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Illustration Minimum Distance Between Two Distinguishable Objects (Rayleigh Criterion)

Minimum distance between two still distinguishable objects (Rayleigh criterion)
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Minimum distance \(d_{\text{min}} \) of two planets at which the planets can still be perceived as two separate objects through a telescope. This distance depends on the refractive index \(n\) of the medium between the telescope and the objects, but also on the wavelength \(\lambda\) of the light used for observation. The aperture angle of the telescope also has an influence on the resolution limit. The minimum distance can be calculated with the Rayleigh criterion.