The Reflective Telescope

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The Reflective Telescope

How it Works

A telescope is an optical instrument which is used for making distant objects appear larger and closer. Yougsters may think it's simple of how we see an image, but in reality, there is a scientific process on how us humans can see an image through the telescope. The reflective telescope consists of a curved mirror which in this case is the concave. It uses this mirror to bend light and to bring light together to one point. The concave mirror is known as a converging mirror because when light reflects off of it, all the reflected rays converge or come together at one point. This is one of the crucial things that help us see distant objects through a telescope. An object emitts parallel light rays which hit the primary mirror (the concave mirror/pararabolic mirror) inside the telescope. The rays then converge and hit the secondary mirror (plane mirror). The path of the reflected rays is now changed. The light rays are then brought together and they fall on the eyepiece lens. This is how we see distant objects while looking through the eyepiece of the reflective telescope.


The reflecting telescope is one of the most striking optical phenomenons. It was invented by Sir Isaac Newton. He built the first ever reflecting telescope in 1668. Newton presented the replica of his second reflecting telescope to the Royal Society in 1672.It used a primary mirror made out of ground metal and a small diagonal secondary mirror. This later became known as the Newtonian telescope. The primary mirror had a parabolic/curved shape. This shape helped focus all the light rays to a common focus. Newton realized that and he came up with a design which can use that scientific process.

The Reflective Telescope

An Optical Phenomenon

Advantages:-Compact and portable, this is beneficial for transportation or storage-Generally more affordable-Preferred telescope for astronomers because of the bigger aperture-Images are free of chromatic aberrationDisadvantages:-Mirrors may need to be re-aligned regularly (can easily slip out of alignment due to knocks/bumps)-Susceptible to spherical aberrations

Replica of Isaac Newton'stelescope presented to the Royal Society in 1672.

How the reflective telescopeworks.

Telescopes are also used in space to help astronauts!


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