List of telescope parts and construction

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Mechanical construction[edit]



Mirrors and lenses are the critical light-bending components of a telescope.

  • Objective: The first lens or curved mirror that collects and focuses the incoming light.
  • Corrector plate: A full aperture negative lens placed before a primary mirror designed to correct the optical aberrations of the mirror.

Subsequent (sometimes optional) components realign, segment, or in some way modify the light of an incoming image:

  • Field lens: A correcting lens placed just before the image plane of a telescope.[citation needed]
  • Focal Reducer or Barlow lens: Reduces the telescope's focal length and magnification, usually by a fixed percentage, and widens the field of view. This may also assist as a coma corrector.
  • Star Diagonal: Used to change the angle of the light coming out of a telescope, for easier viewing.
  • Herschel Wedge: Similar to a star diagonal with a wedge shaped un-silvered prism reflector that reduces incoming light by up to 95% for solar viewing.
  • Barlow lens: Increases the telescope's focal length and magnification, and narrows the field of view.
  • Astronomical filter: Used to select specific colors (or light frequencies) for astrophotography.
  • Filter wheel: One manner to easily insert filters into the optical train. Mostly used for photography.
  • Eyepiece: Performs the final focus correction before the light hits the eye.
  • Charge-coupled device (CCD): A light-sensitive integrated circuit digital sensor (commonly used in digital cameras) that turns light into an electrical charge used to collection image data.

Generally applicable to all items:

  • Metallizing: A way of coating mirrors for high-efficiency light reflection.
  • Optical coating: Thin layers applied to mirrors, filters, and lenses to avoid reflections, as well as absorb certain colors.

Software and control interfaces[edit]

Support equipment and buildings[edit]

See also[edit]