Why is it that the bigger the... | Almanac.com

Why is it that the bigger the...

Print Friendly and PDF
Why is it that the bigger the telescope (or the thicker the tube), the more light power it gathers?
Think of light originating from celestial bodies as a wide, infinite stream. Now, if a village or city wants to take water from a river, the people have to place a pipe in the river to divert water to the village. The larger the population, the more water is needed, and a larger-diameter pipe has to be used. The larger the pipe, the more water is collected. The same holds true for a telescope: The bigger its diameter, the more it gathers of the stream of light, delivering it to the observing astronomer.

More Like This