Different instruments are being developed by scientists for getting their studies deeper, trying to find the hidden mysteries of the world. One such instrument is the Telescope. Humans with naked eyes naturally can’t view minute things or those at considerably very long distances. Understanding both these phenomenons was difficult until the telescope was invented.
Telescopes are specially designed to capture minute detailed images. Using telescopes one can see and collect lots of colors, spot radio, microwave, infrared, ultraviolet, gamma rays, etc. that are invisible to human eyes.
What is a telescope? what is it used for? how does it work? We will explain you this and all the other factors one should know before buying a telescope.
Above all the article will give details about the Top 13 best telescopes for astrophotography in Canada that will remain a perfect guide for purchasing.
Telescope – Definition
A telescope is an optical instrument used to view, observe and examine objects at a very long distance. The object at the distance is usually magnified and viewed with the help of a telescope. A telescope is an optical instrument where it involves the constructive work of lenses or mirrors or a combination of both. At the beginning of the 17th century, the 1 st telescope was invented that works with glass lenses used for both general purpose and astronomy studies. The telescope is based on the refraction of light rays using an optical lens or reflection of light rays using concave mirrors.
Interesting note: The famous space telescope is the ‘Hubble’, named after an astronomer, Edwin Hubble. Before launching this telescope it was estimated that the Universe was between 10 billion years and 20 billion years old. But using this telescope astronomers measured the brightness of stars millions of miles away and found that the Universe is 13.8 billion years old, a rough estimation.
Unknown History of Telescope
It remains unknown who first invented the telescope. But in 1608 Dutch eyeglass maker Hans Lippershey was the first person to patent the telescope in the name of a kijker meaning ‘looker’. This telescope was able to magnify an image up to a resolution of three times (3x) and consisted of a concave eyepiece aligned with another convex objective lens.
There was a claim that Lippershey had stolen the design of the device from Zacharias Jansen. Jacob Metius, a Dutchman, applied for patent rights for a telescope a few weeks after Lippershey. But after all the claims still, many researchers claim that Lippershey is the investor of the telescope as he was the first to claim patent rights.
After that Galileo came to know about Hans Lippershey’s telescope device and started designing his telescope. This telescope had significant features with higher magnifications of around 20 times.
Galileo was the first to see the cratered surfaces of the moon, drew the moon’s phases and the Milky Way. Further, he discovered the rings of Saturn, sunspots, and four of Jupiter’s moons along with the glimpse of light that arches across the sky known as the Milky Way.
After Hans Lippershey and Galileo Galilei, other European Scientists started to design and build telescopes with their design and model. Kepler was the first to make a detailed study of telescopic optics. He devised his apparatus with two convex lenses called the Keplerian Telescope. Other than Astronomy, he studied optics in detail using the telescope. Kepler’s manuscript Astronomia Pars Optica gave him the title the ‘Founder of Modern Optics’. The book contained many aspects of optics, like pinhole cameras in taking pictures, the refraction of the eye, and depth perception.
Features of Telescope
- Aperture: Aperture will give you the diameter of the mirror or lens which is very much essential in gathering light and viewing the object more detailedly. The larger the aperture, the more the light gathered. Using a large aperture telescope you can view galaxies and also small objects like craters on the moon.
- Focal Length: Focal length is the distance between the primary lens or mirror and the point of focus. The focal length of the telescope determines how the object to be viewed is magnified by it. Magnification of the telescope is obtained by dividing the focal length of the telescope by the focal length of the eyepiece. Magnifying your telescope to 50 times its aperture in inches will avoid fuzziness while focusing on a distant object.
- Focal Ratio: Focal ratio is the ratio of the focal length of the telescope and the aperture. The longer the focal ratio, the higher the magnification and field of view with the given eyepiece will be narrower. With a long focal ratio, the moon, planets, and stars appear clear
- Mount: Mount is the most important feature of the telescope. There are two groups of Mount: Alt-Azimuth (Alt-Az, AZ) and Equatorial (EQ). Both will help in moving the telescope thereby tracking the objects in the sky. As the Earth rotates, the object you see or focus on using the telescope will move away from the field of view. So you have to adjust the telescope accordingly. The speed at which the object moves is based on two factors: the distance between the object and the earth and the magnification of the telescope. When the distance and the magnification are higher, the movement will be faster.
