and How Do I Calculate it?

4 Mar 2019, 09:43 UTC
What’s a Telescope’s Field of View and How Do I Calculate it?
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There are a lot of terminologies to learn when you start a new hobby and astronomy is no exception. In particular, there are a lot of unfamiliar words and phrases related to the hardware you’ll be using. In this article, we’re going to talk about field of view in astronomy and how that impacts your observing experience.So what is it? Put very simply, the field of view is how much sky you can see, as measured in degrees. For example, if we had eyes in both the front and the back of our head, our field of view would be 360 degrees because we’d be able to see everything around us. Since we only have eyes at the front that look forward, this is impossible. More realistically then, the average human eye, without the help of binoculars or a telescope, has a field of view of about 210 degrees. In other words, we can typically see everything in front of us and a little way to the sides.






This simulated view shows almost 210 degrees of sky. (Image created using Sky Safari.)


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