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List of telescope types




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All Four VLT Unit Telescopes Working as One

Astronomical telescopes are divided into subgroups. All telescopes work by collecting electromagnetic radiation and focussing it into an image which may be seen or photographed. The purpose is to see things which are far away in the universe.

The traditional types all work to collect visible light from the sky. Recent types may work outside the visible spectrum. They all have their different advantages and disadvantages and they are used in different areas of astronomy.

Optical

Large refractor
Small reflector on altazimuth mount
Catadioptric telescope on fork mount

Refractors

Dioptrics. Telescopes which create their image with an objective that is a convex lens (refractors) are said to be "dioptric" telescopes.

Reflectors

Catoptrics. Optical systems using mirrors: uses reflected light to form the image.

Combined Lens-Mirror Systems

Catadioptrics.

Mounts

These types can be mounted on different types of mounts.

Altazimuth (ALT-AZ) Mounts

Equatorial mounts