Alt-Azimuth – It is the common and basic type of mount with two perpendicular axes. In Lower-end models, the adjustment is made using OTA, while in others types knobs or flexible cables are used.
German Equatorial – an intricate type of mount that has two axes: one to control declination and the other axes describe an arc matching the curvature of the Earth-the right ascension. The mount is usually aligned with the Pole Star and the coordinates of a celestial object are found and tracked by turning the right ascension adjustment.
- Support System: The support system also plays a vital role. The support system gives stability to the telescope preventing vibration caused by wind blowing, nearby objects or persons, etc.
- Finder: Finder is an observing aid in the telescope that helps you find the object in the sky easily. The most common type of finder is the ‘red dot finder which will help you see the object using a red dot or centering pattern without magnifying.
Types of Telescope
Based on the reflection-refraction property, there are two major types of telescope.
Refracting telescope is used to view objects at a very long distance like the Moon, planets of the Solar System, and various Binary Stars. The principle of the refractive telescope is refraction i.e bending of light rays when passing between two different mediums of different densities. Refracting Telescope usually contains two types of lens: Objective lens and Eyepiece lens. The light rays from the distant object strike the Objective lens, get inverted, and then reaches the Eyepiece lens through which you view the distant object. In some telescopes, an additional lens is placed at the back of the Eyepiece lens to avoid the image getting inverted. With refractive telescopes, sometimes Chromatic Aberrations may occur i.e colored light rays may fail to focus at a common point.
A Reflecting Telescope is used to study the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Also one can view short and long wavelength regions (UV and IR) near to the electromagnetic spectrum. The basic principle of a reflecting telescope is the reflection of light rays using concave mirrors. The light rays from the object hit the primary mirror at the bottom of the telescope, which reflects it to the focus. The mirror is usually spherical or parabolic in shape, giving an inverted image of the object to the focal plane. The front surface of the primary mirror is usually coated with a thin layer of aluminum and the back surface is made of glass. To prevent change in the shape of the mirror with regards to temperature changes, glass with a low coefficient of expansion is used.
A Catadioptric telescope is an optical telescope that is intended to produce images of infinitely distant objects. The principle of the Catadioptric telescope includes both refraction (lenses) and reflection (mirrors). The term “catadioptric” is derived from two words “catoptric” meaning an optical device that uses curved mirrors, and “dioptric” meaning an optical device that uses lenses.
The four common catadioptric telescopes used by amateur astronomers are given below:
1. Schmidt-Cassegrain – Schmidt-Cassegrain comes with a concave spherical primary mirror, a full-aperture corrector lens, and a secondary mirror (convex) on the optical axis. The image is usually formed at the back of the primary mirror, which has a central perforation. The light coming from the primary mirror is reflected by the secondary mirror back which is viewed with the help of an eyepiece.
2. Maksutov-Cassegrain – Maksutov-Cassegrain comes with a spherical concave primary mirror, a full-aperture weak negative meniscus corrector lens, and a convex secondary mirror. As the name “Cassegrain” indicates, the image is formed outside at the back of the primary mirror. Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes will give you sharp, high magnification images in a short tube and are easy to use, requiring less maintenance.
3. Schmidt-Astrograph – Schmidt-Astrograph is used for astrophotography. In amateur astronomy, Astrographs are used for obtaining images of various objects, and also for sky surveys, comets, or asteroids searches. Astrograph has a low focal ratio and a wide field of view which gives sharp images. Along with the telescope accessory lenses like focal reducers and field flatteners are used to flatten the image field and to reduce the focal length. Astrographs are made in various configurations including Schmidt-Cassegrain and Schmidt-Prime-Focus.
4. Schmidt-Newtonian – Schmidt-Newtonian telescopes are similar to Newtonian reflector telescopes and a Schmidt-corrected Cassegrain. They create the image closer to the front aperture just like the Newtonian. They contain a concave spherical primary mirror and an aspheric corrector lens placed near the aperture of the telescope tube whereas the secondary mirror is often attached to the center of the corrector lens. This is to overcome the disadvantage of classic Newtonian reflectors in eliminating the need for a mechanical spider. This type of telescope has shorter focal lengths, which gives wide fields of view compared to conventional Newtonian reflectors.
