Captain Robert April said:
...all you'd really need is a sensor feed, an actual optical telescope would be a waste of valuable space.
You're PROBABLY right, but I'm not sure- might'nt there be SOMETHING an optical telescope can do that sensors and scanners can't? Can we really know, considering this is make believe 23rd century technology?
Besides, the telescope-like device looking down through the window might be a dedicated scanner that the lab in question could direct at whatever they wanted to- though, looking downward out one of those windows, it would have a very limited range of movement.