Advancing your Knowledge

Telescopes are devices that astronomers cannot live without. They help them study and explore the space. Without telescopes we would not have known about the galaxies, planets, moons, stars, asteroids, meteors, and other heavenly bodies. Thus, telescopes will forever be important and handy. The first person to discover the telescope was called Galileo Galilei. He used a type of telescope called the refractor telescope. To help you learn more about telescopes, we will describe them below.

Refractor telescopes

A refracting telescope has a simpler working mechanism. It works by bending light via a primary convex lens—objective lens. Then it forces the redirected light rays to meet at a focal point. The light rays become focused by a prism or a second lens into an eyepiece. From there, the rays are refracted again to create a nice duplicate image. A refractor telescope is a great pick for beginners and work best in urban areas that have a lot of light.

Reflector Telescope

This type of telescope is quite different than the refractor one. It doesn’t use lenses to catch and focus the light. Instead, the reflector telescope has big aperture tubes that channel light down the shaft to a mirror. The mirror then reflects the light ray into an eyepiece that has several kinds of lenses. To use a reflector telescope, you need a large space and some light in the background. If you live in a rural area, this can be a great pick.

Catadioptric telescope

This type of telescope is the most advanced. Also called a compound telescope, a catadioptric telescope has a group of mirrors and lenses that expand its focal range, scope and power. As well, the mirrors and lenses keep it within a suitable weight range. Schmidt-Cassegrain is the most common form of a compound telescope. It comes in various kinds and has two designs—compact and non-compact. The former design form has a corrector plate near the focus of the primary mirror. The latter form has a corrector plate that is placed back toward the middle of curvature of the primary mirror. Catadioptric telescopes function well in any environment, warranting their high price.