What to Look For in Your First Telescope
If you read this blog, then it’s probably safe to assume that you have at least a mild interest in science. You probably enjoy looking at stars and really sweet astronomical pictures, which is what got me interested in science too.
You may even have considered buying your own telescope so you can check out the stars and boost your nerdiness factor up a notch.
Telescopes come in a huge range of sizes, types, and most importantly: PRICES! Picking your first telescope can be a daunting task. So I wanted to point you to an article by Mark Thompson on Discovery News about the basics of buying your first telescope.
The key points are:
- Consider starting out with binoculars, since they are cheaper than telescopes.
- Magnification means nothing! The aperture of the telescope is most important!
- Of the two types of telescopes (Reflectors and Refractors) Reflectors will give you the most bang for your buck.
- Try before buy.
Your local astronomical society will often hold events where you can go and check out some different telescopes. Even some stores which sell telescopes will let you try them out for a while before buying it.
My personal advice: GO TO AN EXPERT!
Please do not buy your telescope from Wal-Mart or Radio Shack or somewhere like that. Talk to someone who knows what they are talking about. Nerds will always look out for other nerds, so they will be happy to give you all the help you need.