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optical telescope (plural optical telescopes)

  1. An instrument, used both for recreational and scientific purposes, which provides a magnified view of distant objects by collecting and focusing light by means of mirrors and/or optical lenses.
    • 1958 Dec. 28, "Science: When the World Began," Time (retrieved 26 Aug 2015):
      "How did the universe begin?" . . . . [W]ithin a few years the new giant radio telescopes, which enable man to probe far deeper into interstellar space than the biggest optical telescope, will provide some sort of an answer.
    • 2001 June 12, John Noble Wilford, "Hot Stellar Winds Captured by X-Ray Orbiter," New York Times (retrieved 26 Aug 2015):
      Simply by being the largest optical telescope ever placed above Earth's obscuring atmosphere, the Hubble Space Telescope has yielded spectacular images of cosmic grandeur.
    • 2007 June 21, Roger Highfield, "Lunatic spinning mirror to probe cosmos," Telegraph (UK) (retrieved 26 Aug 2015):
      An optical telescope based on a liquid mirror with an aperture of 20 to 100 metres located on the Moon would be able to observe objects 100 to 1,000 times fainter than the proposed next generation of space telescopes.

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