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Professional Telescopes

Professional telescopes come with an array of advanced features for professionals in the field of astronomy, as well as for dedicated amateur astronomers who require optimal equipment for observation and astrophotography. Professional-grade telescopes combine advanced optics and ease of use for precision performance without the drawbacks of telescopes designed for casual night sky viewing.

Professional telescopes are designed for advanced users seeking fast, lightweight systems with large apertures capable of collecting as much light as possible. You can purchase quality instruments in any of the standard telescope types, each offering performance and features that far exceed those available on standard scopes intended for general night sky viewing. On the professional level, you’ll find instruments dedicated to deep sky work, astrophotography, or other specific tasks, with fully computerized tracking systems for optimal clarity and resolution.

For professionals, advanced students, and serious amateurs, standard telescopes designed for night sky viewing have drawbacks that interfere with obtaining highly detailed images, particularly for deep sky objects. Consumer-grade telescopes can have imaging defects such as color fringing — a kind of chromatic aberration that happens when the lens is unable to bring all wavelengths of color to the same focal plane. Other chromatic and optical aberrations can also occur, such as astigmatism and coma, which result in the appearance of “tails” near points of light, such as distant stars.

The best professional telescopes feature advanced refracting and reflecting systems that eliminate these issues while offering a large field of view. Very advanced instruments designed for use in observatories or other professional settings feature fused silica optics and direct drive motors on each axis for fast and precise positioning and movement of the telescope. Many professional systems feature precision optics exclusively for astrophotography, while others can be used for both photographing and viewing night sky objects.


Still have questions? We have answers.

Why are refracting telescopes not ideal for professional astronomy?

Although professional-grade refracting telescopes are available, most astronomers prefer reflecting telescopes. That’s because reflecting telescopes use mirrors, which provide more sensitivity to all wavelengths of light and don’t cause chromatic aberrations like color fringing. Reflecting telescopes can be built at larger sizes for professional deep sky observation and astrophotography.

What telescopes do professionals use?

Professional astronomers use a variety of telescopes for purposes such as astrophotography or deep sky observation. Professional telescopes include both refracting and reflecting models with precision tracking and other features designed to eliminate optical errors and capture the highest quality images.

How much is a professional telescope?

Whether you’re a student, a dedicated amateur, or a working astronomer, there’s a professional telescope to suit your needs. A professional telescope for sale today can cost under $1000, more than six figures for observatory-quality instruments, or anything in between, depending on the quality of materials and the features included.