richest-field telescope(RFT) A telescope designed to show the largest possible number of stars at a single view when aimed at a dense field of faint stars, such as the Milky Way. This end is accomplished by combining a reasonably large aperture (100 to 150 mm) with a low power and the widest possible field of view. Although the true RFT is a special design, fitted with an expensive wide-field eyepiece, binoculars and most finder telescopes go a long way toward meeting these specifications. Apart from providing spectacular views of immense numbers of stars (which are not obtained with the high magnifications and narrow fields more usually employed), the RFT is an ideal instrument for scanning the heavens in the search for novae and comets.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006