When browsing telescopes in order to find the best model, there are several kinds to consider.
There are three main different types of devices used for viewing long distances and starry skies. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses – for instance, some offer greater clarity, but particularly delicate internal mechanisms that can break more easily. We can supply the most commonly used instruments, which are called refractor, reflector or catadioptic telescopes.
Refractor devices have a traditional cylinder shape that contain lens. They are so-called as they bend light entering the instruments towards the telescope eyepieces, which rest at the end of the device. Two lenses are needed to make sure that the different wavelengths combine to produce one clear image. These types of telescopes rely on carefully placed internal mechanisms that may produce rings of colour around objects if they get dislodged.
However, well-cared for instruments can last a lifetime and give superior clarity. Those shopping for affordable devices may like to consider our reflective range. This product line consists of items that feature internal mirrors that bounce light and images to telescope eyepieces located along the length of the telescopes’ cylinder.
The main advantage of these devices is their price, which tends to be less than those charged for refractive types, although care needs to be taken when moving them so mirrors are not misaligned. Finally, catadioptic devices are thought of as a combination of the previous two kinds of instruments. They incorporate mirrors and lenses in order to squeeze light into a small space and wider cylinder, which works well with cameras.
For anyone interested in astronomy, and tempted into buying a telescope you will probably have encountered a variety of different kinds of astronomical telescopes throughout your research. This can be quite daunting. However, it turns out telescopes aren’t actually as complicated as they first appear, and the various types are actually relatively easily explained.
Although there are many variations between telescopes, basically there are two main types of astronomical telescopes, each with clear advantages and disadvantages:
Very briefly, refractor telescopes use lenses to bend the light that they receive, causing convergence on a focal point near the eyepiece. This simple design has some obvious advantage of reflector telescopes (the other type.) Specifically, refractors are more durable than their counterpart, due to the fact that their parts are well enclosed, which also means that they are easy to use, and do not require frequent cleaning. This durability and ease of use makes them suitable for beginners, as well as those requiring sturdy equipment, such as for field work.
Reflector telescopes or Newtonian reflectors are more complicated affairs, and involve the use of mirrors to focus light towards an eyepiece. The increased amount of component parts, when compared with a refractor, means that reflectors are not as durable, and require frequent cleaning and recalibration. However, they are the perfect choice for observing deep-sky objects and practicing astrophotography, whilst also being cheaper up to certain sizes.
For viewing activities, whether bird-watching or astronomy, there is such a wealth of equipment available that it can be difficult working out exactly what you’re going to need. When it comes to telescopes and binoculars, although they are both viewing apparatus, they are actually quite distinct bits of kit – so which should you choose?
Well, the answer is actually entirely dependent on what you’ll be using it for. The obvious advantages of binoculars, for example, is their portability, which makes the ideal choice for “field” activities such as bird-watching or marine watching. In fact, such is the range of binoculars available that it is possible to achieve great magnification as well as extreme portability.
It might surprise you that binoculars also offer some certain advantages in terms of astronomy, and particularly beginner’s and “field” astronomy. Again this is in part due to their portability, meaning that they can be used quickly to observe transitory celestial events, such as meteor showers or eclipses and also due to the fact that they have a larger field of view than telescopes, making it easier to survey the sky, or view large sections of the moon, for example.
Despite these certain advantages, however, the supreme choice for astronomical viewing is surely astronomical telescopes. These are perfectly engineered to locating deep-space objects or observing the fine detail of the moon that a pair of binoculars just can’t rival. You might assume that such potent viewing capability comes at a premium, but over the last few years, top quality telescopes have become available for less than £200.
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