Telescopes are the magical invention of modern science. It has changed the way we think about creation. For many, the telescope is merely a hobby accessory or a matter of passion.
Are you thinking of buying a telescope for your curious mind? Or do you want to make your loved one’s holiday special by buying him a telescope as a gift? When we buy a telescope for ourselves or a beloved one, we suffer indecision as to which telescope will be the best.
In this case, my opinion is, “No telescope is perfect”. That’s why we should choose a telescope based on our passion like observing interest, our lifestyle and according to our fixed budget.
Most good scopes start at $400 or more, Although some excellent Telescopes are available under $250.
What to Look for When Buying a Telescope?
Most of us have no idea about telescopes. When you buy a telescope, there are some things to keep in mind about the telescope’s quality. Such as-
- The eyepiece shows a clear image from one edge of the object to the other edge.
- Smooth focus on ‘perfect’ feeling.
- The mount can be easily moved on both axes.
- Mount is strong and stable.
- The tube doesn’t tremble much after touching.
- Eyepiece is at a comfortable position (height) for viewing when you sit down to use it.
- The finder scope is easy to adjust and keep an eye on.
When we decide to take a telescope, some things match the aspirations of all of us. Among them, high-quality optics and a strong, stable & smoothly working mount. In most cases, big scopes have more advantage than small ones. We will discuss this in detail below. But there is nothing to worry about statistics. It would be best for you to purchase according to what you want to use.
Variation of Telescope
There are three types of telescope. These are Refractor, Reflector, Compound.
The refractor telescope is also called the Refracting telescope. It is one kind of variation of an optical telescope. Refractors are the earliest optical telescope. You can see the lens in front of the tube. We are more familiar with this type. Although these cost less, they become more expensive as the aperture increases. Usually, it is of two kinds. These are apochromates and achromats. Though apochromates are more expensive, these provide better optical quality.
It was made for spy glasses and astronomical telescopes. However, they are also sometimes used for long-focus camera lenses. In the second half of the 19th century, large refractor telescopes were very popular for research purposes. But at a time reflecting telescopes took place because reflecting telescopes allow larger apertures.
single or a combination of curved mirrors is used for reflector telescopes design. These mirrors reflect the light and form an image. Buying a reflector telescope is a more stunning and affordable decision than a refractor telescope. Because it is very easily available at a price.
It is the combination of lenses and mirrors to collect light, making the form of an image. Their tubes are lighter and compact; that’s why these telescopes are more portable than others. It has two popular designs, Schmidt-Cassegrains and Maksutov-Cassegrains.
Finally, I would advise you that when you make purchasing decisions, focus on optical quality and choose strong and stable mounts. This combination gives you exact feelings. If possible, go to a nearby astronomy club and try out the telescopes before buying a telescope.
Aperture: A Telescope’s Most Significant Stuff
The diameter of the light-collecting region of the telescope is called the aperture. For refracting telescopes, the objective lens’s diameter is an objective lens, and the primary mirror is for reflective telescopes. When we try to look at a timid object, we will often increase the aperture because it is the easiest way. Larger aperture collects more light for the telescope. It means we can easily observe faint objects which have no solid frame or body like galaxies.
Let’s give an example of what apertures do. Suppose you have 80 nm (3.1 inches) scope. By this, you can see dozens of galaxies far our milky way. But you have to sit in a dark place.
If you have a six or 8-inch telescope, you can see the same galaxy from a typical suburban backyard. It doesn’t matter how bright or dark your skies are. The main thing is, the view through the large aperture is more magnificent than the smaller one.
Focal Length: An important issue related to the telescope
The focal length is one kind of distance between mirror or primary lens and the point where we fixed the object’s focus. Magnifying the object focal length is the main factor. To improve the magnification, divide the telescope’s focal length by the focal length of the eyepiece. Suppose you have a 25 mm eyepiece and a refractor of 100 mm. In this case, the magnification power of that telescope is 40.
Finder: An Observing Stuff of the Telescope
It is better to have a finder in a telescope. Because it is beneficial to find the sky’s object, it isn’t easy to recognize the atmosphere you will observe when the telescope will be at high magnification. Usually, there are two types of the finder. E.g. Enlarging finder and Red-dot finder. At present red-dot is more commonly used in telescopes.
The mount: The Most Important Limbs Where We should look before Buying Telescope
The mount is an essential organ of the telescope. It helps to support the scope. Sometimes we see scope is attached by tripod or mount. Tripods are good enough to capture day-to-day life but may not be steady sufficient for astronomy. And here mounts are specially designed for telescopes.
Some types of telescope mounts
- Altazimuth: This is the most linear mount. It has two motions. They are altitude(vertical) and azimuth (horizontal). This mount is also known as alt-az.
- Dobsonian Mount: It is the updated version of the Altazimuth mount. It was designed to support firmly massive sized Newtonian Reflectors while taking a stable image. Most of the case Dobsonian telescopes have huge apertures between 6 and 20+ inches.
- Equatorial: For astronomical observing over an extended time, astrophotography, the equatorial mount is better than non-computerized Altazimuth mounts. Since the earth revolves around its axis, static stars are seen moving across the sky. If you observe it using an Altazimuth mount, they will float quickly without sight on both axes. But equatorial mount has eliminated this problem.
