The telescope is a fantastic instrument for Astro-research, astrophotography of the universe, and amateur astronomy lovers. A few decades ago, general people did not have any idea about the universe. Because telescopes were out of reach of the general people, researchers used them for researching space. But nowadays, the telescopes are smaller in size and affordable for the mass people. A telescope can collect lights from the farthest object, and it can magnify the image; thus, we can see it closer. Now the question comes – how do the Telescopes work? This article will explain each part of a telescope’s significance and how these parts work together to make a perfect image of the objects.
Significant Parts and Their Roles
There are several parts to a telescope. Sometimes, you get the separated parts, and you need to assemble these parts, or you can get a reassembled telescope; what you need to do is, set it up and adjust the focus. Now we will give you a top full idea about these parts:
|Aperture/Objective lens/Primary lens||A telescope allows you to see the farthest object that can’t be seen with your bare eyes. To do that, a telescope needs to collect light/electromagnetic radiation from those objects. An aperture or primary lens does this task for a telescope. The bigger your aperture/primary mirror, the more light it collects from the objects. As the bigger aperture can collect more lights, you should choose the bigger aperture.|
|Magnification Power||You know that a telescope gives you a closer & detailed look of the farthest objects, and this zooming depends on the magnification power. You may hear about the eyepiece. The eyepiece magnifies the distance of the image. The magnification depends on the eyepiece.|
|Focal Point||The focal point is the main point of your focuser. The eyepiece needs to be at the focal point to focus correctly. A good focus is always important to get a clear and still image.|
|Eyepiece||That’s called eyepiece because the eyepiece is the closest part of the telescope from your eyes when you see through a telescope. It is the nearest part from the focal point. It helps to magnify the objects. You can get the magnification power by merely dividing the telescope’s focal length by eyepiece focal length.|
|Focal tube||This tube holds the parts of the telescope. The optical elements of a telescope are placed inside of the tube. It keeps the optical parts safe from physical damage. The eyepiece, finder scope, lenses/ mirrors are all attached to it.|
|Mount||To set up your telescope, you need support or a stand. This stand is called a Mount. A Telescope mount is essential for stability and good focusing. There are mainly two types of telescope mount, such as The Equatorial mount and the Altazimuth mount. The equatorial mounts are the computerized mount, and the Altazimuth mount is the manual version of the mount. But manual and automatics don’t matter; first, you have to ensure stability by ensuring that the mount is strong enough.|
|Finder Scope||To observe any objects, primarily, you need to find the object. In a telescope, there is a finder scope by which you can find the objects.|
|Focuser||The focuser helps you focus at the center of the object; thus, you can get a clearer and detailed image.|
How Do Telescopes Work?
Generally, people use an optical telescope for astronomy or astrophotography. There are three types of modern optical telescopes; the telescope, the Refractor telescope, the Reflector telescope, and the Catadioptric telescope. The mechanisms are also different in these types. They work in different methods. Now we will explain the working procedure of each type one by one:
Reflector Telescope: How Do the Reflecting Telescopes work?
A reflecting telescope is also called a Newtonian telescope. This type is different from other types because it uses a big concave curved mirror at the lens’s place. This concave mirror placed at the back of the focal tube, and the tube is not like other telescope’s tube; it is open.
- Primarily, you have to find the object you want to observe by a finder scope and focus it accurately. The big mirror/larger aperture at the back collects the light from the objects to produce brighter images. (Infographic)
- The primary mirror then reflects the light to the secondary mirror; finally, it turns the eyepiece. The eyepiece magnifies the objects; thus, you can see the image in front of your eyes. (Infographic)
- Subsequently, the image of the object comes from the detector or CCD. You can observe the beautiful night sky and the deep sky objects with a reflector telescope. (Infographic)
Refractor Telescope: How Do the Refracting telescopes work?
A Refracting telescope has a longer tube than a reflecting telescope. It contains two lenses; one of them is a primary lens, and the other is secondary. Both of the lenses are Convex shaped.
- The object finding and focusing processes are quite the same. But this process is straightforward. The primary lens is at the front. After collecting the objects’ lights by the primary lens, the light directly goes to the secondary lens through the long thin tube.
- Then it goes to the eyepiece, and the eyepiece magnifies the objects. Finally, we see the objects in the detector.
- The refractor telescope is easier to use than the reflector telescope. They’re suitable for observing celestial objects like the moon, the planets in the night sky.
Catadioptric Telescope: How Do the Catadioptric Telescope work?
The Catadioptric telescope is a kind of compound telescope. Previously, we have seen that the refractor telescope uses a lens, and the reflector uses the mirror as an optical element. Interestingly, the Catadioptric telescope uses both mirror and lens as optical elements.
- Another surprising fact is that the light first comes to the secondary lens, and crossing the secondary lens, the light comes to the primary mirror.
- Conversely, in other Telescopes, the light first comes at the primary lens or mirror.
- Moreover, the object finding, focusing, and looking process is quite the same for every telescope.
That is how a telescope works. However, there are various telescopes. We have tried to give you the idea of the most commonly used telescopes. The works are quite the same for every telescope, but the working process is different. To summarize, a Reflector telescope uses a concave mirror to collect the light, and the eyepiece magnifies the distant objects. The refractor telescope uses a lens to collect the lights, and the process is relatively straightforward through a thin long focal tube. Finally, the compound one – Catadioptric telescope uses both a mirror and a lens. The significant change is the light comes through the secondary lens to the primary mirror; contrariwise, the light first enters from the primary mirror/lens for the other two types. Magnification processes are the same for every telescope. That’s all. Thank you.
I am an enthusiastic student of optics, so I may be biased when I say that optics is one of the most critical fields. It doesn’t matter what type of optics you are talking about – optics for astronomy, medicine, engineering, or pleasure – all types are essential.
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