Astronomy quiz question: interferometry

Astronomy 210 Quiz 3, fall semester 2011
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Interferometry improves the resolution of visible light telescope images by:
(A) changing the humidity inside the tube.
(B) triggering a laser to heat up the atmosphere.
(C) using a computer to adjust the shape of the mirror.
(D) combining the light collected by several connected telescopes.

Correct answer: (D).

The distance between several connected telescopes acts as a much larger effective diameter to increase resolving power. Response (C) is adaptive optics (which also improves the resolution of telescope images).

Section 70160
Exam code: quiz03N1rE
(A) : 3 students
(B) : 1 student
(C) : 11 students
(D) : 12 students

Success level: 50% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.14

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