When it comes to comparing reflecting vs reflecting telescopes, the winner is always going to be the reflecting telescope. This is because it produces its image using a smaller diameter mirror than a reflecting telescope does. Because of this smaller diameter the reflecting telescope is more prone to experiencing "off-axis" sightings. These are simply sightings where the light from the source is not on the same plane as the telescope's focus. One example of off-axis sightings is where the light source appears to emanate off of the surface of the lens and then reflect off of the focus after entering the eye. Check out on the reflector vs refractor telescopes here.
The reflecting telescope is able to correct for these types of off-axis sightings and therefore is the better option when it comes to amateur astronomers who are looking to purchase a reflecting telescope for use in their studies of the moon, planets, and star clusters. It is for this reason that amateur astronomers often prefer a reflecting telescope as opposed to a refracting one. For instance, if an amateur astronomer is studying a globular cluster which has many small planets (asteroids) around a common star, they may prefer to use a reflecting telescope in order to see if the light coming from the planet is distorted by one or more of the planet's moons. By using a reflecting telescope to view the moon phases, the moon itself can be seen clearly and the off-axis sightings will be corrected. Refracting telescopes are typically not used in this case.
Of course, there are many more factors to consider when comparing reflecting or refracting telescopes. The size of the optical path of a refracting telescope will always come into play. The larger the optical path the more light that can be achieved with each pass through the path, thus making the reflecting or refracting argument quite subjective to the point of having to actually decide between the two on a personal level. Here is the best telescope for deep space services.
Reflecting vs refracting telescopes can be made to work in tandem with each other. One way to achieve this is by combining a reflecting telescope with a refracting one. This can be done by purchasing a good, wide aperture reflector telescope at the beginning of your study of space and your telescope will soon be able to take part in the secondary mirror reflection process. A reflecting telescope will then be able to provide you with an image of the Moon, Mars, or even Jupiter as seen through its own primary mirror. By having the secondary mirror act as a reflector, many of the drawbacks of a refracting telescope are eliminated. This is often times done through an increase in the primary mirror diameter which allows more light to pass through than usual.
Many people who purchase a reflecting telescope at the start of their space adventure soon become addicted to using them. They find that there is hardly a day that goes by where they do not use their telescope. Reflecting telescopes can also provide an excellent method of communication. They have the advantage of being able to give you an image of the Moon, Mars, or Jupiter as seen through Earth's atmosphere without having to send up a spacecraft to do so.
Reflecting vs refracting telescopes can also be used in education if taught alongside primary mirrors. The students in a science classroom can study the Moon by using the reflectors and learn how the Moon is produced and formed by its gravitational pulls on the various objects within its orbit. By comparing the data from the reflecting telescopes to the photographic data from the primary mirror, students can learn about the relationship between light and the telescope's primary mirror. When students are able to verify the accuracy of the information received from the reflectors by using the refractors in conjunction with the primary mirror, the confirmation becomes self-evident and can make students much more capable space science scientists.
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