How do telescopes work? A question that many star gazers may ask when first starting out. There are many things to learn about when a novice in the astronomical telescope context, such as refractors, reflectors, and filters. Well here at Sherwoods-Photo we enjoy helping our customers, and our quick and simple guide to astronomical telescopes should shed some light on the different parts of a telescope.
So, a telescope can be described as a device that magnifies distant objects. There are many different shapes and sizes of telescopes. The size usually can be directly linked to the magnification of a telescope.
There are two main concepts when considering how a telescope works. These two main notions are refractor telescopes, and reflector telescopes. Refractor telescopes use a glass lens, where reflector telescopes use mirrors. Now, both of these types of telescope achieve exactly the same result, just in different ways.
Refractor telescopes were first developed in the 1600’s, by the famous gentleman Galileo. Refractors are the more common type of telescope, and their design is simple in concept. There are three main parts that refractor telescopes are made from.
1) A long tube – generally plastic or metal
2) The glass lens at the front (also known as the objective lens)
3) The glass lens at the viewing side (also known as the eyepiece)
Reflector telescopes are slightly more complicated in design, but can offer quality image. They work by using a mirror to gather light, instead of the traditional lens. Mirrors do not have chromatic aberration, which is the main benefit of a reflector telescope.