Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

>large diameters due to the inverse relationship between angular resolution and telescope diameter.

Not trained in this field, but this reads like a certain mistype. Shouldn't resolution increase with telescope diameter?

No. Angular resolution is essentially the angular distance between two points that are still resolved as separate points. So if your resolution increases, angular resolution decreases, because you can resolve two points that are closer together.

Thanks. I read the Wiki on the matter; should have gone straight there instead of asking. After understanding what it is, angular resolution does make perfect sense a term, but at first glance was certainly a bit counterintuitive.

I think the reason it's confusing is that the way that bit in the article is worded does little to imply that you want a LOW angular resolution, and it doesn't directly mention resolution in and of itself (which is understood to have an inverse relationship with angular resolution, as it is directly affected by diameter).

It took me several rereads and reading the comments here to understand that we want low numbers for angular resolution.

I suppose it's fairly obvious for one well-versed in optics, but to the layman (like me) it's initially opaque.

Yea. Measured in radians/degrees a lower number is a "higher pixel resolution."

It should be pointed out this is a balance against increased diameter which is needed to see anything at all.

Angular resolution is the smallest angle that can be resolved by a telescope. Small angular resolution produces high resolution images.

I'm not sure, but from a class I'm taking right now, I have a faint inkling that the lesser light you let in, the more resolution you have i.e the more you're able to distinguish between two close together objects.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact