Are you interested in stargazing, but don’t know anything about telescopes? There’s an overwhelming amount of information out there that can make this a daunting task. Our aim at Stargazing Telescopes is to streamline this process and help you select the telescope that is perfect for you!
There are several things you need to consider when picking out your telescope:
- Main use: fun pastime, serious hobby or professional?
Is stargazing a hobby you’ve decided to pick up during the pandemic, or is this something you’ve always been interested in and have finally decided to take the plunge and buy your first telescope? The type of telescope you buy depends on the level of time and energy you will be investing in it. If you know that your telescope will only get occasional use and you aren’t interested in the nuances of setting it up, then buying a smaller computerised telescope would be ideal for you. On the other hand, if you are keen to develop manual stargazing skills, then the more traditional telescopes are better suited to you.
- What is your budget?
It’s important to be realistic with how much money you are willing to spend. You can find budget-friendly telescopes for casual stargazing, starting at around the $300 mark. If you want to observe objects outside of the solar system, you need a telescope with a larger aperture (at least 6 inches), starting at around $500. Keep in mind that separately bought accessories can play a major role in improving the quality of the images. Therefore, your budget will help you narrow down your choices. If budget is less of an issue and you are more concerned with having a high-quality telescope that lets you attach a range of accessories to deepen your space exploration then check out our premium collection here (insert link).
- What do you want to see?
Knowing what you are interested in seeing has a huge impact on the telescope you buy. The diameter, or aperture, of a telescope, determines how much light the telescope can collect. The larger the aperture, the more light the telescope will collect. More light means you will be able to see more distant objects with greater detail. Additionally, a larger aperture will allow you to obtain larger magnification, providing you with clearer images. If you plan on observing nearer objects like the moon, then an aperture of 60-80mm would be enough. If you plan on viewing planets and brighter nebulae, you would require an aperture of 90-130mm. Telescopes that have an aperture of 150mm and above will provide very detailed images of distant galaxies. Now don’t forget that the larger the telescope, the heavier and more expensive it will be.
- How compact/portable does it to be?
Make sure you think carefully and make a practical decision because the size and weight of the telescope will greatly determine how often you use it. A smaller telescope will be more portable and easier to set up but will have limitations on what you be observing. This is perfect for the amateur astronomer who’s interested in mainstream celestial events. There’s no point in having a big telescope tucked away in your closet if it will be used rarely. However, if stargazing has become a passion, then we suggest scaling up and buying a bigger telescope that allows for attachments that you can add on later. If you are willing to make the effort to set up a bigger telescope, it will be worth the splurge!
Before you buy your telescope, it’s important to have some general knowledge about the various types of telescopes out there to help you decide which is best for you. Take a look at this blog which summarises that information for you: Types of Telescopes and How They Work.