The stars above are a beautiful sight when viewed with the power of a great telescope. It can bring a whole new meaning to the starry skies one sees at night.
Many amateur astronomers will hope to have a valuable telescope in their hands one day. Most will not know where to get one that is going to be robust and effective at the same time?
What should you look for in a good telescope? Here are a few details to help you out when making this choice for the first time.
1) Consider Aperture
Begin with the aperture as that is going to determine how much light can be gathered. The higher your aperture is, the greater amount of light can be collected. This is why the most expensive options are greater in aperture.
A standard option would be 3-inch in aperture.
With the 6-inch option, you would be able to pinpoint craters on the moon with ease. This is of course under the right conditions.
2) Understand The Magnification Abilities Of Telescope
You could have any aperture, but that is not going to impact the magnification that is on offer. However, it does impact how much of that telescope’s magnification you can use.
If you can zoom in 200x, it doesn’t matter if you only have the ability to go 3x.
Think about this as you make a purchase. You don’t want the magnification capabilities of your telescope to be underused because of the aperture in place.
You will have to think about how portable the telescope is. You are not going to want to lug something around that is cumbersome and excessively shaped with its curves. You don’t want to damage it because you are not able to control how the telescope is being moved.
You want to have some semblance of control, and that should come into the decision you make.
Without this, you could end up with a telescope that is mediocre and is not going to suit your requirements.
There are variations in place when it comes to telescopes. Let’s take a look at these types.
“Reflector” is based on the idea of using mirrors. Light is going to come through and “reflect” on the lens. You will be able to see through the eyepiece as the incoming light reflects off the concave surface.
Now, if you are someone who wants crystal clear quality, you will want to look at this type. It is renowned for being aesthetically pleasing when you look through it.
The next type would be “refractor”. This has a magnifying glass at one end and is a conventional telescope with its look. This is the one you would be accustomed to seeing in movies for example.
The beauty of this comes with the increased magnification power you are going to get. It can do more with less.
You also don’t have to play around with the settings as much because of how powerful it is. However, this is the most expensive option of them all.
The last type would be catadioptric, and that is going to involve both mirrors and lenses to do the job. It will look to work both components to give you a good image. You can get long-focus results while keeping the telescope light.
However, you will have to play around with the settings every time, and that might be too much for those who are new. If you are not into tinkering, you should look elsewhere.
5) Mount For Telescope
What are you going to place the telescope on? You could take any telescope, and an unstable mount is going to ruin the experience. It will cause shaking, and that is the end of anything you might have enjoyed.
So, getting a mount is essential to what you are doing.
What should you look for in a good mount? You will have to think about “altitude-azimuth” mounts and equatorial mounts. Each one has its benefits. The altitude-azimuth is based on the idea of a “tripod” look. You can move it in all axes.
The equatorial mount moves in two axes but does well with larger telescopes. For those who are getting a smaller one, the altitude-azimuth makes more sense.
Look at all of these details and then decide what you want to go with. Amateur astronomy does not mean you have to settle for less. You should look to get something that will push your interest to new levels as long as your budget allows for it.
If it fits your needs, it is the right one for you.
The right option would be to go with a reflector or refractor telescope (for those with a higher budget) when wishing to see good results. These are the right options for beginners.