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A criterion for determining the maximum spacing between magnetometers for measuring the magnetic field is derived. A two-dimensional (2-D) filter model is employed to determine the maximum spatial frequency component present in the magnetic field that is above the spectral noise level. This maximum frequency component is then sampled at a rate greater than twice per period as indicated by the Nyquist criterion, yielding the required magnetometer spacing. It is shown that the rule-of-thumb employed in current clinical biomagnetic array systems, that the spacing between the coils should be approximately equal to the depth of the source, is adequate when the signal-to-noise power ratio is less than 28.4 (14.5 dB). The analysis also quantitatively demonstrates that reducing the separation between the measurement and source planes has a greater effect on the resolution than decreasing the noise level by the same factor. This result is important for employing high T c superconductor magnetometers that allow thinner thermal insulating layers at the cost of higher thermal noise.