Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Factors to Consider When Buying A Telescope

February 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 147

When you first become interested in buying a telescope, it can be somewhat of a daunting task. What kind of telescope do you really need? There are so many different kinds to choose from and a very large price range too. What do you want your new telescope to do, and do you really need all of the bells and whistles available? You don't want to pay good money for a telescope that won't give you a satisfactory experience, but neither do you want to pay for features that are just not necessary for what you need.

Here are a number of tips to keep in mind when you are thinking of buying a telescope.

Type of Objective - There are basically 2 kinds of telescope objectives available for home use. These are:

1. Refractor telescopes - these telescopes use a series of lenses to focus light onto the eyepiece. These telescopes are very rugged because they are a closed system and there are no mirrors to adjust so there is virtually no maintenance involved. These models produce some of the sharpest images available, but can be much more expensive to get a really good one.

2. Reflector telescopes - these telescopes use a series of mirrors to focus light onto the eyepiece. These telescopes are usually much more economical, but they are an open tube, so dirt and dust can collect on the mirrors. The mirrors will also need to be periodically aligned as well. However, you can get the most for your money with one of these if you don't mind the maintenance.

Aperture Diameter - The telescope's main function is to gather light, therefore the diameter, or at least the proportion of the objective's aperture is very important. The telescope's light-gathering strength is proportional to the objective's surface area, so bigger is not necessarily better unless the proportions are correct. A good rule of thumb for aperture width is about 3 inches (8 cm) for Refractors, and 4 - 8 inches (10 - 20 cm) for Reflectors.

Eyepiece - One of the most important things to check out when buying a telescope is the eyepiece. If you can afford it, get an eyepiece that is adjustable so that you can adjust the magnification - or at least get a telescope that has interchangeable eyepieces. A good steady focuser is also very important as you don't want the telescope to shake while focusing.

Magnification - Most beginners think that the most important feature in a new telescope would be high magnification, but that is not always the case. If the telescope's light gathering ability is insufficient, all the magnification in the world won't help. A magnification of 40X to 60X per inch of aperture is usually sufficient. The ability of the scope to enlarge an image and keep it sharp mainly depends on the lenses used and the focal length of the telescope.

Mounting - Last but not least, consider how your telescope will be mounted. Will it be mounted rigidly or will it be a portable mount? Make sure whatever mount you get has a low center of gravity so it won't tip over, and that it is the right size for the telescope you get. Mounting it at the right height as to avoid back fatigue is also very important.

Buying a telescope can be very exciting and challenging. Really the most important thing to do is to do your due diligence and research before you buy. Looking at the stars and seeing our planets up close and personal is one of the most incredible experiences a person will have, so you want to make sure you do it right. These tips should point you in the right direction when you consider buying a telescope.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Reflector Telescopes




Reflector Telescope


Refractor Telescope

For gaining entrance in coveted fields in a reputed University, the entrance examinations are the gateway. The purpose of these entrance examinations is to test the potential of a candidate and how

By: Sarkariexam l Reference & Education > Science l December 23, 2012 lViews: 518

Competition is increasing at an alarming level in every sphere. The students have to focus completely on their studies to ensure that they get admission in the line of their choice. What more, the

By: Sarkariexam l Reference & Education > Continuing Education l December 14, 2012 lViews: 1443

'How hard is a PhD'? Many PhD holders have been asked this question millions of times, but there is never any definite answer. We look at those who walk around proudly with a 'Doctor' title with

By: onlineedublog l Reference & Education > Continuing Education l November 11, 2012 lViews: 283

In this fast paced world which is sadly recession struck, it is indeed a good idea to work while acquiring further education. A master’s degree is obviously better than a bachelor’s in almost

By: onlineedublog l Reference & Education > Online Education l November 04, 2012 lViews: 262

An Online Degree Program in Finance is gaining popularity as it helps students to develop a lucrative career. It helps in a competitive business world. This has resulted in more number of students

By: Matthew l Reference & Education > Online Education l October 31, 2012 lViews: 287

Supporting justice is one of the reasons many people get into a career in the legal field. All-inclusive Online Associate’s Degree in Legal Studies assists many in the beginning stage of employment

By: Richard l Reference & Education > Online Education l October 26, 2012 lViews: 221

Is creating a liveable habitat on Mars and eventually terraforming (i.e. creating an Earth like atmosphere) it possible? As progress is made in the field of science and aerospace engineering the

By: Irteza Rl Reference & Education > Astronomyl June 26, 2012 lViews: 206

Every man's dream is to go to space and most cannot afford to do so, one easy way is to get immersed in the world of stars and infinite space by being a star-gazer. Hours and hours can be spent just

By: Somasekhar Rao Rl Reference & Education > Astronomyl June 08, 2012 lViews: 206

Every night when the stars are out, one always wonders how they look from close and what stories they have to tell. The beautiful night sky with bright stars and the planets in different shapes and

By: Somasekhar Rao Rl Reference & Education > Astronomyl June 08, 2012 lViews: 172

When making an astronomy observatory, it is essential to consider many factors like the location, size, forecasts, budget and equipment. One very important point to note is that the equipment needs

By: Somasekhar Rao Rl Reference & Education > Astronomyl June 08, 2012 lViews: 164

The number of planets found outside our solar system (exoplanets, or extrasolar planets) grows almost daily and exoplanets can now be counted in the hundreds, and it will not be long before we are

By: Tahir Yaqoobl Reference & Education > Astronomyl June 06, 2012 lViews: 218

2012 sees an unprecedented number of important astronomical events, but what is the greater meaning behind them? A powerful new moon and a Venus transit have much to teach us about other dimensions

By: Claire Montanarol Reference & Education > Astronomyl June 06, 2012 lViews: 197

The main function of a telescope is to gather light, magnify it and focus it so that you can see more than you can with your naked eye. Telescopes have been around for centuries and although great

By: Debbie Thomasl Reference & Education > Astronomyl February 08, 2012 lViews: 157