What is a telescope? How do they work and what are they used for? These are some of the most basic questions about the topic of telescopes, but some of the most important in regards to which telescope to purchase or build.
A telescope is “an optical instrument that makes distant objects appear magnified by using an arrangement of lenses or curved mirrors and lenses, or various devices used to observe distant objects by their emission, absorption, or reflection of electromagnetic radiation.”
Telescopes work by “using curved mirrors to gather and focus light from the night sky.”
Although there are many types and uses for these devices, including reviewing radio waves, gamma rays, and other electro-magnetic wave spectrum. The type of observations that will be made by the telescopic device will determine the size, scale, and building material for such device. With the goal of collecting light, these devices help further astronomy as the basic building blocks since their creation in the 1700’s. With new methods of collecting data such as gravitational waves, there are ways to perform astronomy without telescopes. Nevertheless, telescopes will continue to be the main avenue of astronomical discovery and amateur astronomy for years to come!
If you’re curious about which telescope is right for you, then check out our article here. Telescopes can be fun, but also very dangerous if used improperly! Make sure to never stare at the sun without proper protection! There are many types of telescopes, all which work a bit differently because the mirrors are located in different locations, so they all have various negatives and positives.