What are telescopes?

by Jason Adams

Telescopes act as windows to the universe. It is with the help of telescopes that we can study the solar system and view the conjunctions of stars. Not just that, the various planets, galaxies, satellites and asteroids that we get to see only in the books and magazines are made more familiar to us via the telescopes. They act as barrier- breaking instruments between the human beings and the outer space. The universe is no more a mystery to us that exists beyond our reach and we owe it all to the telescopes.

The modern day telescopes bring with them a wide array of accessories and it is with the aid of these accessories that it becomes much more easier to successfully put the telescopes into proper use. Let us see what are the important accessories that go well and are a “must-have” for most telescope users: -

Filters- These are very essential for telescope users because they reduce the glare on the eyepiece and scatter the light thereby making it less strenuous for us to view distant objects.

Eyepiece- this is a very important piece of equipment and its absence can render a telescope useless. Eyepieces come in a variety of sizes and if you add more than one eyepiece to your telescopes then you can have the pleasure of viewing even the tiniest and distant objects with clarity.

Mounts- Mounts are the stands for telescopes. It is a mount on which the telescope rests. Since a telescope wont function favorably in vibrations therefore you should ensure that it is placed on a stable mount.

Barlow lens- A Barlow lens helps in the magnification of telescopes. These lenses are available in different sizes and we must be careful in choosing the size that best fits the eyepiece.

There are two main types of telescopes, the refractor (Galileo) telescopes and the reflector (Newton) telescopes. The refractor telescope uses an objective lens that bends the light towards the eyepiece. While the reflector telescope uses a mirror, which collects the light and then directs it towards the eyepiece.

Though both the refractors as well as the reflector telescopes are easily available in the market we should take the following points into consideration before buying a telescope.

Do not get impressed by the magnification of the telescopes. This is because magnification alone is of no use if it just produces large but hazy images.

Aperture- This is the most important factor while deciding on a telescope. Aperture is the opening that collects light so its important to choose a telescope with a larger aperture that will ensure a clearer and a more detailed image quality.

Resolution- This enables the telescopes to produce a more detailed image. So always opt for a telescope, which has a higher resolution. Moreover since resolution is also determined by the aperture, therefore the larger the aperture the better the resolution.

Focal length- The distance between the optical center of the lens or the mirror and the optical center of the eyepiece is known as the focal length. The focal length is what determines the magnification in telescopes. Larger focal lengths imply more magnification.

If we are careful about remembering the above points then it wont take us long to choose a telescope the next time we want to buy one for ourselves.

About The Author

Jason Adams for http://www.telescope-information.com.