The third of the telescope types is the catadioptric telescope. This type of telescope uses the technology of both reflecting and refractive telescopes, which helps reduce or eliminate many of the problems the two have individually. The catadioptric telescope has a problem of its best telescope for viewing planets, though. Since there is often an extra mirror in the tube where light would normally go through, it can reduce the light on the image.
The catadioptric telescope is a popular product because it is easy to manufacture and it can enlarge images to a great degree. These telescopes are meant more for the average person, though, than for scientists since most experts prefer reflective telescopes.
Understanding Reflecting Telescopes and Refracting Telescopes
Telescopes are great tools for looking at objects in the night sky and the key part of any telescope is the objective. The objective is what allows light into the telescope enabling you to see the images from the sky. Telescopes with bigger objectives allow more light in and that means a clearer and crisper image for the viewer.
The two main types of telescopes are reflecting telescopes and refracting telescopes. These are similar in design except for the manner in which they collect light.
Differences Between Refracting and Reflecting Telescopes
The objective in refracting telescopes is a piece of glass that is located near the front of the telescope. The objective takes the light that it gathers and refracts, or bends, it to send it to the eyepiece, which magnifies the image. Refracting telescope technology is used in other equipment like binoculars, rifle scopes and spyglasses.
Reflecting telescopes are different because the objective is a mirror at the distal end of the telescope instead of a glass lens at the front. The mirror in a reflecting telescope has a concave shape, a bowl like shape, which allows it to capture the light in the center of the mirror and send it as one stream of light towards the eyepiece so the image can be seen.
Benefits of Using a Reflecting Telescope
Reflecting telescopes are preferred by many for several reasons. One reason is that there is less distortion with a reflecting telescope than with a refracting telescope since the mirror is able to gather and reflect all wavelengths of color consistently. The use of the mirrors instead of glass lenses makes reflecting telescopes more affordable than refracting telescopes.
When mirrors are used instead of glass lenses, the telescope can be enlarged to allow for the supports for the mirror to be located on the posterior of the telescope. The larger the mirror that is used, the more light that is reflected and the better and clearer the image will be.
Disadvantages of the Reflecting Telescope
Reflecting telescopes can have their own issues and problems as well. One problem can be the size of reflecting telescopes. As larger and larger mirrors are used, the telescopes have to grow in size to fit the mirrors inside. While you get better results with the larger reflecting telescopes, they are not very portable and it can be difficult to find a place to keep them when you are not using them.