What is a Refracting Telescope?


Aachen Refracting Telescope

Who Invented the First Refracting Telescope?

The refracting is the first telescope invented, created in Holland around 1600 for military usage. It’s known to be used by many scientific pioneers like Galileo Galilei and Johannes von Kepler,

What is a Refracting Telescope and How is it Built?

It’s the most simple instrument available. Easy to understand, set up and use.

It is usually composed by three parts :

  • a lens;
  • an eyepiece;
  • a tube.

Light comes to the tube passing from the lens, which converges the image toward the eyepiece .

The pattern of a Refractor Telescope

The pattern of a Refractor Telescope

First models where afflicted by chromatic aberration or achromatism, which makes the image look colored along its boundaries, between dark and bright areas.

For many years telescopes where afflicted by this issue that limited its reliability of observation and the potential to discover new objects. This problem got finally solved around eighteenth century with the addition of an achromatic refracting, which consists in a second lens placed next to the main one. Fixing this problem needed a longer focal length, increasing size and weight, portability problems.

But if size doesn’t make any problem for you, the feeling you will get and especially the quality, brilliance and definition of images will keep you happy and satisfied for long long time.

Take a look at our selection of amazing refracting telescopes:

Orion 9024 AstroView 90mm Equatorial Refractor

  • A powerful, high-quality refractor telescope at a jaw-dropping low price
  • 90mm (3.5″) aperture and 910mm focal length for crisp views of deep-sky objects, the Moon, and planets
  • Included EQ-2 adjustable tripod and equatorial mount for manual slow-motion celestial tracking
  • Includes two Sirius Plossl 1.25″ eyepieces (25mm and 10mm), 6×30 finder scope, smooth-adjusting 1.25″ rack & pinion focuser, 90-degree mirror diagonal for comfortable nighttime performance, Starry Night astronomy software, and more
  • Can also be used for pleasing daytime terrestrial viewing with a correct-image diagonal (correct-image diagonal sold separately)


Orion 9005 AstroView 120ST Equatorial Refractor

  • Wonderful wide-field refractor telescope for viewing deep-sky objects with crisp resolution
  • 120mm (4.7″) aperture and 600mm focal length refractor provides sharp views of nebular clouds, star clusters, and galaxies
  • Also capable of achieving pleasing views of the Moon and bright planets
  • Includes sturdy adjustable-height tripod, equatorial mount for manual slow-motion celestial tracking and an internal polar alignment scope for precision performance
  • Includes two Sirius Plossl 1.25″ eyepieces (25mm and 10mm), 6×30 finder scope, smooth 2″ rack & pinion focuser, 90-degree mirror star diagonal, and Starry Night astronomy software.


Orion 10029 StarBlast 90mm Altazimuth Travel Refractor

  • A great grab-and-go refractor telescope for beginners and experienced hobbyists alike
  • 90mm (3.5 inch) aperture and 600mm focal length provides nice views of a wide variety of objects in the night sky
  • Easy-to-operate altazimuth mount equipped with slow-motion controls for convenient tracking of objects as they appear to move across the sky
  • A perfect travel telescope for family road-trips and campouts
  • Includes 25mm and 10mm 1.25 inch eyepieces, EZ Finder II aiming sight, comfortable 90 star diagonal, and more!


Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor

  • Quick and easy no-tool setup
  • Permanently mounted StarPointer
  • Erect image optics – Ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use
  • Quick release dovetail attachment – no tool setup
  • Pan handle Alt-Az control with clutch – for smooth and accurate pointing. Optical Lens Diameter 2.6″ (70mm)

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