How To Buy A Telescope

Both Fun And Educational

Astronomy is a hobby that is both fun and educational. There’s nothing that compares with getting a close-up view of the universe. However, to be able to that requires having a good telescope. Getting the wrong telescope will only lead to frustration, so with that in mind here are some things you should know about how to buy a telescope.

Take your time as you consider various makes and models of telescopes. Consider the time a small investment in a hobby that can last a lifetime. Your main decision is whether to go with a refracting telescope or a reflecting telescope.

Refractor telescopes are made with two lenses; each at opposite ends of the instrument. The bigger lens at the far end is known as the object glass. It collects and focuses the light from the object, then magnifies it. The smaller lens (closest to you) is the eyepiece. As the name suggests, it is the lens you look through. The way you focus on things in the sky is by moving the eyepiece closer to or further from the object glass.

Here are a few pros of refracting telescopes. They are less likely to go out of alignment after the initial adjustments re done. This is due to the fact that the lenses are sealed within the telescope. For the same reason, the lenses in a refractor model do not to be cleaned as often. And, because the glass stays cleaner, you can get steadier, sharper images.

There are also a few cons when it comes to refracting telescopes. You have to make sure you are getting the highest quality, as a lot of these types of telescopes have flawed lenses which can distort the images. Also, the lenses need to have support round their edges, which can limit refractor size.

Next are reflector telescopes. These differ from refracting telescopes in the way they collect light from the objects in the sky. A concave mirror at the bottom of the telescope (referred to as the primary) collects the light and reflects it to another mirror (the secondary) and then to the eyepiece. There are several types of reflecting telescopes, and they are classified by what happens after light reaches the primary mirror.

The advantages of reflecting telescopes are due to the use of mirrors. They aren’t subject to the same flaws as lenses, which means there is less chance of distortion in the images. The other advantage is that they can be made much larger because the mirrors don’t need the same kind of support as the lenses in a refractor model.

The main disadvantage is that the mirrors need frequent cleaning and realignment.

When it comes to how to buy a telescope, the last thing you should look for is cheapness. Generally speaking, the cheapest models are of a lower quality, and will not perform like high-quality models. You should buy your telescope from a hobby shop that has staff knowledgeable in telescopes, or buy them from online retailers who specialize in optics or at least allow buyers to write reviews.