Spotting Scope vs Telescope

Spotting Scope vs Telescope | Better Choice for You

Stars, planets, and galaxies have been fantasies for a long, but now you can live your dreams using high magnification devices. This is a world full of mysterious hidden treasures.

Let’s unfold all the far-away celestial bodies and nearby unnoticeable creatures on land with the below-mentioned high-tech devices.

Spotting Scope vs. Telescope Differences

A telescope is derived from two words, i.e., Tally means far, and Scorpion means looking or seeing. The telescope is an instrument that helps to see and study things at a distance in space, high up in the sky both at day and night time.


Based on wavelength of light they detect;

X-ray telescope: They have a wavelength that is shorter than ultraviolet light. It usually detects x rays of the dying stars. These X-rays are blocked by our atmosphere, so they exist outside the earth.

Ultraviolet telescope: Their wavelength is in between the X-ray and optical telescope. Like the X-ray telescope, they also operate outside the earth’s ozone layer. They are usually involved in studying young stars that are revolving around the world and are sometimes bigger the size of the Sun. Young stars typically exist in ultraviolet wavelength.

Optical telescope: they operate in the visible wavelength. These are the ones used in observatories in the Universities and Research centers. They are further divided into reflecting, refracting, and multiple mirror optical telescopes.

Infrared telescopes: They used wavebands bigger than the visible wavelength. They are used to detect celestial bodies.

Submillimeter telescope: they have microwave wavebands used to detect the chemical abundance and cooling mechanism of the dark and molecular clouds. They also guide us on the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies.

Radio waves telescope: the most prominent wave band. They are used for audio signals from a microphone, video signals from a video camera, and digital signals from computers. They are used in broadcasting both fixed and mobile, Radio Communication, radar, satellites, Navigation systems, and wireless computer networks.

Based on their location

Ground telescope: they are installed on the ground and operates with the help of connected computers.

Space telescopes: They are in space collecting weather information, stars, galaxies, and other astronomical features.

Flying telescope: examples of these are the communication and navigation satellites around.

As far as the practical application is concerned, we will study the optical types of the telescope in detail with their mechanism, uses, pros and cons, and examples.


Use a glass lens in the front, and light is refracted as it passes through it.


  • Small-sized found in departmental stores.
  • They are used in rifle scopes.


  • Its optical system is resistant to misalignment.
  • Maintenance-free.
  • Temperature resistance shows images even at extremes of high and low temperatures do not affect the visual sharpness and image.


  • Refractive lenses have chromatic aberrations, which means colors are not well defined at specific parameters.


  • Yerkes observatory having 1.02 meters of aperture.
  • Kyle cud work of 63 feet tube.
  • Lick observatory having 36 inches in diameter.


It uses a mirror to gather and focus the converging light rays.

Mechanism; light from celestial bodies is so far away that the light rays coming from them act as parallel rays .so when they pass through the parabolic mirrors, they converge to a Focal Point.

Applications; are widely used in astronomical studies.


  • No chromatic aberration or color defects.
  • Since the object mirror is at the back, so it supports the manufacture of more giant telescopes with wider aperture and field of vision.
  • They are less expensive as compared to other astronomy instruments.
  • Since it is based on the principles of light reflection, only one side of the objective needs adjustment for better vision.


  • Alignment is difficult to maintain.
  • Proper cleaning and maintenance of the open tube require a lot of care and time.
  • Secondary mirrors produce diffraction effects that are bright objects have spike known as the Christmas star effect.
  • Spherical aberration.


  • Hale telescope at polymer observatory.
  • Keck Telescope at WM keck observatory.


  • Newtonian design
  • Cassegranian


  • Lens, use concave or convex lenses for distance magnification and resolution. In the view field, it collects and controls light movement.
  • The Telescope tube has the primary mirror, and it is usually 8 inches long. It helps in controlling the focal length.
  • Finderscope is the smaller telescope fixed on the main tube. It helps to locate and direct the object for a better image.
  • The eyepiece protects the lens and prevents it from falling back.
  • Tripod is a three-strand device used for holding and easy maneuvering of the telescope.

Main functions:

  • Light gathering
  • Resolution
  • Magnification

Applications of the telescope:

  • It is used for observing moon solar system stars.
  • Astronomical studies
  • Studying night star night sky
  • Analyze the composition of stars, their movement speed, direction, and surrounding atmosphere

Spotting Scopes

Nonstrong Michael uses widespread and used for clear landscape using several devices such as spotting scope monocular, binocular spyglasses, etc.

These are portable telescopes with high-power optics and give an upright image.


  • Outdoor activities such as bird watching, hunting, target shooting.
  • Sighting of the far distant sports such as boat races or mountain climbing.
  • They observe wildlife, their life cycle, and their behavior at different times and in different situations.
  • Study of the bees where another microorganism is living in distant unnoticeable habitats.
  • Often used ski resorts and enjoying Harbour activities from the nearby hotels or resorts.
  • It is also used for surveillance of the deserted buildings or monitoring the farmers’ activities at distance.
  • It can also help in taking a photograph and recording the videos by attaching the required devices.

Magnification; 20X -60X

Choosing a spotted scope:

While choosing a telescope, keep the following things in consideration.

  • Magnification power
  • The eyepiece, can be fixed or adjustable
  • Glass quality
  • Straight vs. angled configuration
  • Supporting accessories, packing covers, tripod, etc.
  • Focusing clarity
  • Check the features and functions before paying


  • Refractory: they use optical glass lenses.
  • Catadioptric: mirrors to reflect light

Table to show essential differences between the telescope and spotting scopes.

Differences Telescope Spotted scope
Mobility May or may not be Portable
Field of view 1000 yards 50 to 150 feet
View In or outside the sky On land
Features More Less
User friendly (No/Yes) No Yes
Night time viewing Highly sophisticated Pleasure only
Fragility More Less
Operational range At distance computer operated

Manually handled

Require tripod May or may not be Yes
Aberration Yes No

Proper handling and care of the telescope devices:

  • Keep them away from extremes of temperature. The technical functions of the device can be affected if proper care is not taken.
  • Please keep them in a controlled environment, I.e., observatory, to keep the machine working at its maximum level.
  • Keep the eyepiece and other protectors on until in operation. Once you are done, you can switch them off.
  • Could you keep it away from dust?
  • Clean the device properly to ensure optimum efficiency.


Which one is best for you?

 If you are interested in studying astronomical celestial bodies, the telescope is the right choice for you. Enjoy your stargazing and have the time of your lifetime.

 If you are interested in site viewing, observations on the land-spotted scope are the right choice for you. You can enjoy yourself for the purpose.

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