Astronomy S/N detection

Question Description

I’m studying for my Physics class and don’t understand how to answer this. Can you help me study?

1.  Now consider a real 2.5m telescope. Assume its CCD camera has both a read noise of 10 counts and a dark current of 10 counts/second for every pixel.

a.  The star is observed for 20 seconds and a total of 20,400 counts are recorded from the image and this image is spread over 40 pixels in the CCD camera. What is the S/N of the detection of this star?

b.  What is the S/N if the telescope detects a background nebula that contributes a uniform background of 99 counts in each of the 500 pixels that surround the star image?

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Final Answer

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Duke University

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