The night-sky is a truly astounding place. However, much of its wonders lie just beyond the reach of the naked eye. A great and affordable solution for observing celestial objects, such the planets, is a decent pair of binoculars. Yet if you are desperate for the authentic astronomical experience, then there are a variety of high-quality beginner’stelescopes available.
Firstly, before indulging yourself with a telescope, it would be helpful if you had some clue in regards to finding your way around the night sky – otherwise you might just be stuck looking at the moon. Therefore, you should probably invest in a star chart, to learn the main constellations (by which the planets are located). Remember, when compared with the naked eye or even binoculars, a telescope has only a very narrow field of vision.
Telescopes are very technical devices, with a great deal of component parts, and therefore it can be difficult to work out exactly what you need for beginner viewing. For example, in order to find your way around the night sky a red dot finder and a motor are desirable, and these needn’t price you out of the market, with great beginner’s telescopes like the “SKYWATCHER EXPLORER-130M TELESCOPE” (a fabulous scope for the beginner and experienced alike) offering these features.
Finally, and most importantly, you should consider the viewing power of any potential telescope. Generally you should go for light gathering capability, which is more important than size for example, and is the great advantage of dobsonian telescopes such as the “HERITAGE-130P FlexTube™ 130mm (5.1″)” which has a 5.1 inch light refractor.
If you are looking for astronomical telescopes for the first time, the chances are that you or the person you are buying it for will be relatively new to stargazing and are likely to be overwhelmed by the amount of equipment on offer.
Luckily for you, we’ve done all the hard work for you so buying astronomical telescopes can be less daunting. Read on to discover about the three main types of astronomical telescopes available today.
The refractor is the first type and takes its name from the long tubular piece of the telescope. They have their pros and cons. A refractor has the benefit of protecting delicate optics and is therefore a good bet for those who don’t want to have to be too careful about their equipment – kids for example. However, they can be bulky, may require a tripod, and are invariably more expensive.
If a refractor doesn’t sound like much for the money, then perhaps a reflector would suit you better. Using mirrors, reflectors provide great visibility but do need regular TLC in terms of being kept clean and adjustment.
Catadioptrics are the third possible option and are seen as an ‘in between’ to refractors and reflectors. They are compact and lighter, making them easier to handle.
Buying astronomical scopes doesn’t end with choosing which type to go for. You will also need to consider size of the aperture (the lens or mirror which defines the clarity of your vision through the telescope), telescope mounts and finders.
If you are just starting out, choose sensibly: go for quality and ask lots of questions. Happy stargazing!
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