Advantages of Telescopes
- Studies and Research: Telescopes are used to study the fundamental laws of the physical world. It is used to elaborately view the Galaxies, Planets, stars, and other heavenly bodies.
- Photography: Along with the telescope, you can attach a camera for taking photographs of celestial objects. The telescope can function even at a low intensity of light for taking photographs.
- Affordable: The cost of the optical telescope is cheap and so it is affordable and easily available.
- Visual treat: Further optical telescopes are easy to operate. Viewing the sky using a telescope will surely give you a visual treat as a telescope will give you an intricate and detailed visual of the sky that the named human eye can’t give.
Disadvantages of Telescope
- High Maintenance: Telescopes require frequent maintenance and are not easy. Since the lens of the refractor telescope is made of glasses, care should be taken to avoid air bubbles or scratches. The lens of the telescope is prone to damage easily since the edges are thin.
- Not portable: Telescopes are never portable. They are big and heavy. So can only fix it to places and can’t carry out different places as you move.
- Environmental Issues: As the optical telescope works with visible light, it may be affected by external conditions like temperature, weather, and atmospheric turbulence. This will spoil the image-making process of the telescope.
- No Sun view: The telescope will work better in darkness as during daytime Sunlight will be a hindrance in viewing distant objects.
Factors To Be Considered Before Buying A Telescope
- Overrated Power: A good telescope is not just about its power. Even though the magnification is high, the light is spread over a larger area, a fainter image reaches the eyepiece. At that time telescopes with lower magnification are more suitable as it provides a better viewing experience, especially when objects that are spread out across the sky, such as clusters or nebulae. So try to choose a telescope with correct magnification for better results.
- Eyepieces: The telescope that you choose should have at least one eyepiece. An eyepiece with a 25-millimeter is common and suitable for beginners. Similar to magnification power, a high-power eyepiece does not mean better viewing i.e high power eyepiece will only allow you to see details in a small cluster and not objects at distance like a nebula. Selecting High- and low-power eyepieces depends on the need of the user.
- Aperture Size: The aperture size is the important key to the “power” of a telescope. Aperture size is directly proportional to the scope’s ability to gather light. The more light a scope can gather, the better the image quality.
- Focal Ratio: The focal length is the distance measured between the main lens or mirror and the point where light converges to focus. For example, a scope with an aperture of 4.5 inches and a focal length of 45 inches will have a focal ratio of f/10. The higher the focal ratio, the higher is the magnification. A lower focal ratio is more suitable for wider views.
- Customer Conscious: As you buy any products see to that whether you pay true to it. Purchasing a cheap telescope will certainly be a waste of money. Since most people do not need an overly expensive scope, try to find the product that fulfills your need. Ignore cheap deals to avoid a low-quality viewing experience. Plan to buy the best Telescope within your budget. Know your needs and be a knowledgeable consumer and customer.
Top 13 Best Telescope For Astrophotography In Canada
Within your budget, there are branded and rich telescopes just for you and we have listed up the very best. If you’re looking for the best and cheapest telescope for enjoying some awesome nighttime stargazing, please do consider the following tips for a perfect purchase experience.
Knowing how much you want to spend on a telescope is more important and so try to choose a telescope that performs at its fullest fulfilling the money you pay. Fix the price limit at a moderate line as too expensive telescopes won’t be a great choice for beginners as they are complex in functioning and if you are trying to end up your price tag at the cheapest line it’s a sure waste of money.
We have listed the top 13 very best telescopes for astrophotography in Canada that help you in viewing the planets of top manufacturers like Celestron, Sky-Watcher, Meade Instruments, and Orion.
Celestron Short Computerised Reflector Telescope is a lightweight computerized telescope. It is usually built on StarPointer finderscope Or accurate alignment and object focusing. This type of telescope is best for enjoying the terrestrial and celestial view. The telescope comes with two power eyepieces (one low and one high power eyepiece), a red dot star finder, a computer controller, a tripod, and astronomy software (The SkyX).
- It is a high-quality telescope – 114 mm (4.5″) refractor.
- It comes with a modern Lightweight Computerized Mount.
