List of telescope types

The 100-inch (2.54 m) Hooker reflecting telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory near Los Angeles, USA, used by Edwin Hubble to measure galaxy redshifts and discover the general expansion of the universe.

The following are lists of devices categorized as types of telescopes or devices associated with telescopes.

- List of telescope types

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Optical instrument using lenses, curved mirrors, or a combination of both to observe distant objects, or various devices used to observe distant objects by their emission, absorption, or reflection of electromagnetic radiation.

The 100-inch (2.54 m) Hooker reflecting telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory near Los Angeles, USA, used by Edwin Hubble to measure galaxy redshifts and discover the general expansion of the universe.
17th century telescope
The 60-inch Hale (debuted in 1908) considered to be the first modern large research reflecting telescope.
The primary mirror assembly of James Webb Space Telescope under construction. This is a segmented mirror and its coated with Gold to reflect (orange-red) visible light, through near-infrared to the mid-infrared
Modern telescopes typically use CCDs instead of film for recording images. This is the sensor array in the Kepler spacecraft.
A 1.2-meter (47 in) reflecting telescope
The Very Large Array at Socorro, New Mexico, United States.
Einstein Observatory was a space-based focusing optical X-ray telescope from 1978.
The Compton Gamma Ray Observatory is released into orbit by the Space Shutte in 1991, and it would operate until the year 2000
The reflectors of HEGRA detect flashes of light in the atmosphere, thus detecting high energy particles
Equatorial-mounted Keplerian telescope
A diagram of the electromagnetic spectrum with the Earth's atmospheric transmittance (or opacity) and the types of telescopes used to image parts of the spectrum.
Six views of the Crab nebula supernova remnant, viewed at different wavelengths of light by various telescopes
The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope in Guizhou, China, is the world's largest filled-aperture radio telescope

List of telescope types

List of optical telescopes

List of largest optical reflecting telescopes - List of large optical telescopes

For the largest reflecting telescopes on the planet, the horizontal indicates the year built and the vertical direction indicates the size of the mirror measured in meters. Countries which contain several of these telescopes are color-coded for identification.

List of telescope types


Prograde irregular satellite of Saturn.

Composite of three images taken by the Cassini spacecraft in 2013, showing Siarnaq's location at ten-minute intervals
Discovery images of Siarnaq taken by the CFHT in September 2000
Offset plot showing the positions and ephemerides of 13 irregular satellites relative to Saturn in 2001. Siarnaq (S/2000 S 3) is located at the upper left from the center.
Siarnaq observed in the infrared by the WISE spacecraft in 2010
Siarnaq as observed by Cassini from a distance of 22 e6km
Irregular prograde groups of satellites of Saturn: Inuit (blue) and Gallic (red). The eccentricity of the orbits is represented by the yellow segments extending from the pericentre to the apocentre.
Animation of Saturn's Inuit group of satellites from 2018–2027 ····

The campaign was coordinated by Gladman in late 2000 and consisted of an international team of eight astronomers using various ground-based telescopes with CCD cameras to survey Saturn's Hill sphere, the region within which satellites can have stable orbits around the planet.

Star party

Gathering of amateur astronomers for the purpose of observing objects and events in the sky.

A trailer-mounted Newtonian telescope on daytime display at the Stellafane star party in Vermont.

Participants bring telescopes and binoculars of all types and sizes and spend the nights observing astronomical objects such as planets, comets, stars, and deep-sky objects together.

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Research institute of the Smithsonian Institution, concentrating on astrophysical studies including galactic and extragalactic astronomy, cosmology, solar, earth and planetary sciences, theory and instrumentation, using observations at wavelengths from the highest energy gamma rays to the radio, along with gravitational waves.

The Center for Astrophysics
Charles R. Alcock, the current Director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
The first image of the photon ring of a black hole (M87*), captured by the Event Horizon Telescope. SAO plays a central role in the project.

With the creation of NASA the following year and throughout the space race, SAO led major efforts in the development of orbiting observatories and large ground-based telescopes, laboratory and theoretical astrophysics, as well as the application of computers to astrophysical problems.

Spessart-Gymnasium Alzenau

Gymnasium in Alzenau, Bavaria.

