Refracting Telescopes – An Overview

Refractor Telescopes are probably the oldest type of telescopes.  They are also extremely common.  This is because of the simplicity of construction.  The telescope consists of a hollow tube with lenses which refract the light.  This produces the magnification of the distant object.

Refracting telescopes are also known as dioptric telescope. Refractors are also cheaper than other types of telescopes.  You will find them in hobby stores as well as in your neighbourhood departmental store.  These telescopes are lightweight and are easier to care for and maintain.  For the amateur astronomer, this is often the first telescope.

The downside of these telescopes is that they get very heavy for larger apertures.  Hence, at higher magnification required in professional astronomy, they are not much used.  Besides, there is the problem of secondary colour (chromatic aberration).  The lens gets too big for higher magnification which causes the lens to sag

Modern materials used in lenses have improved the quality of images.  The refracting telescope can provide good images of the moon, planets and other deep space objects.
Modern refracting telescopes have  “Go to” controllers which can point the telescope to any object the user specifies.  Special azimuth motors will track the object overtime.  This makes locating objects in the night sky easier for even amateurs. 

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