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Q & A: what do you see through a telescope?

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Most recent answer: 03/24/2018
Q:
This is a multiple part question. 1. When looking up at night through a telescope at something that�s not visible to the naked eye, are you technically seeing in to the future as a minuscule time it may be? If no, does that mean the light from that object has already reached us but is invisible without magnification? Lastly, if the second question is true, how is that possible?
- Erik Walters (age 40)
SL.,UT U.S.A.
A:

The light you see through the telescope, just like the light you see with naked eyes, has been traveling a long time to reach us. So you're seeing the way some star was in the past. Even without a telescope some light from that star would reach you eye, just not enough to trigger the sort of signal to which your brain responds. The large initial lens or mirror of the telescope gathers more light than does the smaller pupil of your eye.

Mike W.


(published on 03/24/2018)

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