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Reflectors

The Reflector Telescope (Newtonian), the earliest type of Reflecting Telescope, uses lenses only in the Eyepiece.

Most of the work in reflectors is carried out via mirrors. Light is collected by a curved primary mirror. A flat-plane secondary mirror, smaller than the primary mirror, focuses the light to the eyepiece.

Amateurs often prefer Reflector Telescopes of the Newtonian type. They use a mirror to collect the light in its place of a glass lens and are free from what is called ‘false colour’. When you go beyond the smallest types, they are generally cheaper than Refractors.

Pound for pound, however, they can be a little fragile and need looking after a bit more than a Refractor Telescope. Reflectors are more suited to the devoted amateur Astronomer, as a medium-sized Reflector can be quite cumbersome.

Reflectors are exceptionally suitable where light-gathering capability is required, particularly for observing faint distant objects, many large professional telescopes are usually reflectors of one type or another. Early reflectors were big and difficult to work with. In 1672, a Frenchman named N. Cassegrain designed a Reflecting telescope with a curved secondary mirror.

Numerous large and small modern Telescopes use Cassegrain’s design to bend the light further. These Telescopes are compact and easier to carry, a distinct advantage over Newtonians of similar aperture.

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