Reflecting Telescope Information

When viewing distant objects through the use of a telescope, the most important part of that telescope is called the objective. The objective is that component of the telescope that has the ability of gathering the light that is available. Obviously, the larger the objective the greater is the capacity of the telescope to gather light which in turn allows the viewed image to be better visualized.

In addition, there are two types of telescopes. One type of telescope is called the refractor telescope and the other is known as the reflecting telescope. The difference between these two telescopes is how the light is captured.

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Refracting and Reflecting Telescope

The refracting telescope obtains the light through its objective that is made out of glass. Basically, in this type of telescope, the glass lens is situated towards the front of the telescope. As the light is captured by the objective, it is then refracted or deflected through a lens which allows for the viewed image to be magnified. Examples of this type of telescopic equipment include scopes that are used on rifles, binoculars and spyglasses.

A reflecting telescope uses a mirror as its objective. This mirror is located towards the distal end of the telescope. In addition, the mirror has a concave shape. The curvature of the mirror allows for the midpoint of the mirror to be the focal point for all of the light that strikes each part of the surface of the bowl-like mirror. This reflection is then captured by the lens to view the item of interest.

Advantages Of The Reflecting Telescope

There are several advantages to the use of a reflecting telescope. The major advantage is that distortion of what is being viewed is minimal. This is because, through the use of the mirror, the wavelengths are all reflected consistently. This advantage also leads to the reflecting telescope being less expensive than the refracting telescope.

In addition, through the use of the mirror as the objective, the support for this mirror can be all along the posterior portion of the telescope. This allows for the housing to be very large which will accommodate a larger mirror. Larger mirrors mean more light which results in increased visibility.


However, as with anything else, there are a few disadvantages in the use of a reflecting telescope. One of those disadvantages is size. This is due to the fact that these types of telescopes can accommodate larger mirrors. This results in the telescope itself being larger which may prove to be an issue when storing or relocating the reflecting telescope.

In addition, because of the use of mirrors, there may need to be occasional adjustments made so that optimum light alignment is maintained.

The World Of Refractor Telescopes

Refractor telescopes are some of the oldest telescopes available, utilized at around the beginning of the 15th century and still around today the refractor telescope is quite possibly one of the oldest telescopes in use today. Made up of concave lenses that allow the light to be refracted and images to appear bright and larger than looking at it with the normal eye the refractor telescope can greatly aid in seeing stars, planets and moons.

These telescopes are made up of convex lenses and an eyepiece lens similar to binoculars, these refractors gather light and bend it in order to view objects at a distance, which is particularly useful when looking at stars and the night sky Refractor telescopes may seem complicated and are made up of lenses that are concave and refract the light.

The telescope come in a variety of versions; the Galilean telescope which is named after its creator was one of the first versions and was improved upon by Johannes Kepler with the Keplerian Telescope, which is a refractor telescope that utilized a convex eyepiece as opposed to a concave of the Galilean model. The decades and centuries since have observed newer inventions and different lenses, with the achromatic refractors invented in the mid 16th century and later with apochromatic refractors.

Pros and Cons of Refractor Telescopes

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I stated previously that refractor telescopes have been around a long time and with that comes a definite plus since there is a definitive ability to know what the pros and cons of the telescope. These telescopes have obviously come a long was since the 15th century yet the technology has increased to a point in which the refractors have improved yet the size of refractor telescopes pose a problem in the fact that the larger the refractor lens the more chance that it can have defects or begin to sag.

While technology continues to grow and there is no telling where refractor lenses in telescopes will go to in the future one thing for sure is that refractor telescopes have been around for centuries and thus show no decline in their use by many of astronomers. So no matter what telescope you choose to utilize to view the universe or neighborhood, you can not dismiss the value of the refractor telescope and the impact that its utilization has had on astronomy and the search of the skies.

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