Man looking through a Bushnell spotting scope

Spotting Scopes FAQ

It is the minimum distance an object must be for it to be brought into focus.

A spotting scope is a small telescope that has been modified for use by day. A spotting scope differs from an astronomical telescope in several important ways.

  1. A spotting scope always produces an upright image whereas a telescope used in astronomy may produce a reversed image or even an upside-down image (not a problem for astronomy).
  2. A spotting scope is much smaller in size than an astronomical telescope, mainly for the sake of portability.
  3. A spotting scope is a lower magnification instrument than a telescope since the atmosphere by day does not allow the high magnifications used in astronomy.
  4. A spotting scope is mounted on an ordinary photo tripod, but a telescope for astronomy requires a very specialized mount, often unsuitable for daytime use.
  5. Lastly, many, if not most, spotting scopes are waterproof and fog proof - a rare feature in an astronomical telescope.