The night sky is a fascinating and vast thing to behold. There are moons, constellations, stars—even manmade wonders such as the Hubble space telescope—to examine and explore. But in order to do all of this, you’ll need a trusty telescope.
Telescopes can be expensive to buy, so it’s a purchase you shouldn’t take lightly. But how can you be sure you’re picking the best telescope for you? Read on, amateur astronomer, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.
Different Types of Telescopes
There are three main types of telescopes. These are refractors, reflectors, and compounds. Each works by a different mechanism but achieves the same effect in the end: making faraway objects more easily visible.
As well as this, there are many different telescope manufacturers. Orion, Tele Vue, Celestron, Sky-Watcher, and Vixen are some of the biggest names. While you don’t have to go with one of the bigger brands, it may give you some peace of mind regarding quality levels to do so.
No matter what brand or type you decide to go for, when you’re looking at telescopes for sale, it’s useful to have the vocabulary to be able to enquire about the bells and whistles. This is why it’s a good idea to get familiar with the different parts and features of a telescope.
The mount of the telescope is an underappreciated yet crucial component of any telescope. It’s the piece that holds your telescope in place and allows you to move it in a smooth fashion. It needs to be strong and sturdy to be able to hold your telescope safely.
The eyepieces and focal length of a telescope are also important features. These determine how much you’ll be able to magnify objects with your scope. If you want to find the magnification that a given combination of telescope and eyepiece yields, you can divide the focal length of the scope by that of the eyepiece.
Last, but not least, we have the most important telescope feature: the aperture. If you’re a keen photographer, you’ve probably heard this phrase before, but what does it mean in this context? Aperture determines how bright and how sharp an image appears in your scope.
Other Things to Consider
How much do you want to spend on your telescope? If you’re purchasing a telescope for kids, then you might want to spend a little less. A top tip: reflectors are generally the least expensive type of telescope.
You should also do some research before purchasing, to ensure that this is something you really are interested in before making a big purchase. Do you know how long it takes to get dark after sunset? How many constellations can you name??
Pick the Very Best Telescope for You
We hope this guide has been helpful in teaching you the basics of telescopes. Be sure to do plenty of your own further research before making any decisions so you can choose the best telescope for you. If you’re looking for more advice and tips, our website has plenty of those!