A How To Buy A Telescope Guide

by trg

A lot of people want to get into amateur astronomy. Maybe they’re looking to land a career studying the stars , planets, and all those other celestial bodies and events, or maybe they just like looking at stars because they are, admittedly, really beautiful to look at. Regardless of their reasons, people often make the mistake of purchasing a telescope thinking all they have to do is look through it and they’d be able to gawk at stars and planets and comets. Others run out to the toy store to buy that telescope that looked just like the one they saw at an actual telescope store – only way cheaper – only to be disappointed to see a moon or a star which is not that different as one looked at through plain binoculars.

Telescopes vary in size, shape, classification, and power. However to be able to effectively study the stars – as is what most people actually expect from a telescope – what we would need more than power, is actually light. Always keep in mind that telescopes are mainly used to gather light to allow for objects in outer space to become visible. Visibility is more important than magnification – although of course, eventually as your experience in astronomy develops you would want to move on to more high powered telescopes – but as a budding amateur astronomer looking for a good telescope for beginners, it would be best to focus on being able to actually see objects.

Many beginners make the assumption that what they need is a high-powered telescope to be able to see and observe stars and other heavenly bodies. The truth is, the higher the power of the telescope, the more difficult it is to actually observe stuff as higher the magnification power, so too does mount shakes, atmospheric blurring, and all other manner of visual obstruction and distraction make it more difficult for a beginner to observe objects. These high powered telescopes are best reserved for the well experienced amateur astronomers.

In buying a good telescope for beginners, you should mainly consider the following
·         The larger the aperture, the brighter the object.
·         Do not buy a telescope based solely on its claimed magnification power.
·         Magnification also magnifies mount shakes, so make sure your mount is sturdy and stable.

Always keep in mind that a telescope is a merely a tool for your astronomy endeavors. You should know how to properly use one and what to expect from it so that you won’t be discouraged from enjoying one of the most gratifying hobbies out there.

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