spyglass vs telescope

Spyglass Vs. Telescope – What Is The Difference?

Since you’re into astronomy, you already have seen or used various kinds of optical tools. These tools enable us to view distant objects such as planets. Each tool has its distinct features and limitations; as a result, one is different than others. Let’s talk about two of such instruments – Telescope and Spyglass.

Well, a telescope is the conventional optical tool that produces a scaled image of any faraway object. As a result, we can get a clear view of that distant object. On the other hand, a spyglass is also a telescope, but it’s a hand-held optical tool with a lower magnification range.

If you want to get a view of the gorgeous rings of Saturn, you’ll need a telescope with a higher magnification range, such as 30x – 50x. Whereas, a spyglass has a maximum magnification range of 10x – 25x. Seafarers and pirates would use spyglasses back in the time.

Spyglass Telescope History

Spyglass Telescope History

In the 16th century, a Dutch lens specialist named Jacob Metius invented the spyglass telescope. Another eyeglass maker named Hans Lippershey applied for a patent but failed. There are some exciting stories regarding the invention of the telescope, you can read here.

The first instrument had very little magnification of only 3x. The invention of the spyglass spread all around England very quickly. In 1609, Galileo Galilei (an Italian astronomer) improved the device, extended its magnification from 3x to 8x, and then 23x.

What is a pirate’s spyglass called?

Pirates would use spyglass telescope to find ships to attack. They used to call it a collapsible monocular, hand-held telescope, portable telescope, etc. Pirates were one of the primary users of spyglass telescopes. They could quickly get to know about distant ships and would take necessary steps for attacking by using a spyglass.

Here are some of the best portable telescopes that you can get a very reasonable price.

Collapsible Spyglass Telescope

Spyglasses are very compact, and you can comfortably carry them with you. The foldable design will allow you to travel with it by simply putting it in your pocket. The term ‘collapsible’ describes the functionality of adjusting the length of the eyepiece when needed. You can slide the eyepiece in or out until you get a better focus or view of the object.

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