You may have noticed that most of the ground based telescopes & optical observatories are at the high altitude like on the top of mountains or on the hills. Ever wonder why??
Accurate and precise measurements are so fundamental to doing science that scientists often take extreme steps to get them.
You know, it is certainly not easy to build a large, complicated, and fragile optical telescope at the top of a high mountain, but it’s worth the effort. A telescope on top of a high mountain is above the densest part of Earth’s atmosphere, so there is less air to dim the incoming light.Even more important is that the turbulence of thin air on a mountaintop is less able to disturb light waves than that of thick air, so therefore the seeing is better. The resolving power of a large optical telescope on Earth’s surface is set by atmospheric seeing rather than by the telescope’s diffraction. It really is worth the trouble to build such telescopes on the peaks of high mountains. Astronomers also put radio observatories in special locations.
What do you think, what considerations might astronomers make in choosing the location for a new radio telescope in future? Comment below: