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A Beginners Guide To Astronomy Using A Telescope

If you’ve decided to explore astronomy and have gone out and bought a telescope on a whim, there’s a strong chance that you’ve purchased one which isn’t appropriate for your needs. 

Research is essential when buying an item such as a Celestron Ultima Refractor 100 Spotting Angles Scope, and the more you understand about astronomy in general, the more you will understand what kind of telescope to buy for the best viewing experience according to your budget. One great idea for learning more about the subject in general, is to visit an astronomical society in your locality, and they’ll be sure to give you plenty of guidance related to telescopes, and which one you should invest in; they may even give you the opportunity to test some out so that you can get a feel for which would best suit your needs. 

Let’s look at the basics first: what does a telescope do?

In essence, a telescope captures more light than your eye is capable of doing, and when you consider the size difference between the tube of a telescope and your eye’s pupil, it’s not that hard to get your head around. When a larger amount of light is played with, objects which would normally be hidden from the naked eye, are revealed and magnified with the help of a Celestron Ultima Refractor 80 Spotting Scope, and often in detail that is quite incredible. 

What’s the most important rule when buying a telescope?

Most astronomers will tell you that you should never buy a telescope based purely upon its level of magnification, as there are many other factors to consider that are arguably more important. 

Factors to consider

Lower magnifications are often perfectly fine for viewing some amazing sights that the night sky has to offer, such as those with less than 75x magnification. 

When it comes to diameter, or the size of the telescopes aperture (lens for refactors and mirrors for reflectors), the bigger the lens or the mirror, the greater the amount of light captured, and the bigger the degree of magnification. 

As you might expect, the bigger the aperture, the bigger the investment. 

Should you choose a refractor or a reflector telescope?

Refractors, such as the Celestron Landscout 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope with Smartphone Adaptor, have a number of advantages that are listed below:

  • Strength – they can be transported reasonably roughly without becoming damaged
  • Maintenance – little maintenance is needed apart from an occasional dusting

Their disadvantages can be found here:

  • Poorly made – buying cheap could result in a poorly made telescope with low quality lenses, mountings and eyepieces
  • Chromatic aberration – the lenses may give stars a dim halo around them, which can be corrected by spending more money on a telescope with a secondary lens.
  • Weight – the bigger the telescope, the heavier they tend to be

Reflector telescopes have a number of advantages which can be found below:

  • Price – when compared by size, reflectors tend to be cheaper
  • Lighter – even bigger reflector scopes remain relatively lightweight

Here are their disadvantages:

  • Damage – if transported roughly or dropped, the mirror will easily become misaligned and require expert recalibration
  • Coma – this condition causes the edges of stars to look as if they are triangular

While binoculars can be used by amateur astronomers, you’ll likely find a telescope to be more effective, and many find that starting off with a smaller, more affordable scope is a great idea for beginners, especially if you’re not sure whether it’s a hobby you will continue to pursue.

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