Telescopes

OPT is dedicated to helping you find the best astronomy equipment for your needs, whether you're looking for a beginner telescope to get started or an astrograph to shoot professionally. OPT has the largest telescope selection of anyone worldwide, the most knowledgeable staff, and exceptional customer service. For these reasons, we feel very confident in calling ourselves the Telescope Authority.

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OPT is dedicated to helping you find the best astronomy equipment for your needs, whether you're looking for a beginner telescope to get started or an astrograph to shoot professionally. OPT has the largest telescope selection of anyone worldwide, the most knowledgeable staff, and exceptional customer service. For these reasons, we feel very confident in calling ourselves the Telescope Authority.

There are three questions to ask yourself in order to facilitate the process of narrowing down our huge selection of astronomy equipment so that you may find the perfect model to suit your desires. The first question is the most basic- what do you plan to do with your telescope? We offer products that are optimally suited to a wide variety of tasks, with each different model being optimized for different uses. The next question you have to ask yourself is where do you plan on setting your set-up, and how much can you comfortably lift? Some astronomy equipment can be highly portable, or they can add up to a monumental load of weight. The difference between a permanent and stationary setup and once you move from dark site to dark site is thereby a massive one. The final question is, what is your budget? Some scopes range in pricing from a few hundred dollars all the way into being multi-thousand dollar investments- and for most people, the best choice is somewhere in the middle. For further guidance, there is a much larger and in-depth guide below. For even more information on types of telescopes, take a look at our telescopes types video!

 

 

Reflectors:

 OPT provides an extremely wide selection of reflecting telescopes that come in a number of varieties suited for a diverse range of applications. A reflector refers to any optical design that uses one or more curved mirrors to reflect light and form an image. This results in images that are free of chromatic aberration, which is one of the main issues to plague models that do not utilize reflecting designs. One of the main benefits of the reflector design is that it enables a very wide diameter objective. This means that reflectors are capable of being made much larger than comparable refractors, meaning that it is easier to make a reflector capable of gathering more light.

 

Refractors:

 OPTs wide selection of great Refractors proves why we are the best in the world. Not only because we offer so many, but because we are the specialists for all! The word “refractor” means an optical design whose principal focusing element is a lens. Its curved primary (or largest) lens gathers light, bends it, and sends it back to a focal point where it is further modified by the use of another set of lenses called the eyepiece. The curvature and size of the primary lens dictates the amount of distance needed to achieve the focal point. 

Astrographs: 

Astrographs are the premier imaging optics, and OPT has a huge array of these such as Ritchey-Chretien and Dal-Kirkham styles. Astrographs are designed specifically for astrophotography. These are commonly employed when doing wide area surveys of star fields and are also used to detect comets and asteroids. To make this type of scope effective, the focal plane is normally designed to work with a specific size photograph plate – or modern CCD chip. This helps to deliver the largest, flattest field possible with clarity to the edge of the image.  

Professional:  

OPT has a long history of catering to the needs of professionals in the field of astronomy of all kinds, providing professional-grade scopes to the government, educational institutions, and private astronomers who demand nothing less than the absolute best possible. We are proud to supply a wide range of the very finest astronomy equipment in the industry, both in terms of sheer size of the aperture and in terms of optical quality and craftsmanship. If you're looking for the hardware required to perform research level astronomy, look no further- the pieces in this category are the very finest available. We stock such top-level manufacturers as Planewave, OOUK, and Officina Stellare, supplying the very best possible in research grade astronomy.  

Dobsonians: 

Dobsonians are versatile, inexpensive, and easy to use, and OPT stocks a wide array of them at high quality for this reason. The Dobsonian reflector is based on the idea that large optics can be inexpensive and very easy to use. Looking at the Newtonian design, John Dobson realized that the major concern was the primary mirror. The body of the tube and the base could be made of almost any inexpensive material so long as they were stable and could support the weight of the mirror.  
 

Newtonians: 

Newtonians, like the name implies, were invented by Sir Isaac Newton in 1668. They are free of chromatic aberrations, are often less expensive than other astronomy optics designs that have the same size aperture, provide wide field views due to their short focal length, are very efficient with light gathering because of their fast focal ratios and are very portable. Among under the umbrella of the Newtonians, there are several variant designs. These include Dobsonians, Maksutov Newtonians, Jones-Birds and Imaging Newtonians. Each of these designs has their own unique advantages which can greatly improve you observing experience.
 

Cassegrains: 

The Schmidt-Cassegrain design is a high-quality design, producing top-notch Cassegrain Telescopes that we at OPT are happy to offer. Cassegrains are a type of reflecting design which employs a combination of a primary concave mirror and a secondary convex mirror into its design. In the classic Cassegrain designs, a parabolic primary mirror has a hole placed in its center.  While this may seem like a very strange thing to do, the incoming electromagnetic waves are actually captured by the parabolic mirror’s edges and re-directed to the hyperbolic secondary mirror where they converge.  The light (or wave) is then refocused back towards the hole where it converges to a focal point – the eyepiece.  

Sun & Solar:  

Some of the most convenient and easy to enjoy views of the sun are found by utilizing a specialized Solar scope. These are refractor-based optical systems that use special filters to view specific wavelengths of light, the most common of which is H-alpha. Using H-alpha allows safe observation of the entire solar disc, providing superb views of prominence's, chromosphere's, and surface details such as sunspots, plagues, flares, filaments, and granulation.  H-Alpha filtering also gives the most "natural" view of the sun, in brilliant yellow, orange, and red.  

Telescopes For Beginners:  

Here at OPT one of our primary missions is to make the Astronomy Hobby easy to enter for beginners, which is why we offer so many that are ideal for beginners. These are ideal for learning the ropes of exploring the night sky, and are designed to be fun and easy to use. So, if you're looking to take your first steps into the wonderful universe of astronomy, look no further- you've come to the right place to find your first tool for that journey! There's a lot to learn, but OPT will be by your side at every step of the way. 

Ritchey-Chretiens:  

The Ritchey–Chrétien design is used in some of the most famous systems like Hubble, SLOAN Digital Sky Survey, and LORRI on board the New Horizons spacecraft. RCs aas some all them, only use hyperbolic mirrors to eliminate optical errors like coma and chromatic aberrations off-axis while producing the flattest focal plane possible without lenses. Since they only use two reflective surfaces, Ritchey–Chrétiens are also very efficient with light compared to most other systems that use 4, 6, or event more surfaces that will reduce the amount of light hitting the focal plane. The lack of refractive lens elements allows this design to detect wavelengths broader the visual spectrum making them very useful for measurements in the ultraviolet (UV), near infrared (NIR), and infrared (IR) wavelengths. 

Kids Telescopes: 

We provide astronomy equipment for kids as part of our huge stock, perfect for introducing astronomy to our younger generations. These have been gathered together based on shared simplicity - being some of the easiest to use that can be found. They are perfect for learning the basics of the field and are sure to engage the interest of young and intelligent audiences. Indeed, the simple and easy to use nature of these scopes makes them supremely suited to the purpose of reaching out to spread interest in the field of astronomy, and a great tool for sharing just how beautiful space can be with the next generation! 

Telescope Packages:

We know how long and complex a process it can be to hand pick every single component of your astronomy setup to go perfectly with your scope. That's why we offer a wide variety of telescope kits to do the hard work for you! We have a wide array of prepared kits available for use, centered around various high-quality optics. These kits range from matching together optics, and mount perfectly and leaving the rest to your choice, all the way up to completely assembled and ready to go full systems for both imaging and visual astronomy.