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Introduction

  • Torben Andersen
  • Anita Enmark
Chapter
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 377)

Abstract

Optical telescopes for astronomy and other imaging applications have been steadily increasing in size. Although a generation of 3–5m telescopes was constructed from 1940 to 1980, a large number of even smaller telescopes was still being built or in operation. Figure 1.1 is a logarithmic plot of telescope primary mirror diameters versus construction year for a representative selection of telescopes, beginning with Galileo’s first telescope from 1609. To a reasonable approximation, the plots of the diameters lie on a straight line, indicating a constant doubling time over the years. On average, telescope diameters have doubled over 60 years. However, since the middle of the 20th century, telescope diameters have grown more rapidly with a doubling time of about 16 years.

Keywords

Radio Telescope Large Telescope Optical Telescope Small Telescope Telescope Diameter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lund ObservatoryLundSweden
  2. 2.Luleå University of TechnologyKirunaSweden

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