All hobbies require some form of investment, not just in money, but also time. Astronomy is such a hobby which requires both time and money invested into it. Astronomy however, over the long term can be one of the most cost effective hobbies, and here is why.
All you require is the darkness, and a cloudless night, and your astronomy hobby has just begun. You can easily start in astronomy by simply learning where things are in the sky, and a lot of fun can be had by learning where the entire zodiac is in the sky, and learning major objects.
By far that is the easiest way to get into astronomy, but it does not have to stop there. In fact, a telescope can do wonders; however, this process is by far the greatest and most rewarding. The next step could be to buy a star atlas, a book on practical astronomy, and start learning where things are in the sky. This may seem like a way that hinders your hobby, but in reality works wonders.
So many people buy a telescope first, and soon find they don’t know what to look for. You can have the entire world in front of you, but if you don’t know where things are and how to get to them, it is unlikely you will find the best the world has to offer. Space is the same, and getting the best out of astronomy requires knowing how to navigate.
At this stage a good pair of astronomy binoculars can do wonders. With a good pair of astronomy binoculars and a star atlas, you can have some great fun with astronomy. Astronomy binoculars can show you great views of our Moon, and also the planets such as Saturn and Jupiter. The clear and wide field of view from astronomy binoculars can show you a view which pin point telescopes can not show.
As you can see getting into astronomy as a hobby need not be expensive, but I am sure you still want the best views, and these can really only be achieved with a telescope dedicated to astronomy. And here is where it can become an expensive hobby, but it does not need to be.
For example buying a gaming console to play video games on needs a reasonable purchase of $ 100-$ 300. After you purchase the gaming console, next you need to buy games. And over time, as you ‘clock’ those games, you will need to buy new ones. But, a telescope does not operate in such a way. A telescope can provide a lifetimes worth of viewing with minimal purchases after you buy a telescope.
In toy stores you may have seen a telescope or two, and these may seem like a good option. Generally they retail at around or under $ 100 and look like a bargain, however, these telescopes are like the gaming console which is soon to become out of date.
A good telescope costing a few hundred dollars or even a thousand dollars or more will provide countless years of joy in astronomy. You don’t have to start by simply using binoculars and learning to navigate the heavens, you can start with a telescope, and go from there. However, realize that more you know about the heavens, the more the telescope can be used to the max.
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