6 Important Reasons Telescopes Are So Expensive
People’s attraction to the world beyond the horizon has already lasted for lifetimes now. There are more astounding facts about the universe than we can ever think. For centuries, watching the sky was limited only to the eyes, then the telescopes were discovered and everything changed for the better.
Telescopes are known to be precious possessions that come with delicate parts. Good quality optics mean the views will be clearer and detailed. This is mainly the reason telescopes so expensive. Well, if you doubt making such an investment, we are here with every detail you may need in this respect.
An Introduction To Telescopes
A telescope is an astronomical tool that allows you to view distant objects in the sky as the moon, stars, and galaxies. It is designed with lenses and mirrors that gather light and bring that light in focus, consequently making the image available for observation, photography, or any kind of visual study. There are different types of telescopes that can be used for both photography and astronomy. They are perfect for any situation that requires you to get closer to faraway objects on the horizon.
Moreover, there are several different types of telescopes available. The structure and use for them differ and so does the price. They generally have an objective lens placed at the end of the tube and come with an adjustable eyepiece. Some also come with a mirror recessed inward. It is placed away from the incident light. The mirror gathers light from the target and focuses it on the eyepiece which reflects the target magnified several times, making it visible. Thus observations, photography, and study become easier.
Types Of Telescopes
Obviously, there are different types of telescopes, intended for various purposes. However, there are two major types you should know about.
- The first one is a refractor telescope. You may know a lot about these already if you are one of the fans of the Pirates Of The Caribbean. It is generally identified as a long tube whose length can be adjusted so that it gets to the lens. The lens used in these telescopes requires special crafting which also adds up to their price.
- The second type is a reflector telescope. These telescopes have mirrors in place of objective lenses, unlike refractor telescopes. Reflector telescopes generally become more pricey when the size of the mirrors increases. These mirrors need to be flattened out and polished which is the main addition to the overall cost.
Telescope Features That Determine Its Cost
We often hear people saying, “you get what you pay for” and that completely applies to telescopes. A telescope with better optical quality will certainly cost you more. There are various other features that are indirectly related to the former like mounts, tripod features, and other accessories which also result in the price hike. Mentioned below are some features that determine which is the most expensive telescope to buy.
Aperture is one of the most obvious features of a telescope and directly relates to its cost. The larger the primary mirror or objective lens, the more expensive your telescope will be. This is equally true for refractor telescopes although they are known to be costlier even with a smaller aperture. In such cases, the major reason for the cost is an additional feature that’s responsible for improving its performance.
2. ED Glass
It is an additional glass element for refractor telescopes that mostly drives up their price. ED glasses allow extra-low dispersion and keep chromatic aberration in control. Low-dispersion is an obvious benefit with an achromatic doublet which gets enhanced through ED glass which offers extra CA correction performance. Subsequently, the telescope becomes more expensive than a usual achromat.
3. APO Optics
APO or Apochromatic refractors are known to be extremely expensive. They are fledged with at least three major elements that help in improving the performance considering the inherent design flaws of the refractors. These are often sold with only a tube and no mount. A perfect CA corrector enhances the quality of the optics multiple times.
4. Glass Coatings And Mirror
The quality and type of optical coatings also make up an important contribution to the price. Both types of telescopes necessarily need an optical coating since it is responsible for maintaining the right light transmission, reducing glare, and providing various other optical benefits. However, elements like coating formulas, materials, layers, density, and application procedure varies for different telescope models. Although there are some standard materials and terms, there are no regulations for keeping up with industry standards.
Mostly, these coatings are supposed to be proprietary formulas. Experienced users can tell the difference immediately while others just have to observe how long does their tool holds up.
5. Upgraded Mounts
Manual mounts often get underestimated. People end up associating them with flimsy and cheap plastic mounts that come with budget telescopes. However, just like other products and accessories, you can find different quality levels of these mounts. There are several parts like the brackets, tripod legs, bearings, Teflon, and other cheap materials. Also, mount accuracy, slow motion controls, smoothness, metal parts, plastic parts, etc. Apart from these, any other additional technical feature in the mounts may lead to a hike in the overall cost.
6. Other Technical Features
This factor is also one of the important contributors to the overall cost. Telescopes involve tech in forms like GPS, WiFi, Pushto, GoTo, app control, and various other features that support astrophotography and more. All these features come at a specific price which is generally high. Even though you may get a few of these features in a lower price range the deal will definitely involve a compromise with performance or quality. As said earlier, you will get only what you pay for. When you spend a significant amount, you will see a significant change in performance.
While you can find a wide variety of telescope online India, you should understand that the price tags they carry are there for a reason. The above-mentioned factors will also help you to make a more informed decision during the purchase.