Signal to Noise ratio:  S/N usually proportional to at least sqrt(telescope time*area) - or an even higher power of D, depending on the exact observation. This is a major driver for larger telescopes!

Where does astronomical noise come from?

  1. Intrinsic statistical noise. Photon arrival is a random process modelled by Poisson statistics. 
  2. External Noise Sources (stuff out in the universe somewhere)
  3. Internal Noise Sources (Anything after the telescope entrance pupil)
With all that, the fact that we know anything at all is a testament to the hard work of many people over millenia!
And now, let's look at some of what we've learned.

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