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Astronomical Instruments

An instrument cluster on a telescope
Credit: ING/WHT

Instruments on telescopes are used to make measurements of objects in space.

When astronomers first used telescopes, they looked through them and drew or described what they saw. However, with the invention of the camera, it became possible to take pictures through a telescope.

This means that not only can astronomers have a record of what they saw, but by using longer and longer exposure times (i.e. collecting more light), they can make measurements of fainter and fainter objects.

Nowadays, telescopes can have a whole host of different instruments, each for making different sorts of measurements.

These instruments include:


Please note that over the weekend of the 26-29th May 2017 we will be switching over to our brand new website - during this time there may be periods where the site is difficult to access, and users will be unable to request observations from the telescope. Please bear with us during this time. All should be back up and running by the 30th May 2017.