- It has a Linear Field of View of about 84 ft (26 m).
- It has an internal battery compartment that helps in preventing cord wrap while using.
- It comes with an aluminum tripod and accessory tray.
- The NexStar computer control feature of the telescope helps in locating 4,000 celestial objects.
- Celestron 111 LCM Computerized telescope comes with a Sky Tour button which can help you focus a clear object in the sky automatically if you are not sure what to look into the sky.
- For beginners its easy to assemble and use.
- Comes with different accessories and additional tools are not required.
- Extra free software helps with night sky views.
- Reliable in terms of quality.
- Has Sky Tour Button
- Contains weak battery life.
- Cause the telescope to wobble even at a mild touch.
- The calibration is quite difficult.
- Requires expertise to hand.
- Comes with a short tripod.
- Orion StarBlast II 4.5 Equatorial Reflector Telescope
It is a refractor-type telescope suitable for both kids and adults. It includes a 70mm objective lens with a 400mm focal length with an adjustable tripod, Smartphone adapter, Finder, Scope Moon Filter, and a carry bag. The high-quality optical component is useful for giving a clear and sharp view. It is an easy key point for kids and adults for enjoying the universe and Milky way mysteries.
- Setting up the telescope is very quick and easy as it is default attached with a working manual.
- The telescope comes with an aluminum tripod that can be adjusted to many more positions for viewing birds, moons, stars, sky watching, and many more.
- BNISE telescope has high transmission coated optical glasses that help in providing high clarity images with full brightness. The aperture of this type of telescope is almost 70mm big.
- The magnification provided by this telescope is 15X to 150X which is made possible by the inbuilt 3X Barlow lens and 2 high-quality eyepieces. These features will enable excellent viewing for kids and beginners of Astro studies.
- Purchasing BNISE will be worth money as any discomfort in using the telescope will be immediately restored by Amazon.
- Superior resolving power.
- No reflection occurs
- Requires minimum maintenance.
- High cost relative to the reflector.
- The secondary spectrum is unavoidable.
- Colors can’t be focused at one point.
It is an achromatic refractor with a Fraunhofer configuration. The telescope has a long focal ratio and so has less chromatic aberration. The contrast of the view is increased by an ample length dew shield that acts as a light shield.
- Using this telescope you can see bright, clear images of the Moon and planets. You can very clearly look at the rings of Saturn.
- The glass optics of the telescope is well coated for providing definite image viewing. This telescope is best for terrestrial and astronomical purposes as it provides erect images.
- The telescope comes with a rugged tripod which is default assembled with a 1.25 inches steel leg that helps in providing a stable and strong platform for the telescope.
- An additional feature of this telescope is that it comes with Panhandle Alt-Az control and a clutch for focusing the target more accurately.
- Storing the accessories of the telescope is made easy by providing a duplex accessory tray.
- You can permanently mount the telescope over a StarPointer.
- Another most interesting feature of this telescope is that it has a “The Sky” Level 1 planetarium software default with it that contains more than 10,000 databases and high-quality enhanced images.
- It is economical and cost-effective.
- Easy to use and set up and highly compact.
- Useful for both terrestrial and celestial views.
- The mount type is limited for this telescope.
- Aperture is too narrow for experienced astronomers.
It is the most popular scope well suited for beginner’s use. It is an award-winning brand with 50 years of experience. There is no need for tools to assemble the telescope. It is just done by setting the telescope on the tripod. It has a long focal length with a much shorter tube size.
- The lens in this model of the telescope is a 3x Barlow lens that can provide you with a good viewing experience.
- The focal length of the telescope is 1000mm and the focal length of the I st eyepiece is) 20 mm and the 2 nd eyepiece is 4mm. It also comes with an aluminum tripod and an accessory tray.
- The aperture of the telescope is 127mm and the length of the optical tube is 508mm.
- You can make the control and tracking system smooth and easy with the help of Slow motion controls.
- It has the highest magnification of about 300x.
- The important feature of the telescope is “The Sky X – First Light Edition” astronomy software that is in-built comes with a 10,000 object database, printable sky maps, and 75 enhanced images.
- The telescope is ideal for watch terrestrial and astronomical purposes as it produces erect high-quality image optics.
- It is completely worth the money.
