Description of Telescopes

Telescopes are one of the main ways that astronomers explore the universe. They come in all shapes and sizes depending on their function. Generally, bigger telescopes are better if you want to see faint, far-away things, because they can gather more light and have better resolution. Resolution is the ability of a telescope to discern objects close together; for example, the ability to clearly separate two stars that are very close together or the ability to see smaller craters on the Moon.
The gamma rays are the most powerful type of radiation, discovered at the beginning of the century as radioactive substance emissions. Like the light, the gamma rays are constituted by photons, "particles of light", with the difference that a gamma photon has more than a million, even thousands of million of times more energy that a photon of visible light. By their high energy these photons penetrate lead plates, and to generate them in the Earth we required subatomic particle accelerators: once accelerated, these particles can produce gamma rays when hitting other particles that serve as target. In analogous form, the celestial gamma ray sources must accelerate subatomic particles and make them affect a target. An alternative is that the accelerated particles emit gamma rays in the presence of an electromagnetic field. In any case, the gamma radiation emission obeys to different processes that are require to emit visible light.
Studies of astronomical objects in high energy X-rays and gamma rays began in the early 1960s. Although high altitude balloons and rockets can provide X-ray and gamma ray data, the best results come from satellites orbiting completely outside the Earth's atmosphere. X-ray telescope mirrors are coated with gold or other metals. The mirrors have shallow angles of reflection because X-rays are so short they only reflect at angles almost parallel to the rays themselves. At steeper mirror angles the rays won&ap…

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