101 Types of Telescopes Used for Space Observation

Today, there are many distinct kinds of telescope in use, each with a unique function and style of operation. Since the development of the telescope in the 17th century, there has been a rise in global curiosity about cosmic events.

Without various forms of optics, it would not have been possible to make many of the spectacular discoveries discovered in space so far.

However, in light of its expense, is using space optics advantageous? If we couldn’t perform any maintenance on it, should we even own such machinery? Discover the most fascinating space telescopes facts that will illuminate the many equipment categories and applications in the following paragraphs.

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How do space telescopes work?

Lenses were responsible for the early telescopes’ ability to gather light. So you might be wondering why mirrors are used in modern space telescopes. Because mirrors are lighter and can polish to a perfect smoothness, they are utilised in place of lenses. Equipment parts that are either lenses or mirrors are referred to as optics. Refracting telescopes are those that employ lenses, whereas reflecting telescopes are those that use mirrors.

A variety of powerful telescopes can see objects that are very far away as well as those that are very dark. This requires very large optics, whether they are lenses or mirrors. The efficiency of a piece of equipment for light gathering is inversely related to the size of its mirrors and lenses.

After that, the light will start to be focused using optics. No matter what kind of lens we are looking through, all we can see is that light.

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How many space telescopes are there?

There are around 13 different types of telescopes, not counting binoculars and monoculars, both of which are out-of-date versions. These telescopes have been addressed in a variety of space journals, including SpeceNews,, OrbitalToday,, etc.

The infrared, visible, X-ray, and gamma-ray telescopes are examples of space-based astronomy equipment. These four are the most popular and effective deep space telescopes utilised by NASA and other space exploration organisations, including Hubble, a Cassegrain reflector telescope.

Famous space telescopes that have been launched into orbit to gather photographs and other data from above, such as Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope, and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, are currently transmitting data from space. While space aficionados without access to Hubble or Arecibo pictures can utilise Isaac Newton’s and Galileo Galilei’s kinds, very huge types like the Arecibo are present on the ground.

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What type of telescopes are used in space?

Hubble and James Webb are two examples of reflecting space telescopes that make use of mirrors. NASA launched the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990; it has a length akin to a large school bus. Hubble orbits our globe at a speed of about five miles per second while taking pictures of galaxies, stars, and other planets.

It has also relayed pictures of galaxies located billions of kilometres away and captured footage of comet fragments slamming into Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Using infrared light, which is undetectable to the human sight, Webb can study every stage of the Universe’s creation. This optics type’s four scientific instruments were created with the intention of catching infrared light. James Webb not only orbits the Sun, but also takes a precise path around a region of space known as Lagrange 2, or L2.

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What advantages having different types of telescopes brings?

Despite the fact that space telescopes’ benefits vastly outweigh their drawbacks, both of these factors should be acknowledged. The most accurate observations are made by space telescopes since these equipment types are not impacted by the atmosphere. Twinkling, sky brightness, or light pollution have no negative effects on the quality of the images. The larger wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be detected include infrared, X-rays, gamma rays, and ultraviolet devices.

With NASA space telescopes at the forefront of this conversation, several drawbacks of various optical types include significant maintenance costs to start. Additionally, the cost of building a space object, whether it be from NASA or another manufacturer, is significantly higher than the cost of building an observatory on the earth. Space technology is notoriously challenging to maintain due to their remote settings. Most optics in orbit cannot be maintained at all, but it appears that Hubble’s maintenance was handled by the Space Shuttle.

Undoubtedly, as technology progresses, we may soon see new sorts of optics that would advance exploration even farther. We currently have to deal with the many sorts of optics that we have so far.

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Riya Kapoor

Riya Kapoor writes about lifestyle, entertainment, news and gadgets. She has been in this industry for almost 4 years now. She is a graduate from Delhi University with English Hons and had deep connection with writing since her childhood.

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