- Excellent primary mirror.
- Easy to store and locate.
- Collimation is required.
- An additional eyepiece is required.
This telescope will be a gift for astronomy lovers as it helps them enjoy skywatching more beautifully. It is a bona fide reflector telescope with well-sophisticated features. It is more capable than basic models that act as a second hand for advanced astronomers.
- The telescope has better optics, rich portability, and will be convenient for usage.
- It comes with EQ – 1 mount that helps you in viewing the running sky and moving objects with a central focus.
- The telescope has 25mm and 10mm Sirius Plossl eyepieces providing 18-power and 45-power.
- Other than this the telescope in default comes with MoonMap 260, EZ Finder II reflex sight, Tripod of adjustable height, and many more.
- The dimension of the telescope is 45.72 x 25.4 x 139.07 cm and weighs 9.39 kg.
- The weight of the telescope is almost 6.5 lbs and is pre-assembled. With the portable base settings, you can take the telescope out and position it anywhere while out for tripping and tours.
- The aperture of the telescope is 90mm and provides a clear, bright image of the Moon, Sky, Galaxy, Planets, and deep-sky objects like Nebulas, globular clusters, etc.
- It comes with two eyepieces each of focal length 25mm and 10mm.
- Additionally, it comes with EZ Finder II that can help you aim at the distant object more appropriately.
- Portable and convenient for use.
- Has a short focal length.
- MoonMap 260 is an interesting advantage.
- Secondary spectrum occurs.
It is an ideal telescope with interesting features. It is more efficient for enjoying night skies including Moon and planets. It is easier to use and compact so that it can be placed on a desktop. It is a perfect wide-angle low-power telescope.
- There are two eyepieces in the telescope each with 20mm and 10mm focal length and 1,25 inches. Also, it contains EZ Finder II and Starry Night Astronomy Software.
- It is a reflector telescope using which you can view the Milky Way and deep sky objects with a wide-angle low view.
- Using the telescope you can view the crater on the Moon, a detailed Jupiter view and other planets can also be viewed from the brighter locations.
- It contains 100mm parabolic primary mirror optics that are special from other plastic lenses.
- The dimension of the telescope is 24.13 x 24.13 x 35.56 cm ranging almost 2.81 kg in weight.
- Has parabolic mirror
- Too fragile
- Non-collimate cell
It is a dual-purpose telescope suitable for both terrestrial and celestial views. It will give you a perfect view of land and sky. It provides a bright and clear image of the Moon and planets. It is a more decent telescope with better optics.
- The setup of the telescope is quicker and easier without any tools.
- It can be permanently mounted over a StarPointer finderscope.
- The focal length of the telescope is 39 inches.
- It comes with a rugged tripod stand with 1.25 inches steel tube legs that are useful for a strong and stable platform.
- The mount in this type of telescope is a German Equatorial mount that will enable you to locate the distant object more accurately and precisely.
- The glass optics of the telescope is well coated for providing definite image viewing. This telescope is best for terrestrial and astronomical purposes as it provides erect images.
- The dimension of the telescope is 28 x 82 x 42.5 cm with nearly 9 kg weight.
- ideal for beginners
- Lage coated glass mirror.
- Easy to set and operate.
- Limited to basic exposure.
It is a refracting type telescope with HD magnification. It has a dual purpose used for both astronomical and geographical analysis. It can be used by both kids and adults more suitable for beginners. It is a portable telescope with a smartphone adapter and a tripod.
- It comes with a 70mm large diameter, blue film coating, and the transmittance of the telescope is 98.9% suitable for both astronomy and geographical studies.
- The set is made so easy that even children can easily assemble the telescope.
- Additional features of the telescope include a phone adapter, wired shutter control, durable tripod, and moon filters.
- As a 100% Cash Back offer is available for the telescope you can easily replace the telescope in case of any discomfort or technical issue.
- There are two eyepieces named k6mm and k25mm with 66x and 16x. Further, it comes with an adjustable lightweight aluminum tripod for viewing your aim for different positions.
- Many additional features for a better viewing experience.
- Dual usage.
- High-quality optical component.
- Only for beginners.
- Additional eyepiece required.
