The night sky is full of beautiful images and amazing sights if you own the correct equipment. Astronomy is the study of space, celestial objects and the universe in its entirety. It is through the use of telescopes that astronomy is possible. Both profession and amateur astronomers rely on telescopes to view and explore the sky and beyond. Astronomical telescopes are available in all shapes and sizes depending on their purpose and use. Roughly speaking, the larger telescopes are used for viewing faint objects that are far away as they have better resolution and are able to gather more light. Higher resolution allows a telescope to clearly separate objects that are very close together or to pick out smaller details that usually would go unseen.
Optical telescopes are the most familiar type of astronomical telescope. These come in 2 types: refractors and reflectors. Refractors employ the use of lenses (similar to how a binocular works) to obtain and focus the light. However, it is not practical to manufacture big refractor lenses as finely ground glass is heavy and expensive. Despite this fact, Wisconsin in America hosts the biggest refractor telescope ever made which has lenses of 40 inches in diameter. Reflector telescopes are the other type of optical telescope and, due to them being much cheaper, they can be made into larger sized telescopes than refractor.
Another type of astronomical telescope is the radio telescope. Radio telescopes are concerned with different wavelengths. Radio telescopes often have many holes in the dishes to decrease the weight as they are so large. This is possible due to the size of the huge radio waves which makes them immune to tiny imperfections on the surface of the telescope. For any enthusiastic astronomer choosing an astronomical telescope should be carefully considered to provide optimum viewing.
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