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 ?
As well as the Lovell Telescope, it also includes the Grade I Listed Mark II Telescope and the Park Royal building, which was the control room for the Transit Telescope, whose detection of radio waves from the Andromeda Galaxy confirmed that the Universe extends beyond our own galaxy.
The reason the fainter one received the a1 designation is because it's the western of the two, and hence it was the first to cross the north-south crosshair in a star cataloger's transit telescope.
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.
In the case of the widely used WGS84, the meridian line for longitude 0[degrees] is offset about 100 meters east of the world's prime meridian traditionally marked by the Airy transit telescope at the old Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England (see page 99).
David, a noted British astronomer, wanted to use a heliometer and transit telescope to determine accurately the Earth-Sun distance, or astronomical unit.
To salvage the trip they decided to relocate the heliometer and 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.