Considering buying a telescope? As a beginner to astronomy, you may wonder what you need, to get started in backyard astronomy. There is nothing like looking up at the Moon and other planets to see an amazing vision of the heavens, in all its glory. In this article, you will discover some important information to make purchasing your first telescope fun and good! Let us get started, and find the best!
Reading this article, you can expect to discover and learn the following, within the next 5 minutes:* You will discover the 2 main biggest options for telescopes, and which is best for you.* You will discover the additional items that can make astronomy fun and scientific!* You will find out about a new telescope type that is making life for the beginner astronomer, much more easier!* You will feel confident at being able to start in astronomy, and know the best telescope to buy, with handy tips on setting a budget for telescope buying!
Every hobby has a cost of investment, and funnily enough, astronomy is no different. Astronomy, like any other hobby, requires that you invest time and money into it.
The first step to success, is to know how much you can invest into astronomy. The telescope is one part of the puzzle, and as time goes by, you may want to invest into magazines, more lenses, and even possibly bigger telescopes!
For your first telescope, you will find that there are 2 major versions that you can go with. The first is the refractor versions, and the second is the reflector versions. They operate slightly differently, and have different benefits.
Galileo worked on a telescope, which we know today as the refractor. It works by basically getting light and focusing it, at the back. This is similar to binoculars.
Then we have what Isaac Newton worked on. The guy that had an Apple drop on his head, then realized there was gravity, invested the reflector, which used mirrors to focus light to lenses on the side of the telescope!
The refractors are easier to use, and if the telescope is for a child, then you will best find a refractor.
However, refractors can work out expensive, and there needs to be some better solutions. The reflector then becomes more economical, as the size goes bigger.
With refractors, you will find that the main mirror is measured in sizes of inches. And for beginners, investing $150 or more to get a 4.5″ or bigger is a great idea for a starter version. Though more than a 8″, I would only recommend for people who have used a telescope for a few years.
There is another type of telescope, and that is the computerized versions. These are great, and allow you to simply input the code for the object, and it will zoom there, ready for you to view!
Now that is amazing! However, they are more expensive. So, pay attention on the budget. However, if you can afford, then it is a good idea to invest into one of these. Unless you are willing to buy books and learn how to navigate the heavens.
If you are buying a telescope for a kid or a beginner, you need to consider some different factors from those who already know scopes. It is especially different in buying telescopes for kids, who you just want to teach how to appreciate the beauty of stargazing.
Buying for Kids
The main goal in buying a scope for children is for them to be more engrossed in stargazing. However, you need to be prepared in looking through several factors first and take note of the following tips:
If you are buying for very young kids, find a simple scope. It will be used mainly for their education, but make sure that it will not remain as their toy, which is usually the case when parents just buy plastic telescopes that were poorly made. It would even be better if you go to a specialty store selling scopes designed for kids. You would not find a decent tool in a toy store.
Talk to a sales associate and ask for suggestions about your kids’ scope. A basic model would be a good first telescope for a young kid. This would allow him to learn about the basic functions of the tool. But if your child is more than 10 years old, find a scope with higher magnification. If your child grows older, then you can give him a more advanced model with more focus and magnification features.
Reflector telescopes are the more popular choice of parents for kids. They are simpler as entry level telescopes. They also tend to be more affordable than refractors. However, they are larger and heavier to carry around.
Buy only from reputable companies. Find a brand that has been known to make kids’ telescopes for years. Make sure that they also have good customer service, such as toll-free phone support or live chat.
Find a good mount to secure the scope. The best mount is one that can be secured to the table top. You cannot trust your kids’ small and shaky hands because they would likely produce shaky images.
Look for a portable telescope. It would be easy for kids to carry around.
Buying Telescope for Beginners
For beginners, you need to consider the following factors:
Aperture. This determines how much light the scope will collect to offer clarity at the objects. The magnification feature has to match aperture.
