The refracting and reflecting telescope are two of the basic types of telescope in use today. But it is the refracting telescope that has been around for centuries and is one of the oldest telescope designs still used by today’s astronomers. Their use began somewhere around the 15th century and, to attest to the genius of the original design, is still quite popular in the 21st Century.
The refracting telescope, sometimes referred to as a refractor telescope, is made up of concave lenses that allow the light to be refracted and images to appear bright and larger. This makes the images appear much larger than looking at it with the naked eye allowing the refractor telescope to aid in seeing stars, planets and moons.
These telescopes contain convex lenses and an eyepiece lens similar to binoculars. These refractors gather light and bend it in order to view objects at a distance, which is particularly useful when looking at stars and the night sky. Refracting telescopes may seem complicated, but they are basically a series of lenses that are concave and refract the light.
Are There Different Types of Refracting Telescopes?
The telescope comes in a variety of versions;
Galilean Telescope - named after its creator and was one of the first versions
Keplerian Telescope - a refractor telescope that utilized a convex eyepiece as opposed to a concave of the Galilean model (Johannes Kepler improved upon the Galilean concept)
The centuries have passed with even newer inventions and different enhanced lenses, with the achromatic refractors invented in the mid 16th century and later with apochromatic refractors.
The Benefits of Refracting Telescopes
As I mentioned earlier, refracting telescopes have been around for a long time. And over the centuries, the design was tested repeatedly. This is a definite plus, since there was ample opportunity to determine the refracting telescope design’s strengths and weaknesses.
The refracting telescope has been improved dramatically since the 15th century. Even though the refractor technology has improved, the size of refractor telescopes still poses a problem. The refractor lens’ have become larger, and with that increase in size, the bigger the risk that they will have defects or begin to sag.
The Future of Refracting Telescopes
Even though the technology continues to improve in refracting telescopes, there really is no way of telling what the future of the refractor lenses will be. The fact is that refracting telescopes have been around for centuries and continue to be very popularity with many astronomers.
So no matter what telescope you select to view the skies and other universes, the value of the refracting telescope and its continued use and popularity signals that it will be with us for many more years and perhaps centuries.
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