Beginners Telescope Advice
Ok, so you have taken the plunge and decided to purchase a telescope.
Now what's the next step?
Astronomy is undoubtedly a fantastic hobby to engage in, but there are several key points you should be aware of in order to get started out on the right footing.
The first thing to realize is that you can of course look up in the night sky and view a vast number of celestial objects without binoculars or a telescope, but can you identify and name any of the constellations, or pick out the Moon or the planet Venus or Jupiter?
If not, you may have some difficulty recognizing other heavenly objects.There are however plenty of popular astronomy magazines with great pictures and sky charts to help you on your way.
It's a good idea to join a local astronomy club or a star watching society. These groups will often have telescopes you can use to see if it is really what you are looking for. In many cases they have experienced members who are able to educate you on where you should look to find specific objects.
As any knowledgeable astronomer will tell you, a pair of fine binoculars can become your first introduction to star gazing..
They are reasonably inexpensive, and if you come to the conclusion astronomy just isn't for you, you can find a number of alternative ways to use them. If you've found yourself a great pair initially, you may not have to purchase anymore as they will last for an entire lifetime.
Big is not always Best
You will also soon discover that the largest telescope is not always the most efficient. The majority of amateur astronomers prefer to make use of the six inch Dobsonian reflector type telescope. It is inexpensive, user friendly, and you'll learn a lot from it before you decide to move ahead.
Rather than having to play around with controls, you will commit much of your time attempting to aim and focus. A six or eight inch aperture is quite large enough to observe bright images of heavenly objects.
Deciding on your budget must be the priority, then size and portability will also be deciding factors. If you have the space then size probably won't be an issue, but if you intend to use it when your your out and about then size and weight could be an issue.
A couple of low cost portable entry level telescopes include the the Celestron FirstScope which is a top quality Dobsonian style stand with a 76 mm reflector optical tube, and the Orion StarBlast 4.5 reflector telescope, both are incredibly portable and simple to use.
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