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Reflector vs. Refractor Telescopes – Which Is Better?

24 Feb 2019, 08:40 UTC
Reflector vs. Refractor Telescopes – Which Is Better?
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Most people, looking for their first telescope, will have an image in their mind of a long tube with a lens on one end and an eyepiece in the other. That describes a refractor telescope. This is the type that was made popular by Galileo in the early 1600s. They start their shopping only to discover that there are also reflector telescopes that are based on mirrors rather than a lens. The mirror sits in the bottom of a tube and the eyepiece sticks out the side. This type was developed by Sir. Isaac Newton in the mid-1600 and so it is often referred to as a Newtonian or Newtonian reflector.Which is better for a first-time telescope buyer? What’s the difference between reflector and refractor telescopes?I am going to address that question and hopefully enable you to purchase the best telescope with confidence. First, let’s define some terms that I will be using.Aperture – The diameter of the front lens or the rear mirror in inches or millimeters.Focal Length – The length of the path that the light travels in the optical tube.Focal Ratio – Focal length/aperture usually expressed as F# such as F5 or F10When we say telescope we ...

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