Schmidt telescope

Schmidt telescope

noun
a wide-angle reflecting telescope used primarily for astronomical photography, in which spherical aberration and coma are reduced to a minimum by means of a spherical mirror with a corrector plate near its focus.
Also called Schmidt reflector.


Origin:
1935–40; named after Bernard Schmidt (1879–1935), German inventor

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World English Dictionary
Schmidt telescope or Schmidt camera
 
n
a catadioptric telescope designed to produce a very sharp image of a large area of sky in one photographic exposure. It incorporates a thin specially shaped glass plate at the centre of curvature of a short-focus spherical primary mirror so that the resulting image, which is focused on a photographic plate, is free from spherical aberration, coma, and astigmatism
 
[C20: named after B. V. Schmidt (1879--1935), Estonian-born German inventor]
 
Schmidt camera or Schmidt camera
 
n
 
[C20: named after B. V. Schmidt (1879--1935), Estonian-born German inventor]

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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

schmidt telescope

telescope in which a spherical primary mirror receives light that has passed through a thin aspherical lens, called a correcting plate, that compensates for the image distortions-namely, spherical aberrations-produced by the mirror. The Schmidt telescope is thus a catadioptric telescope; i.e., its optics involve both the reflection and refraction of light. Because the Schmidt telescope uses a spherical collecting mirror instead of a paraboloidal one (as conventional reflecting telescopes do), it is free from astigmatism and so has a wide field of view. The Schmidt instrument can, in effect, provide a sharper image of a larger area of the celestial sphere than ordinary reflectors and is thus ideal for star surveys.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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