Space Journey with a Telescope
When we think about space, the first thing that comes to mind is the star constellation, the galaxy, the nebulae, meteor shower, craters of the moon and other planets. Almost all science lovers are familiar with these. Most science lovers may have seen pictures of them in a book about space or on the internet.
When we think of buying a telescope, naturally a question comes to our mind: can I see the star constellation, the galaxy, the nebulae, meteor shower, craters of the moon and other planets? If you ask me the same type of question, my answer will be yes. But it would help if you choose the right telescope according to your needs.
Space is a prominent place that we can’t even imagine. Every day thousands of astronomers stare at the sky with telescopes to observe space. A telescope with high-quality optics and a large aperture can uncover the space you couldn’t imagine through your naked eye.
The Celestron 21023 Cometron FirstScope white
It is a popular choice for beginners. You can easily observe the star constellation, the galaxy, the nebulae, meteor shower, and the moon’s craters. It is portable and compact. The updated version of it has portable first scope. The weight of it is only four pounds. It has a 76mm aperture, and the telescope is designed with Dobsonian style. Undoubtedly The Celestron 21023 is the right choice for beginners.
SVBONY 70mm Refractor Astronomical Telescope
This is another telescope. Most of the time, beginners keep it on their list. This telescope provides a decent mount, high-quality scope with a 2.4-inch aperture. You can upgrade this to 300mm focal length. It can be used to look out for the moon, stars, planets. For increasing magnifications, it has several eyepieces. The highest Barlow lens provides 150x magnification. It has three comfortable eyepieces. In a word, this one is perfect for entry-level astronomers.
AW 70mm Astronomical Refractor Telescope Refracting Spotting Scope
When you observe any object in the open sky, it sometimes becomes challenging to find out the object. But the finder of the telescope helps to remove this type of problem. The AW 70 has a 5×24 finder. You can easily find out the object. This telescope is designed with a refractor optics system, enough aperture to give a fantastic view to an amateur astronomer as like his hobby or interest.
Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope
Here you will be introduced with another top choice for entry-level astronomers. This fantastic telescope is designed with 117mm aperture, 3x Barlow lens and has a 1000mm focal length, an aluminium tripod and accessory tray.
The design of this telescope is suitable for all ages. The first astronomical moment can be enjoyable for the whole family.
Celestron NexStar 8 SE Telescope
If you want to spend plenty of money on your hobby or interest, Celestron NexStar 8 SE is for you. It will introduce you to some fantastic features. It is one of the best products for beginner, medium level and upper-level astronomers. The design will introduce you to an 8-inch aperture and StarPoint finder scope attached to the optical tube.
The included database comes with 40,000 objects, and you can define up to 200 objects of your own. The most beneficial aspect of it is the optical system. It will give you a bright image of distant objects. But it has a disadvantage. That is the short battery life. Though the price is high, it is not a good telescope for astrophotography.
Let’s Explore Jupiter and the rings of Saturn
With the development of telescopes, people’s interest has also increased to Jupiter and Saturn. When we decide to buy a telescope, a question arises: Can I observe Jupiter and the rings of Saturn easily?
How much magnification do I need to see the rings of Saturn or observe Jupiter?
You can observe planets like Jupiter and Saturn easily, but you will need about 180 magnifications. But if you want to see the planet with high definition, your telescope will need near about 380 magnifications.
Here another thing is essential. That is your eyepieces. Suppose you have a 17mm and a 13 mm eyepieces, along with a 2x Barlow lens. By this 2x Barlow lens telescope’s focal length will be decreased accordingly by a factor of 2. It means you will get a magnification twice as large for your telescope’s eyepieces. This combination will give you focal lengths of 17, 13, 8.5 and 6.5mm.
If you want to see star clusters, you will need 25mm eyepiece. So a problem has arisen that you need eyepieces, one for stargazing and one for astrophotography. But it is not necessary because now you will get these two quality cameras in one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mirrors or lenses?
Mirrors are better than lenses for a telescope’s optics. Most of the time, high power optics are designed with curved mirrors because they are lighter and quickly give you a smooth and perfect form of an object.
What telescope should you buy?
No telescope is perfect. That’s why we should choose a telescope based on our passion like observing interest, our lifestyle and according to our fixed budget.
Refractor versus Reflector: What’s the difference?
The fundamental difference between Refractor and Reflector is Refractor telescopes are designed with lenses, but Reflector telescopes are curved mirrors. Most of the powerful telescopes are reflector.
I’m brand new to stargazing. How do I get started?
It depends on your expectation. Then you can read the review about some beginner-level telescopes. I think it will be helpful for you.
What are the different types?
Ans. There are three types of telescope. E.g.
Do I need Extra items for my telescope?
The maximum time you will get all stuff in one box. But if you need it, you can buy an extra finder, eyepiece and mount.
Does the telescope mount matter?
Yes. Because if you want to feel the full experience smoothly, you need a good quality mount. There are some types of mount. E.g. Altazimuth, Dobsonian Mount, Equatorial.
What about eyepieces?
Eyepieces are part and parcel of a telescope. So when you decide to buy a telescope, you should pay attention to eyepieces because eyepieces are related to focal length.
How to choose your first telescope?
Before buying you can study about the features of telescopes. Then you can fix for you which telescope is going on your expectation.
What makes an excellent telescope for seeing planets?
High-quality optics, eyepieces, mounts are required. But most needed is a large aperture.