Stiftsgymnasium Melk, the oldest continuously operating school in Austria

It was renovated and expanded in the late 1990s and now has a stationary telescope.

Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Astrophysics research institute jointly operated by the Harvard College Observatory and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

CfA Headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts
CfA Headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Harvard College Observatory, circa 1899. Harvard Square and the City of Boston are in the distant background. Most of the telescope domes in the foreground are no longer standing, but the largest dome in the top right of the photo, housing the 1847 "Great Refractor", still remains. The Great Refractor was the largest telescope in the United States until 1867. It was the first telescope to take a photographic image of the Moon.
The Harvard College Observatory "Computers" standing in front of Building C at Harvard College Observatory, May 13, 1913. The Center for Astrophysics exists at this same location today. Back row (L to R): Margaret Harwood (far left), Mollie O'Reilly, Edward C. Pickering, Edith Gill, Annie Jump Cannon, Evelyn Leland (behind Cannon), Florence Cushman, Marion Whyte (behind Cushman), Grace Brooks. Front row: Arville Walker, unknown (possibly Johanna Mackie), Alta Carpenter, Mabel Gill, Ida Woods.
The first image of the photon ring of a black hole (M87*), captured by the Event Horizon Telescope. The CfA plays a central role in the project.

The CfA either leads or participates in the development and operations of more than fifteen ground- and space-based astronomical research observatories across the electromagnetic spectrum, including the forthcoming Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, one of NASA's Great Observatories.


Eighth and farthest-known Solar planet from the Sun.

Photograph taken by NASA's Voyager 2 in 1989
Galileo Galilei
Urbain Le Verrier
A size comparison of Neptune and Earth
Combined colour and near-infrared image of Neptune, showing bands of methane in its atmosphere, and four of its moons, Proteus, Larissa, Galatea, and Despina
Bands of high-altitude clouds cast shadows on Neptune's lower cloud deck.
The Great Dark Spot (top), Scooter (middle white cloud), and the Small Dark Spot (bottom), with contrast exaggerated.
Four images taken a few hours apart with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3
Neptune (red arc) completes one orbit around the Sun (centre) for every 164.79 orbits of Earth. The light blue object represents Uranus.
A diagram showing the major orbital resonances in the Kuiper belt caused by Neptune: the highlighted regions are the 2:3 resonance (plutinos), the nonresonant "classical belt" (cubewanos), and the 1:2 resonance (twotinos).
A simulation showing the outer planets and Kuiper belt: a) before Jupiter and Saturn reached a 2:1 resonance; b) after inward scattering of Kuiper belt objects following the orbital shift of Neptune; c) after ejection of scattered Kuiper belt bodies by Jupiter
Natural-colour view of Neptune with Proteus (top), Larissa (lower right), and Despina (left), from the Hubble Space Telescope
Neptune's moon Proteus
A composite Hubble image showing Hippocamp with other previously discovered inner moons in Neptune's ring system
Neptune's rings
In 2018, the European Southern Observatory developed unique laser-based methods to get clear and high-resolution images of Neptune from the surface of Earth.
A Voyager 2 mosaic of Triton
The appearance of a Northern Great Dark Spot in 2018 is evidence of a huge storm brewing.<ref>{{cite web |title=A storm is coming |url= | |access-date=19 February 2019 |language=en |archive-url= |archive-date=20 February 2019 |url-status=live }}</ref>
The Northern Great Dark Spot and a smaller companion storm imaged by Hubble in 2020<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Dark Storm on Neptune Reverses Direction, Possibly Shedding Fragment|author1=Michael H. Wong|author2=Amy Simon|publisher=Hubblesite|date=15 December 2020|access-date=25 December 2020|archive-date=25 December 2020|archive-url=|url-status=live}}</ref>
The Great Dark Spot, as imaged by Voyager 2
Neptune's shrinking vortex<ref>{{cite web|title=Neptune's shrinking vortex|url=||access-date=19 February 2018|archive-url=|archive-date=19 February 2018|url-status=live}}</ref>

The advent of the Hubble Space Telescope and large ground-based telescopes with adaptive optics has recently allowed for additional detailed observations from afar.