Distinguish, differentiate, compare and explain what is the Difference between Telescope and Microscope. Comparison and Differences.

Microscopes and telescopes are optical instruments that are designed to permit observation of objects and details of objects that are impossible to observe with the unaided eye. The term magnification as applied to telescopes refers to the degree of apparent increase of linear angular dimensions when an object is observed through the instrument. Magnification is defined in a similar manner for microscopes, but an observation distance needs to be supplied. The standard for this distance has been set for decades at 250 millimeters. Both types of instruments require an objective to form an image that s magnified by an eyepiece (ocular.)


First, let us consider microscopes. Human eyes are sensitive to radiation having wavelengths between about 390 and 780 nm. Optical microscopes are designed to utilize these wavelengths to produce magnified images of objects. The wave nature of light restricts the resolution of microscopes. Microscope objectives take in a cone of light. The angle of the most divergent rays that can pass into an objective is called its angular aperture.


Telescopes have many features and formulae in common with microscopes, but the similarities are often masked by differences in notation. The wave nature of light limits magnification of telescopes just as it does with microscopes. With telescopes a larger objective serves two functions:

  • It increases resolution.
  • It increases the amount of light gathered by the objective.

Except for planetary observation, the latter function is usually far more important.

Differences between Telescope and Microscope

1. In Telescope, the position of Object is at infinity. In Microscope, the position of an object is near objective at a distance lying between fo and 2fo.

2. In Telescope, the position of an image is at the focal plane of the objective. In Microscope, the position of an image is at beyond 2fo where fo is the focal length of the objective.

About Author: Jeniffer Fleming