Newtonian Reflector Telescopes: Get the Lowdown on a Stargazing Favorite

Newtonian reflector telescopes

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Newtonian Reflector Telescopes: A Popular Choice

There's a lot to see in the sky with the naked eye. But if you want to see more, you'll need a telescope to see clearly. There are a variety of telescopes on the market to choose from, but one of the favorites of amateur astronomers around the world is the Newtonian Reflector Telescope.

Many people have found that this is the best type to own when they are thinking about getting a greater view of the skies.

What Are Newtonian Reflector Telescopes?

The ease and flexibility of the Newtonian reflector is, in part a result of its having been designed with 18th-century technology.  To have some understanding of that technology, it's instructive to talk about Isaac Newton.​

Sir Isaac Newton​

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

​Sir Isaac Newton was a great English physicist, mathematician, and astronomer who lived in the latter half of the 17th century and into the beginning of the 18th. Newton was the father of much of the optic technology that forms the basis of many modern-day telescopes, and his description of the movement of celestial bodies laid a substantial portion of the foundation for our modern understanding of the behavior of the cosmos.

In the process of observing and attempting to understand the movement of the planets, Newton invented the Newtonian reflector telescope. The first one of its kind was finished in 1668. it is a simple design, and that makes it popular for the makers of reflecting telescopes in the market.

Newtonian telescopes have two main mirrors. The first, the primary mirror, is concave. The second mirror is a flat, diagonal one.

What Are The Newtonian Design Advantages?

  • Refracting telescopes have chromatic aberration, whereas the Newtonian does not.
  • They are not as expensive as other telescopes.
  • Only one part needs to be polished and ground into a shape, whereas other telescopes have more complex parts.
  • The Newtonian has a wider view than other types of telescopes because its focal ratio is short.
  • It is portable because the eyepiece is at the end of the telescope.

What Are The Newtonian Design Disadvantages?

  • The Newtonian design uses parabolic mirrors, and sometimes this can cause a comatic aberration in the image view.
  • Because of the secondary mirror with the Newtonian design, the light path can be obstructed at times.
  • With the Newtonian design, the telescope may need to be readjusted at times.
  • The Newtonian design may cause difficulty when viewing because of the focal plane.

What Can You Do With A Newtonian Reflector Telescope?

You'll be able to study the stars and the skies up close.

Since it has a reflector on it, they will be able to see much more detail than some other types of telescope. There is a lot of power in this type of telescope, giving the person who owns it a much better handle on what they see far away.

For this reason, it is a popular telescope for many avid sky watchers to own. They use it on a regular basis to study the pattern of the sky and the stars. They can also use it to watch other things that they want to see up close.

It can be extremely light and easy to move around if they want to take it with them on a trip or something. Since they are able to use it when they need it, it is a very convenient type of telescope to have.

For those that love to look at the skies and the star, a telescope is a must. They will want to invest in one, and they will also want to ask their friends and family members if they would pitch in and give them one for a gift. This can make a lot of difference when someone else helps with the amount of money that it costs. Once they have the telescope, people will find that they can use it when they need to.