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List of largest optical refracting telescopes

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Here is a list of the largest optical refracting telescopes sorted by lens diameter and focal length.

The largest practical functioning refracting telescope is the Yerkes Observatory 40 inch (102 cm) refractor, used for astronomical and scientific observation for over a century.

Most are classical Great refractors, which used achromatic doublets on an equatorial mount. However, other large refractors include a 21st-century Solar telescope which is not directly comparable because it uses a single element non-achromatic lens, and the short-lived Great Paris Exhibition Telescope of 1900. It used a 78-inch (200 cm) Focault siderostat for aiming light into the Image-forming optical system part of the telescope, which had a 125 cm diameter lens. Using a siderostat incurs a reflective loss. Larger meniscus lenses have been used in later catadioptric telescopes which mix refractors and reflectors in the image-forming part of the telescope. As with reflecting telescopes, there was an ongoing struggle to balance cost with size, quality, and usefulness.

References

List of largest optical refracting telescopes Wikipedia


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