It is a refractor telescope with a 60mm aperture and a 500mmAz mount that are ideal for beginners. It has a stable tripod and HD view. The 500mm focal length makes the telescope more suitable for watching the Moon and other natural scenery.
- The telescope contains three eyepieces with rotatable features and a 3X lens providing a high magnification ranging from 16x to 133.5x.
- The rotatable eyepiece will give you a comfortable viewing experience as using this feature you can adjust the magnification more easily.
- Since it is a portable and lightweight telescope you can carry over the telescope to places of choice more easily.
- It comes with a BAK4 prism system with a multi-coated lens and high transmission that provides you with a full clarity image with better brightness.
- Long focal ratio.
- Permanent optical alignment.
- The instrument is cumbersome.
This telescope is more suitable for intermediate astronomy learners. You can spend very much less time setting up the telescope and enjoy long observation. The StarSense Technology will help you with the least alignment and pointing.
- The optics in this telescope is of high quality full coated glass optics with an 80mm objective lens that provides high-quality viewing.
- The 80mm aperture objective lens will give a clear brighter image when compared to its previous model telescope.
- This telescope is more suitable for beginners as it is equipped with two high-quality eyepieces with 20mm and 10mm focal length that helps in viewing celestial objects with low and high power during daytime.
- Along with the tripod, you will receive a smartphone adapter and a tripod with a bonus bag.
- Larger aperture.
- Motor-driven mount.
- Good for long exposure.
- Limited to basic exposure
It is a reflector telescope with decent optics and a good aperture. It makes astrological studies easier providing good views of the Moon, planets, and Milky Way. The better focal ratio gives you brighter images.
- Using the 6″ aperture optics you can have a sharp view of the Moon and other planets of the Solar System,
- The telescope is highly compact with 23.5lbs weight and rich portability.
- With the 750mm focal length, you can have a clear and bright view while enjoying skywatching.
- Additional features include 25mm and 10mm Sirius Plossl 1.25″ telescope eyepiece. Along with this, the telescope contains EZ Finder II, Eyepiece rack, Starry Night Software, and IntelliScope Computerized Object Locator.
- More eyepiece required
- Require batteries for red dot aiming.
It is one of the best telescopes for astronomical studies. The long focal length will give a better viewing experience of the Moon, Sky, and Galaxy. It has several inbuilt features that make it a special choice for both terrestrial and celestial studies.
- This compact telescope is designed for beginners and intermediate astronomy learners.
- The aperture of the telescope is 4.5″ and the focal ratio is fast f/4 which provides brighter and detailed views of the solar system, the Moon, and planets, including celestial objects like nebulas and star clusters.
- It has pre-assembled Ships to go from the box to your backyard in minutes.
- The stable base provides smooth altazimuth motion for easy manual tracking of celestial objects.
- More eyepiece required
- Require batteries for red dot aiming.
It is a powerful pocket telescope that can be easily handled by both kids and adults. It comes with a spotting scope tripod. This type of scope is more useful for hunting. It has a handheld Monocular Telescope Phone Mount. This telescope is more compatible and can be easily assembled.
- This telescope is ideal for adults and kids and it works by combining features like a tripod, adapter, and lens.
- The field of view is 305 ft/1000 yards and the magnificently the telescope is 12X. Using these features you can see everything from buildings to wildlife and even the Moon with great accuracy
- The telescope and the lens are more compact, ultra-portable, handheld, lightweight, so it is easy to carry to places.
- It is a high-definition monocular telescope for photos giving you crystal-clear details from a distance that are difficult to capture.
- To get a clear and distinct image buy detail containing scratch-resistant lens coating and 24hr UV protection.
- Can take stills of the distant object.
- Portable and lightweight telescope.
- It is more suitable for wildlife photography.
We have analyzed many telescopes and found them coming with many different and unique features. At the end of the study, we have top listed two telescopes. Different models and brands of the telescope were studied and among the 13 beat telescopes, the prominent top of the listed telescopes are the Celestron 31150 114LCM Computerized Telescope and Celestron 21049 PowerSeeker 127EQ Telescope. Both the telescopes are greatly featured with unique options useful for analyzing the sky and galaxy more deeply. Their additional feature makes it suitable for both adult and kids use and also for both beginners and expertise use. Both the products are worth the money.