If you are excited by the beautiful scene of stars and the moon at night, then at one point, you have considered acquiring a telescope. However, with the many telescopes in the market, and each manufacturer advertising theirs as the best, it can be hard to select which best suits you. And so, it is essential to do thorough research and learn some of the critical components that make a good telescope, key among them being the aperture of your achromatic lenses and the stability of the stand.
This article discusses critical aspects that every novice stargazer should consider before getting a telescope. Read to get more insights.
5 Tips for Selecting the Right Telescope
Explore and Learn About the Sky
When caught in the moment’s excitement, it is easy to rush into a purchasing spree. Do not do that with a telescope. A telescope is technical, and it is easy to find yourself with something you will not use. And so before purchasing that telescope, know what you will look at. Familiarize yourself with the sky; learn the constellation and star chart and how to spot major planets. And so, even before you get that telescope, buy simple binoculars and use them to explore the sky!
Understand That It Is Not About Magnification Power
Magnification has nothing to do with the telescope’s power, so do not fall for any of it based on the magnification power. Understand that a magnifying lens can only do so much as the aperture limits the sharpness of the image. And so, always settle for a telescope with a power of 25x to 150x; anything more than that is unnecessary. What’s more, you can always change the magnification power of your device by simply changing the lenses.
Consider the aperture of your main lens
So, what is an aperture? Aperture refers to the diameter of the primary lens that collects and focuses the light making blurry views sharper. This is important and will determine whether you see blurry or sharper objects. Technically the larger the aperture, the better your telescope. This is because larger apertures come with more light and produce sharper objects. If you are a novice stargazer, a telescope with a 4-5 inch aperture is a good starting point, and you can upgrade later when you want to spot more objects other than the stars and the planets.
Go for a simple and steady mount
Another essential aspect to consider is the mount; go for a stable mount that allows you to maneuver easily. Ideally, the best mount for beginners is the altitude azimuth. This mount is simple, and like the photographic tripod, it moves up and down and left to right. As a beginner, you want to avoid the equatorial mounts; although advertised as beginner intuitive, they come with many complex control features. Also, avoid cheap wobbly mounts if you want a smooth stargazing experience.
Do not break your neck over an expensive telescope as a novice stargazer. Instead, settle for a modest telescope that you can easily afford. Remember, you are starting out, so a simple telescope that can spot major planets and constellations is good enough. You can consider upgrading later when you are ready to spot complex objects in the space.
How much you get from your telescope depends on your technical knowledge of the sky. And so, even before you purchase the telescope, ensure that you are in a position to use it. Also, remember that a good telescope is not about the magnifying power but the size of the aperture. And because you want a smooth stargazing experience, go for a simple and steady mount. Finally, an expensive telescope is unnecessary; go for that which you can comfortably afford.
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