Last updated: August 16, 2021

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Welcome to ReviewBox! Today we will be talking about the refracting telescope. If you have never heard of it, it is the evolution of a spotting scope. It is also known as a Keplerian or Galilean telescope and could be considered an entry level telescope.

It consists of two lenses, one through which you look through and the other through which the light enters to generate the image. These lenses are joined by a long tube where the image is processed so that you can see it through the eyepiece.

Interesting, isn't it? If this catches your attention, we invite you to learn more about this incredible product. If you like to look at the stars and enjoy the universe, don't waste any more time! Here you will learn about their types, functions, advantages, disadvantages, prices and points of sale. We will also discuss the keys that will help you choose the best one.




The most important things

  • A refracting telescope is a type of telescope composed of lenses. The main lens or objective is in charge of capturing the luminosity that will reflect the image. You can then observe this reproduction through the eyepiece. It is ideal for observing stars, galaxies, nebulae, planets, among others.
  • The first thing you should consider before choosing either option is to know that there are refracting and reflecting telescopes. The differences are in the objective, the former has lenses and the latter has concave mirrors. One is ideal for seeing details and diffuse objects, the other for low light.
  • Once you have decided which type of telescope to buy. You can ensure the best purchase by identifying the key factors that will help you choose not the best, but the right refracting telescope for your personal needs. Don't think twice and discover the universe with your own eyes!

The Best Refracting Telescope: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about refracting telescopes

The world of astronomy is a very interesting one and if we get into it, we can have fun and learn at the same time. Starting with a good refracting telescope to observe the universe is an excellent idea; to get to know this observation instrument we have generated this buying guide with the necessary information.

A refracting telescope is an ideal gift for children and adults (Photo: lightfieldstudios / 123rf.com)

What is a refracting telescope and what are its advantages?

It is a long object that contains two lenses at its ends. The larger lens is called the objective, through which the light enters and forms the image through the tube. The smaller lens is where you look at the sharp image, full of colours and contrasts.

The refracting telescope is mainly used to observe the moon, stars and objects at a great distance, as it is capable of generating a magnified image that allows us to see despite being very far away, it is ideal for observing planets, nebulae, details or celestial bodies regardless of whether they emit a lot or little light.

Advantages
  • Sharp images with high contrast
  • High strength
  • Long focal length for observing at long distances
  • Easy maintenance
Disadvantages
  • They have a natural distortion that causes chromatic aberration
  • May create an inverted image
  • Large and difficult to carry
  • Expensive

Refracting or reflecting telescope?

Because the telescope is an instrument of astronomy, it can make us shudder just to hear so many complicated terms. The truth is that it is much easier than you think, if you consider first of all, the types of telescope that exist, it will be much easier to make the right choice for you.

Refracting telescope. Its optical system is centred on its tubular structure and the lenses it includes. This makes it possible to reflect objects at great distances that appear bright and sharp. However, it presents chromatic differences due to its structure and accessories must be added to improve it.

Reflecting telescope. It generates the image through concave mirrors, the objective reflects the image in the mirror of the ocular zone that is projected through its sight, which is located at the side. This type of telescope is especially suitable for viewing faint objects that are very far away. Thanks to its large aperture, it captures more light in the image.

Refracting telescope Refracting telescope
Objective Lens Concave mirror
Magnification according to aperture X 2 X 1,5
Ocular aperture Integrated at one end To the side
Ideal for Viewing details of distant objects Terrestrial observations Dark objects or low light

How much does a refracting telescope cost?

Refracting telescopes are available in many price ranges. In themselves, they are a bit expensive, but there is still something for every budget. From 800 MXN you can find refractor telescopes for children. From 1,000 MXN you can get a beginner level adult telescope with 50 mm apertures.

Other models with different aperture levels can be found between 2,000 MXN and 3,000 MXN. If you need a professional telescope, the price can go up considerably and exceed 15,000 MXN. As you can see, there is an option for everyone!

Where to buy a refractor telescope?

It doesn't matter whether you are a professional astronomer or an amateur observer of the universe. In department stores you can find all kinds of telescopes. Some models of refractor telescopes are very easy to get a quote for at your preferred branch of Elektra, Skyshop, Sanborns, Liverpool or Walmart.

On the other hand, shopping online can make it easier to appreciate the different products available on the market. In addition, you can reduce shipping costs and not even have to worry about leaving your home. The best options are Amazon, Kosmos, Mercado Libre, Linio or eBay.

Buying criteria

You're one step away from discovering the secrets of the universe! Now that you know what refracting telescopes are all about, it's time to choose yours. If you consider these key points when comparing the different models, you will avoid making a subjective purchase and instead, you will have the ideal refractor telescope for you.

Aperture

This refers to the useful diameter of the lens, it will indicate the power of the refractor telescope or the quality of the images you will be able to see. As a general rule, the larger the aperture, the more light it will capture and the sharper, brighter and more detailed the images you will see.

Aperture Recommendation
Small 50 mm - 150 mm For beginners
Large 150 - 180 mm For advanced users

Mount

The mount is a detail, which, although simple, can be very inconvenient when using a refracting telescope. The earth is constantly moving, so to observe an object in the universe, the telescope mount must be constantly adjusted. This is located on the tripod or tripod that holds the telescope.

Azimuthal. Allows you to move the refracting telescope right, left, up and down. Prefer this mount if you are a beginner. It is easy to use, easy to maintain, takes up little space and is much cheaper. It does not allow star tracking.

Equatorial. It has an axis parallel to the earth's axis, so it can only move from right to left. Choose this mount if you are at a more advanced level as it requires learning how to use it and is more expensive. It allows you to track stars and you can even automate the movement.

Eyepiece

This is the part that receives and makes it possible for you to see the image captured by the refracting telescope. It often consists of a lens or a series of lenses with different magnifications, which will help you see objects in the universe much closer. You can interchange them as you please.

  • Use a 25mm eyepiece when the image is low magnification and diffuse.
  • Eyepieces between 8mm and 12mm can help you see details of objects such as the moon or at medium magnification.
  • Prefer a 7mm to 10mm eyepiece when you want to identify planets, stars, galaxies, and more.

Magnification

Many disagree on the importance of magnification, as it is often used as a marketing strategy. However, we can take advantage of it when the light or distance does not allow us to observe the celestial bodies or when the celestial bodies themselves cannot be seen accurately.

You should be careful when choosing them, as a high-magnification image can be blurred. If you still think it might be useful, we recommend that the magnification does not exceed twice the aperture of the lens. Therefore, a 50 mm telescope should not have more than x2 magnification.

(Featured image photo: David Cabrera Navarro / 123rf.com)

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