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Optical Telescopes The telescope is a device that permits distant and faint objects to be viewed as if they were much brighter and closer to the observer Most telescopes work by collecting and magnifying visible light that is given off by stars or reflected from the surface of planets Such instruments are called optical telescopes Optical telescopes use a curved lens or mirror to collect light and bring it to a focus A small magnifying lens called an eyepiece placed at the focus allows the image to be viewed Cameras are placed near the focus and make a precise recording of the light gathered by a telescope The visible light collected by a telescope is divided into colours through a process called spectroscopy This technique uses a prism and decodes starlight to gather information about an objects temperature motion and other dynamics chemical composition and the presence of magnetic fields There are three major types of optical telescopes- the refracting reflecting and catadioptric telescope The Refracting Telescope The refracting astronomical telescope has two lenses Both are convex lenses that are thicker in the middle than at the edges The lens closest to the object is called the objective lens This lens collects light from a distant source and brings it to a focus The image formed is a real and inverted image The lens in the eyepiece magnifies the image formed by the objective lens but the image still remains inverted Then there is a third lens which inverts the image a second time so the object is no longer upside down A refracting telescopes light-gathering power is proportional to the size of the objective or main lens and to the ratio of the focal lengths of the objective lens and the eyepiece The Reflecting Telescope The reflecting telescope uses a precisely curved mirror instead of a lens to
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