How Do Telescopes Work

Many people ask "How Do Telescopes Work"? What follows is a simple explanation...

A telescope is an instrument that enables us to bring faraway objects closer to us in order that we can investigate them better. A very good example of this is the numerous planets, galaxies, and stars in space. Many telescopes vary from the one dollar toy in a retail store to the one billion dollar Hubble Telescope.

First of all telescopes can generally be divided into two groups. The refractor which employs a glass lens and the reflector which uses mirrors instead of a lens.

To start with consider the many different components of a microscope to see exactly how they function. The objective lens in a Refractor scope or primary mirror in a Reflector gathers incoming light and brings it to a focus.

The eyepiece takes that same light and magnifies it to take up a large part of the retina of the eye. Accordingly, it takes a small image and distributes it out making it look larger.

Typically are a couple of common concepts to any kind of telescope. One, is how well it can gather light and the other is the magnification of the image being viewed.

The amount of light that can be gathered is directly related to the diameter of the lens. The more light that can be collected, the brighter the image.

Magnification on the other hand is the ability to acquire a distant object and enlarge it in order to observe it clearly. Varying amounts of magnification can be acquired by utilizing various eyepieces according to the object being observed.

What follows is a simplified explanation. Get a hold of a couple of magnifying glasses plus a sheet of paper. Hold one of the glasses in between you and the paper. The image at this moment is going to be fuzzy and unreadable.

Then using the second glass place it between your eyes and the first glass. When you move the second glass down or up it will bring the sheet of paper into a position where it can be seen clearly.Although it will appear larger you will see it upside down. Give it a shot and discover what occurs.

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