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Of Reflecting Telescopes.

TUTOR. This is a telescope of a different kind, and is called a reflecting telescope.

Charles. What advantages does the reflecting telescope possess over that which you described yesterday?

Tutor. The great inconvenience attending refracting telescopes is their length, and on that account they are not very much used when high powers are required. A reflector of six

feet long will magnify as much as a refractor of a hundred feet.

James. Are these, like the refracting telescopes, made in different ways?

Tutor. They were invented by Sir I. Newton, but have been greatly improved since his time. The following figure (Plate vi. Fig. 36.) will lead to a description of one of those most in use. You know that there is a great similarity between convex lenses and concave mirrors.

Charles. They both form an inverted focal image of any remote object, by the convergence of the pencils of

rays. Tutor. In instruments, the exhibitions of which are the effects of reflection, the concave mirror is substituted for the convex lens.


(Fig. 36.) represents the large tube, and t t the small tube of the telescope, at one end of which is D F, a concave mirror, with a hole in the middle at P, the principal focus of which is at i K; opposite to the hole P is a small mirror i, concave towards the great one; it is fixed on a strong wire m and

may, by means of a long screw on the outside of the tube, be made to move backwards or forwards. A B is a remote object; from which rays will flow to the great mirror D F.

James. And I see you have taken only two rays of a pencil from the top, and two from the bottom.

Tutor. And in order to trace the progress of the reflections and refractions, the upper ones are represented by full lines, the lower ones by dotted


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lines. Now the rays at c and E falling upon the mirror at D and F, are reflected, and form an inverted image at m.

Charles. Is there any thing there to receive the image?

Tutor. No: and therefore they go on towards the 'reflector L, the rays from different parts of the object crossing one another a little before they reach ..

James. Does not the hole at P tend to distort the image?

Tutor. Not at all; the only defeet is, that there is less light. From the mirror I the rays are reflected nearly parallel through P, there they have to pass the plano convex lens R, which causes them to converge at ab, and the image is now painted in the small tube near the


Charles. What is the other plano convex lens s for?

Tutor. Having, by means of the lens R, and the two concave mirrors, brought the image of the object so nigh as at a b, we only want to magnify the image.

James. This, I see, is done by the

Jens s.

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Tutor. It is, and will appear as large as c d, that is, the image is seen under the angle cf d.

Charles. How do you estimate the magnifying power of the reflecting telescope:

Tutor. The rule is this: "Multiply the focal distance of the large mirror by the distance of the small mirror from the image m: then multiply the focal distance of the small mirror by the focal distance of the


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