Maksutov telescope

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Related to Maksutov telescope: Cassegrain telescope

Maksutov telescope:

see telescopetelescope,
traditionally, a system of lenses, mirrors, or both, used to gather light from a distant object and form an image of it. Traditional optical telescopes, which are the subject of this article, also are used to magnify objects on earth and in astronomy; other types of
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Maksutov telescopeclick for a larger image
Maksutov telescope: ray path in Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope

Maksutov telescope

(mak-soo -toff) (meniscus telescope) A catadioptric telescope named after its Soviet inventor, Dmitri Dmitriyevich Maksutov, who published its design in 1941. A Dutch telescope maker, Albert A. Bouwers of Amsterdam, arrived independently at the same design in the same year. It differs from the Schmidt telescope in that the correcting plate is a deeply curved meniscus lens. Since the primary mirror is also spherical, all three optical surfaces are simple to make. Its commonest form (see illustration) is a Cassegrain adaptation in which the image is reflected by an aluminized spot on the meniscus lens back through a hole in the primary mirror. It performs well as a prime-focus camera. It can also be made in Newtonian and Gregorian configurations. Although the Maksutov telescope has exceptional performance and compactness, its thick correcting plate limits it to relatively small sizes both because of its weight and because of the very thick glass blanks needed to make larger diameters.

Maksutov Telescope


the general name given to mirrorlens telescopes constructed according to schemes of meniscus systems. Invented by D. D. Maksutov in 1941, the Maksutov telescope usually corrects spherical aberration, chromatic aberration, and coma and, when using a modification of the Piazzi Smyth lens proposed by Maksutov, distortion and curvature of the image field as well. It ensures high-quality images with a field of view up to 5° for an aperture ratio of 1:3. Maksutov telescopes are considerably simpler to construct than the Schmidt mirror-lens telescopes and have a tube approximately half the length. The world’s largest Maksutov telescopes, with menisci measuring up to 700 mm in diameter and mirrors measuring about 1,000 mm in diameter, have been constructed in the USSR and mounted in the Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory (USSR), as well as on top of Mount Cerro Robles (by an expedition of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in Chile). In the USA the Questar Maksutov telescope has been constructed for amateur astronomers. Maksutov telescopes have become popular among amateur telescope builders in many countries.