After attending school, there are some people who grow out of the astronomy section of science and there are those who fall in love with astronomy and pursue it further. If latter is the case for you, then you understand that a telescope is a very important part of pursuing astronomy.
Therefore, you need to understand the basics of using a telescope properly before going out and purchasing the first one that you see. With proper type of equipments, astrology can become a life-long pleasure.
The main issue when it comes to purchasing an item for pursuing astronomy is that many individuals don’t know what they should buy. The equipments that have been developed in today’s era greatly vary in types and designs.
Therefore, there is a vast variety of different types of telescopes that you can choose from and getting the information that you need before you purchase one is crucial.
Types of Telescopes
One of the very first steps that you should take before purchasing a telescope is figuring out what types of telescopes are available and learning about them as much as you can. Research is an important factor when you consider buying a telescope.
When you do your research, you may not understand some of the information that you find. However, it would at least get you familiar with telescope terminologies.
There are 3 different types of telescopes that you can choose from and they are:
- Refracting Telescopes
- Reflecting Telescopes
- Catadioptric or Compound Telescopes
Refracting telescopes use lenses within the telescope and they combine 2 (sometimes 4) pieces of glass. Reflecting telescopes use mirrors to help gather light and focus it. Catadioptric telescopes use a primary mirror that is combined with a corrector lens that is placed at the front of the tube.
Size of Telescopes
The size of telescopes can vary. However, when you use the terms “small”, “medium” and “large”, it does not refer to the physical size of the telescope. It refers to the size of the mirror that is placed within the telescope. Therefore, when you refer to a small telescope, it means that the mirror within the telescope is less than 4 inches in length.
The actual size of the scope does not matter because there are several small telescopes that are being developed and manufactured today that are incredibly powerful and high-powered instruments.
When you consider a medium-sized telescope, they have mirrors that are anywhere between 4 inches and 10 inches in length. Medium-sized telescopes are what beginners usually start with and learn how to use them.
If you consider a large telescope, the mirror within the telescope is over 10 inches long. Nowadays, large telescopes are being used more frequently than they have ever been before. When you are looking for your first telescope, the best choice to make is medium- sized telescope because these telescopes are most helpful when it comes to learning using them.
Keep in mind that mounting of a telescope needs to be properly done before you use it. Most of the telescopes that are purchased “off-the-shelf” are usually very lightweight and unstable. Many of them have wooden tripods and they move a lot when you try to use them.
You need to remember that you can purchase one of the best telescopes with the finest optics in the world and you could still receive a useless picture of the object because the mount is unstable. The image that you are looking at may not be properly placed or seen because of unstable mount.
When you purchase a new telescope, it should contain at least one eyepiece. However, there may also be three or four. Rating an eyepiece goes by millimeters that have smaller numbers which means bigger magnification.
For beginners, a 25mm eyepiece is the most common and best to use. If you purchase one with a higher powered eyepiece, it does not mean that you would have a better viewing.
Each type of telescope has its own position when it comes to viewing. You can get more details from a high-powered eyepiece.
However, it could be a challenge trying to keep the object in view. A lower powered eyepiece has the capability of finding objects with ease and keeping them in view.
The buyer, who is purchasing a telescope, needs to be aware of many factors when they look for a telescope. This includes the price. Just like with any other product, when you purchase a telescope you are “getting what you pay for”.
If you purchase a telescope from a cheap departmental store, then you would most certainly waste your money. This doesn’t mean that you have to buy the most expensive telescope in the market.
There are many individuals who do not need an expensive scope. However, it is recommended to purchase the best scope that you can afford for the type of viewing that you are planning to do.
Therefore, when you begin your search for a telescope, it is prudent that you gather as much information as you can about telescopes and familiarize yourself with them. You can research telescopes in books or find the information online that would help you understand the world of stargazing.
All these valuable pieces of information that are listed above are the best way to find out which type of telescope you need. There is so much information that is available to you that can help you to purchase the perfect telescope that fits within your means and helps you locate the stars that you desire to look at.
The best piece of advice that you can follow when you look for the best telescope, is to do as much research as you can and find the most valuable information that helps you understand and learn how to use them.