There are three main types of astronomical telescopes - and these are divided into subgroups. They all have their different advantages and disadvantages and they are used in different areas of astronomy.

Refractors (Dioptrics)

  • Achromatic
  • Non-achromatic
  • Apochromatic

Reflectors (Catoptrics) Combined Lens-Mirror Systems (Catadioptrics)
  • Schmidt-Cassegrain
  • Maksutov-Cassegrain

These types can be mounted on different types of mounts.

Altazimuth (ALT-AZ) Mounts

  • Altazimuth mount
  • Dobsonian mount
Equatorial mounts
  • Equatorial mount
  • German equatorial mount
  • Fork mount