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Best Astronomy Books - Telescopes

An optical telescope gathers and focuses light mainly from the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum (although some work in the infrared and ultraviolet). Optical telescopes increase the apparent angular size of distant objects as well as their apparent brightness. In order for the image to be observed, photographed, studied, and sent to a computer, telescopes work by employing one or more curved optical elements—usually made from glass—lenses, and/or mirrors to gather light and other electromagnetic radiation to bring that light or radiation to a focal point. Optical telescopes are used for astronomy and in many non-astronomical instruments, including: theodolites (including transits), spotting scopes, monoculars, binoculars, camera lenses, and spyglasses. There are three main optical types:

The refracting telescope which uses lenses to form an image.

The reflecting telescope which uses an arrangement of mirrors to form an image.

The catadioptric telescope which uses mirrors combined with lenses to form an image.

Beyond these basic optical types there are many sub-types of varying optical design classified by the task they perform such as Astrographs, Comet seekers, Solar telescope, etc.


50 cm refracting telescope at Nice Observatory.
Image Credit; User:Ericd|Ericd]] on en.wikipedia
Text credit; Wikipedia