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What Is A Refractor Telescope? [COMPLETE GUIDE]

What Is A Refractor Telescope? [COMPLETE GUIDE]

Given the fascinating beauty of the cosmos, there is no doubt that refractor telescopes are among the most remarkable instrumentals to have. Whether you are in the field of science or the hobby of watching the solar system, investing in the right telescope is a critical decision to make.

A refractor telescope uses lenses to gather light to a focal point that the human eye cannot gather. The bending light makes the target objects appear clearer and brighter. Most refractor telescopes use two primary lenses; the objective lens and the eyepiece lens.

Since their innovations, telescopes have gone through a significant transformation, and this is why whenever you want to get one, the wise move is to ensure that you are up to date with the most current transformations.

men with telescope sunWhat Is A Refractor Telescope Used For?

The name refractor telescope is derived from refraction, which means bending of light. In other words, the refractor telescope works on the principles of bending light when it passes from one medium to another.

These telescopes are best known for observing the moon, other components of the solar system, including Mars and Jupiter, and the stars in the sky. If you are into this kind of hobby or are generally interested in discovering more about the solar system, this is the best telescope you should get.

Advantages Of Refractor Telescopes

Refractor telescopes are pretty standard nowadays, and this can be attributed to the fact that they come with numerous benefits. No one would want to invest their hard-earned money in a product that is not likely to add any value to their objectives. Here are some of the advantages associated with refractor telescopes.

  • A simple design that makes it easy to use and more reliable
  • Easy maintenance and collimation
  • The interior of a refractor telescope is protected from air currents and dust to guarantee better image quality
  • Maximum image contrast because there is no effect of the central screening by the diagonal or secondary mirror
  • Can be applicable for terrestrial viewing
  • The refractor telescope offers quicker thermal stabilization than reflectors
  • It is excellent for viewing the moon, double stars, and the solar system planets

What Is The Difference Between A Reflector And A Refractor Telescope?

One of the common questions that many people ask themselves when getting into astronomy for the first time is between the reflector and refractor telescope, which one is better. Once you have a precise answer to this question, you will likely enjoy your new hobby.

The difference between the two telescopes is that a refractor is made up of lenses only, while the reflector is composed of mirrors. In addition, there are numerous differences when it comes to performance, optical quality, and durability.

When comparing the efficiency of two telescopes, the refractor takes the lead for astronomical uses as they boast several exciting features, including impressive sharpness and contrast, portability, and ease of maintenance.

Refractor Telescope Overview

While refractor telescopes have not been around for a long time, they have captured the attention of many astronomy enthusiasts. They have a sealed design, meaning they are less susceptible to debris and dirt. Moreover, they are compact and small in size, making them ideal for astronomies always on the go.

How A Refractor Telescope Works

Refractor telescopes have a large convex lens on the front which takes light and bends it into a smaller lens at the telescope's rear. The smaller convex lens takes the smaller beam of light and magnifies it, providing a large and clear image.

The refractor telescopes are great for observing deep-sky objects hence ideal for observing the planets in the solar system. Further, since they are compact and light, they are great for anyone who does not like observing the solar system from the same spot.

Parts Of A Refractor Telescope

The refractor telescope is designed with several parts to make it possible for it to perform the intended functions—understanding how the different parts of the refractor telescope work will assist in making the right buying decisions.


The refractor telescope uses two lenses to refract light and provide an image. Chromatic aberration was the common challenge posed by these telescopes, but special lenses have been developed to combat the problem.

The Eyepiece

The eyepiece is one of the most critical parts of any telescope as it enables the user to focus on a specific telescopic image. The magnification is determined by dividing the objective lens by the eyepiece lens.

Structural Support

Telescopic designs require incorporating support structures to promote effective use of the telescope. For instance, modern telescopes allow users to rotate the telescopic axes in horizontal and vertical planes to meet the user's requirements.


The finderscope refers to a small telescope attached to the primary telescopic tube. The central role of the finderscope is to estimate the location of the object to be viewed. It is one of the critical parts of a telescope.

The Telescope Tube

The Telescope tube has a diameter of about 8 inches, and it forms the body of a telescope. It plays a vital role in improving the focal length of the telescope.

Buying Your First Telescope

After answering the question, what is a refractor telescope, the next important step is to familiarize yourself with what you need to know to purchase the best refractor telescope. It can be disappointing to realize that you purchased the wrong telescope when it is already too late.

Picking The Right Type

If it is your first time investing in a telescope, it is easy to make the wrong choice when deciding on the type you should choose. The best way to ensure that you can make the right choice is to guarantee that you are clear on the intended use of the telescope. For instance, if you are getting into the astronomy hobby, the refractor telescopes will be the most appropriate.

Remember to pay close attention to the optical quality before making your selection.

Telescope Features

There are different types and forms of telescopes in the modern market. Therefore, to get the value for your money, you need to be familiar with the different telescope features. Knowing how different features of a telescope work will make it easy to avoid a less effective machine. The terminologies you will need to learn before purchasing your first telescope include the aperture, focal length, and finder.

The Mount

The mount is one of the significant parts of a telescope, yet it is one of the most under-appreciated ones. Whether you love watching the solar system from the same spot or different locations, your telescope will always require something sturdy to support it. Therefore, it is prudent to select mounts designed explicitly for telescope use. With the right telescope and mount, you should be ready to open your eyes to celestial delights.

telescope white viewMaintenance

Telescopes are pretty expensive, and therefore, you do not want a situation where you have to replace yours anytime soon. The trick is to invest in a telescope that is easy to maintain and has excellent durability. In addition, you should find an ideal place to store your telescope. The ideal storage for your telescope should be clean and dry and should not expose your telescope to any physical damage.

More like this: How to Use a Telescope for Beginners


An astronomy hobby is excellent for enabling one to discover the beauty of the solar system. Besides, the astronomy hobby is ideal for uniting people while they try to make some fascinating discoveries. Having the best refractor telescope is best to take your astronomy hobby a notch higher. Remember that getting your telescope from a reputable shop is the best way to avoid inferior products.

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