Buying Your First Astronomy Telescope

When we were children we were often taught that we could wish upon the first star that we saw in the evening sky. After that wish was made and if we believed hard enough our wish would come true. Eventually, our childhood fantasies gave way to fact as we became more educated. This education was accomplished through astronomy classes, space exploration and other educational means.

The word astronomy is comprised of two Greek words. The Greek word astro means star shaped or star and pertains to outer space. The word onomy literally means the study of. Therefore, astronomy is the study of the stars.

One of the major tools that assists amateur and professional astronomers in understanding and respecting the galaxy is the astronomy telescope. When looking to purchase a good astronomy telescope there are a number of factors that you can keep in mind. First, of all consider some practical suggestions, remember it is about the diameter of the lens, and make sure your telescope has a solid stand.

Practical Suggestions

Before you purchase your astronomy telescope it is important to conduct your research. One way of conducting this research can be accomplished by accessing the Internet and learning more about telescopes. Some of the questions that you should endeavor to answer surround what features to look for in a telescope, approximate cost, recommended brands, etc.

Another practical suggestion, before you purchase your astronomy telescope, is to “test drive” a telescope. This can be accomplished by joining an astronomy club. Often these clubs will have a stargazing event which will allow you to peer through the telescopes owned by the various members.

Another way of conducting research, prior to purchasing an astronomy telescope, is to ask the members in the club as to what telescope they would recommend. The key is education. Listen for the features they recommend, brand names, the diameter of the lens, price, etc.

Also, you may come across a member of the club who is considering the purchase of a new telescope. If so, you may be able to purchase their used telescope.

Diameter Of The Lens

When considering the purchase of an astronomy telescope it is important to remember what is the key feature surrounding your purchase. That key feature should focus on the diameter of the lens of the telescope and not its advertised magnification.

This is because the diameter of the lens equates to the amount of light that can be received by the telescope. Therefore, the larger the diameter of the lens the more light that is captured. This in turn allows for the image that you are viewing to become more visible.

Solid Base

Another very important feature when considering the purchase of your astronomy telescope is to ensure that it has a solid base. Generally, these bases or mounts are tripods.

It is important that when the telescope is mounted on these bases that the telescope does not shake or move. Obviously, any movement by the telescope, when peering into space, will distort the image being viewed and provide a negative experience.


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