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Home > Glossary > Telescopes > Optics > Type of build

Telescopes Optics Type of build

Describes the exact structure of the telescope thereby further subdividing the different types of telescope.

Mirror telescope or refracting telescope? Schmidt-Cassegrain or Maksutov? Anyone faced with these agonizing questions before buying a telescope needs to find out about the advantages and disadvantages of the different construction types.

Refracting telescope:

  • Fraunhofer Achromat: classic principle of a refractor, but with chromatic aberration.
  • ED Apochromatic: two- or three lens refractor with an ED lens that reduces the most chromatic aberration and ensures maximum contrast. Among these refractors there are also some very well-corrected three lens optics that correct chromatic aberration and field curvature and so are very good for astrophotography.

Reflector mirror telescope

  • Newtonian Reflector: classic telescope named after Isaac Newton with a main mirror and a secondary mirror. Simple and proven system.
  • Maksutov Cassegrain: system consists of a main mirror and a secondary mirror, and a meniscus correction lens.
  • Schmidt-Cassegrain: similar to the Maksutov, but instead of the correction lens a Schmidt plate sits in front of the optics in order to correct chromatic aberration.

More information:

  • ACF-Cassegrain
    Meade's ACF optical design eliminates the typical aberrations of all mirror optics.
  • Achromat
    An achromatic is a refracting telescope (refractor), which consists of two lenses. It is the classic refractor design.
  • Cassegrain
    This telescope consists of a parabolic primary mirror with a central hole and a hyperbolic secondary mirror. In this way the construction can be kept as short as possible.
  • EdgeHD-Cassegrain
    Celestron’s aplanatic EdgeHD optics revolutionized astroimaging.
  • Maksutov
    Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes have a compact design, but a very long focal length. At the front there is a Maksutov lens. These telescopes are very well suited for planetary observing.
  • Maksutov Newtonian
    Maksutov Newtonian telescopes are built like a classic Newtonian telescope, but have a Maksutov corrector lens at the telescope opening. With this, coma is eliminated. The telescope has excellent imaging capabilities.
  • Newton
    Reflector telescope with a secondary mirror at the beginning of the tube which redirects light to one side.
  • Schmidt Newtonian
    A Schmidt Newtonian telescope is constructed like a Newtonian telescope, but includes a Schmidt corrector plate. Thus, this telescope is a closed system and there is no air turbulence in the tube.
  • Schmidt-Cassegrain
    A reflector telescope with a particularly compact design but a long focal length. In addition to two mirrors, it has a Schmidt corrector plate at the front.
  • Solar H-Alpha
    With H-alpha telescopes you can observe prominences, flares and filaments on the Sun. Additionally, these telescopes have an etalon filter and a blocking filter. Caution: you can also buy versions without the blocking filter. You should never use these without a blocking filter.
  • Solar calcium
    Calcium K solar telescopes make the lower atmospheric layers of the chromosphere visible at 393nm. This blue short-wave region shows other equally interesting details of the Sun. These telescopes are popular for use in photography.
  • 06.07.2020


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