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German astronomer Bernhard Schmidt invented the Schmidt camera telescope in 1930. He employed the use of catadioptric technology, involving mirrors and lenses to reflect and refract light. A spherical mirror at the rear of the telescope and a glass corrector plate placed at the front of the telescope assisted in the correction of optical distortion. The Schmidt camera telescope became the prototype for today's Schmidt Cassegrain, created in the 1960's by combining the Schmidt corrector plate with the Cassegrain camera originally created by Laurent Cassegrain.
Now, the Schmidt Cassegrain is the most popular type of telescope used today. The more durable closed tube design makes a portable, compact telescope with high level of focus capability for photography, terrestrial, planetary, and deep space viewing.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|