Magnification. If the formula says that the telescope is 100×5, the 100 means that the scope can be magnified 100 times. However, the more magnified an object is, the less light you are going to need.
Focal length. This measures the length the light needs to travel within the scope to reflect and see the image. The higher its measurement, the higher you magnify the scope, the larger the object’s image, and the smaller the field of view.
Resolution. This determines just how detailed the image will be. But the higher the scope’s resolution is, the sharper the image becomes. However, you also need larger aperture for better resolution.
Telescopes come in three varieties:
Each kind of telescope collects and focuses light so that it can be magnified or recorded, but each does so differently. All perform well when properly designed and manufactured, but each has its own special advantage.
Catadioptric telescopes utilize a combination of lenses and mirrors
Refractors incorporate lenses
Newtonian reflectors use mirrors
Choosing a particular telescope depends on your requirements. You should consider what you plan to use the telescope for now and in the future. Many astronomers own two or more telescopes to satisfy their varied interests.
“What is the most powerful telescope I should have?” – That depends on what you want to view and how you measure power.
Power – “Power” generally refers to magnification. When viewing the countryside, the Moon or the planets, magnification is great. Magnification is a function of a telescope’s focal length and the focal length of the eyepiece in use (normally measured in millimeters “mm”). But magnification is not always beneficial in astronomy.
For example, when viewing nebulae and galaxies, a lower-power, wider-field scope, that can reveal dim objects, is more important.
Light Grasp – “Light Grasp” is a measurement of how much light a scope can gather at any given instant. Light grasp is a function of the aperture of the telescope’s main lens. A large aperture telescope can reveal dimmer astronomical objects better than a high magnification telescope can.
Another way to measure the performance of a telescope is to measure how often it is used. Ask yourself which is more valuable, a small portable scope that is enjoyed weekly or a giant telescope that sits in the closet and is used maybe once a year?
The right telescope for you is a balance between magnification and the light gathering power of the optical system. It depends on you; and how you plan to use your telescope.
“Where Can I buy a telescope?” is one of the most commonly asked questions amongst people becoming interested in astronomy. Peruse a few astronomy forums online, and sure enough you’ll find plenty of beginners asking “Hey guys, uh, where can I buy a telescope?”
Astronomy is not the most common hobby, so it’s no surprise that most beginners don’t know where to pick up their gear. Surely some of them will check out their local sporting goods store, and you may be able to find some cheaper models of telescope there.
But the best answer to the question “Where can I buy a telescope?” is online. Telescopes are obviously the most important piece of gear for peering into the heavens, but they are quite unique as far as hobbyist equipment goes. What I mean is, if you were going to buy a car you would obviously test drive it first.
If you were getting into disc golf, you’d probably try out a few different types of frisbees to see which ones feel the most comfortable. But when it comes to telescopes, all of the information you could ever want to help you determine which one is right for you can be found online. Type the words “where can I buy a telescope” into Google and you’ll find plenty of relevant information.
Also, there are a number of astronomy websites and forums easily found on the internet, which offer all of the information you need to make a confident and informed purchase. If you want some helpful feedback, join a few astronomy forums and ask “Where can I buy a telescope online?” There will always be helpful professionals on astronomy forums willing to share with you their favorite online retailers of astronomy gear.
Increasingly, is becoming a wonderful place to pick up telescopes and other astronomy tools. Their ordering and checkout processes are simple and they are ever increasing their inventory to include more and more useful items for beginners. When I first asked my Dad, “Where can I buy a telescope?” he told me to check out . After looking through their inventory I bought an Orion SkyQuest XT8. That was six months ago and I am still incredibly happy with the purchase.
Your ultimate goal should be to make a purchase that you yourself will be happy with. And if taken care of properly, and telescope will last a lifetime. So if you’re looking to get into Astronomy or are interested in buying your first telescope, you’ll find what you’re looking for on the internet. And the next time you hear someone ask “Where can I buy a telescope?” tell them to look online before buying in-store.