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Why are Telescopes So Expensive?

Introduction

People’s attraction to the cosmos is as old as our capacity to think and be curious. For time immemorial, observing space was limited to our eyes only. Then, telescopes came and did us a good turn. If you think about it, a telescope is like a watch – its parts are highly delicate. If the optics are badly made, the viewing experience will also not be of high quality. And similar to anything else, quality costs.

A Telescope

A telescope is an instrument intended for the viewing of distant objects. A telescope employs lenses and mirrors in order to gather light and bring that light into focus, consequently making the image available for observing, photographing, or studying. These telescopes can be used for astronomy or photography – any situation that requires bringing faraway objects closer to us virtually.

Which Telescope is Best for Astrophotography?
Source: Pexels

One of the two major kinds of telescopes which we mention below consists of an objective lens positioned at the end of a tube, along with an eyepiece that can be adjusted. The other one has a mirror that is recessed inward, away from the incident light, which gathers the light from the target and focuses it into the eyepiece, through which the reflection of the target is magnified and can therefore be observed, photographed, or studied.

Types of Telescopes

Of course, not only one type of telescope exists but various kinds. But if we take a look at the major two, the first one on the list would be the refractor telescope. If you are a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, you surely came across it already. It is recognized as a long tube that increases in length until it gets to the lens. This lens requires special crafting, which is why they are so expensive.

The second one on the list would be the reflector telescopes. These types of telescopes use mirrors where the objective lens would be in refractor telescopes but are also more common than the latter. Reflector telescopes are expensive mostly because their mirrors can be large, and thus need to be flattened out and polished.

Which Telescope is Best for Astrophotography?
Celestron Cometron FirstScope (Source: Celestron)

What Makes a Telescope More Expensive?

If you plan on making astronomy a permanent hobby then you certainly want to invest in a fine telescope, which is definitely on the pricier side. Size, of course, is a large factor. Small mirrors cost less and are simpler to make. Bigger mirrors are manufactured to a greater standard and demand more work.

Optical performance is extremely important when it comes to telescopes, but a great one is not achieved with mirrors produces by machines. Of course, machines are involved in the process, but the final and most important touches are produced by hand, which costs more.

The eyepieces also need to be of high quality, and if you want to invest in a premium telescope that offers premium results, you should use 2″ rather than a 1.25″. And the price of a telescope increases with the increase of the diameter size. Overall, telescopes are large in size. And to make large products, you need a large number of materials, which are also not cheap, especially if they are of good quality.

Telescopes and Eyepieces
Source: Wikipedia

Conclusion

For a telescope to work as best as possible, it needs to be manufactured to precision, which can prove to be pricey. Shipping and installation also need to be done with caution, so slowly but surely, the money adds up. You can certainly get a hobbyist telescope for a reasonable amount of money, but do understand that with telescopes, you get what you pay for.

Summary
Why are Telescopes So Expensive?
Article Name
Why are Telescopes So Expensive?
Description
If you think about it, a telescope is like a watch - its parts are highly delicate. If the optics are badly made, the viewing experience will also not be of high quality. And similar to anything else, quality costs.
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Optics Trade Blog
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