Telescope Eyepiece

Astronomy is a pastime which is accessible for people for all ages and at first, surprisingly, very little equipment is needed. Although having a telescope is an advantage, as you will be able to see a whole lot more than with the naked eye, a good pair of binoculars can give some very impressive results.

A good place to start with astronomy is with the naked eye learning the constellations, these can then be used as a map to locate other space objects such as nebulae and messier objects. You can pick up books from your local library and also online documents to help you learn the different constellations and their locations in the night sky. It may not be worth you learning all of them as it would take a long time and also depending on where you are in the world you will only be able to see the ones in your hemisphere.
Once you have learned the constellations (although not compulsory) and you find yourself wanting a telescope, there are many things to consider.

· What are the different types of telescope?
· How big does it need to be?
· What else will I need?

All these questions will be answered in the following paragraphs.

Types of Telescope:

Refractor - A refractor telescope is the design that most people will be familiar with. They are, generally, long, thin telescopes that use a lens at the front of the telescope tube to collect light. The observer looks through an eyepiece at the back of the telescope, where the light is focused, forming an image. Refractors are highly regarded for their sharp, high contrast images. They are best suited for viewing the moon and planets and also imaging.

Reflector - Newtonian Reflectors use a highly polished, curved mirror at the rear of the telescope tube to collect light. This mirror reflects and converges the light, where it is intercepted by a small mirror at the top end of the telescope tube. In turn, the light is reflected into a focuser and eyepiece mounted on the side of the tube. As such, the observer is positioned at the top of the telescope. They are generally regarded as the best all-around telescopes, as their large apertures gather plenty of light, and allow for good planetary views, all at a moderate price.

Catadioptric - Catadioptric telescopes use compound optical systems. That is, both mirrors and lenses are employed to collect and focus incoming light. The observer peers through an eyepiece at the rear of the telescope tube, where the light is focused. The two most commercially available catadioptric designs are Schmidt-Cassegrains and Maksutov-Cassegrains. They offer excellent portability, as the optical tubes are compact in design, as well as very good optical quality. They are the most popular type of telescopes for astrophotography. They tend to be more expensive than reflectors, and less expensive than refractors of the same size.

telescope eyepiece lingo -- what is a coma corrector ?

this eyepeice i'm looking to buy ..
http://www.televue.com/engine/page.asp?ID=230

it says it easts a dob's coma ..what is coma meaning?

This is _not_ an eyepiece. It is an optical corrector inserted between the eyepiece and the telescope, similar to a Barlow lens. You can use any of your eyepieces with it, and it will remove coma at the cost of a 15% increase in magnification.

My main scope is an 11" f/4.3 Newtonian, and I normally keep a Parcorr permanently installed. Some people aren't bothered by coma, and feel no need for a Paracorr. If possible try to use one yourself before buying, as you may not need one.




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