transit telescope


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transit telescope

Any telescope that can swing in only one direction, up and down the north-south line in the sky, i.e. the observer's meridian. In optical astronomy a transit circle can be used to determine the positions of celestial bodies. In radio astronomy a transit telescope can be used to build up two-dimensional maps of radio sources: the Earth's daily rotation causes a radio source to move through the beam of the stationary telescope's antenna, providing information in the east-west direction, the direction in which the telescope points being altered slightly each day.

transit telescope

[′trans·ət ′tel·ə‚skōp]
(optics)
A telescopic instrument adapted to the observation of the passage, or transit, of an astronomical object across the meridian of an observer; consists of a telescope mounted on a single fixed horizontal axis of rotation which has a central hollow cube (sometimes a sphere) and two conical semiaxes ending in cylindrical pivots; the objective and eyepiece halves of the instrument are also fastened to the cube of the instrument, perpendicular to the horizontal axis. Also known as transit instrument.
References in periodicals archive ?
The 218 foot (66m) radar array or Transit Telescope achieved First light (made its first 'observation') in 1947.
The Transit Telescope is a celebrated feature of the Jodrell story, yet little remains to see.
Two of the most interesting original instruments from the foundation of the Royal Observatory, the Mural Circle and the Transit telescope, were scrapped in a fit of official vandalism around 1950.
Henderson labored on for another decade, making thousands of additional stellar observations, which were, according to the Astronomical Society of Edinburgh, later found to contain errors caused by "the irregular thermal expansion of the stone pillars of the Fraunhofer transit telescope.
Astrometry has always had dedicated telescopes-- usually they have been transit telescopes, instruments that looked only at the zenith meridian of their location, snapping photographs of stars as they crossed the meridian.