• Question: what is the difference between a refracting and reflecting telescope

    Asked by 546pnug39 to Peter on 18 Nov 2016.
    • Photo: Peter Boorman

      Peter Boorman answered on 18 Nov 2016:

      Great question!

      A refracting telescope uses lenses to focus the light that we see through the telescope, whereas a reflecting telescope uses a series of mirrors to reflect the light we see. Newton developed the reflecting telescope because refracting telescopes can cause objects viewed to be split into multiple colours, kind of how a prism works.