Class, Instruments, Light

The Largest Telescope in the World

The Arecibo Radio Telescope

The Arecibo Radio Telescope

Larger telescopes allow for better angular resolution, which allows for us to discern between two light producing objects that are close together.  Therefore, telescopes are ever increasing in size to get better and better images.  Beating out telescopes called “Very Large Telescope” and “South African Large Telescope”, the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico is the largest single telescope in the world with a 304 meter diameter.  Due to the long wavelengths of radio waves, all radio telescopes must be large.  Radio waves are also one of the only forms of light that can be easily observed from the ground, so radio telescopes are useful in observing the universe even on Earth’s surface.  However, humans use radio signals to transmit information, so radio pollution drowns out cosmic radio waves.  Eventually, a radio telescope could be built on the far side of the moon to block out the radio pollution from Earth.


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