When considering investing in a new telescope it is important to take a moment to learn about what is available today. Over the past several years’ technology has been incorporated into the best telescopes making them more powerful and easier to use than ever before.
Whether you are just getting into astronomy or you’ve been star gazing for your whole life, getting a new telescope today can be very exciting and open up whole new worlds…literally!
If you haven’t looked at telescopes in a while there has been one major advancement which has really been a game changer, especially for people new to the hobby. Most telescopes at almost all price ranges will have a motorized base which can automatically adjust the direction it is pointing. This is an ideal way to have the telescope move smoothly and easily so you can have it pointed precisely where you want it.
Many top telescopes today allow you to interface with a computer in order to input different information. This is exciting because you can access databases of different objects in the sky and have the telescope automatically point directly at them. This virtually eliminates the need for you to scan the sky manually to find something interesting. The telescope can identify where it is, and based on that information point directly towards any of the thousands of known objects. Anything from the moon to a distant galaxy can be viewed in just seconds.
While this may seem minor, having a sturdy travel case is an important addition to any telescope purchase. This is because most people enjoy bringing it with them on camping trips or other times when you’re traveling away from the bright lights of a city. Not only does a traveling case make it easier to bring with you, but it will also help keep it safe during transportation.
When discussing telescopes the amount of power it has is actually referring to how much magnification it can provide. When looking at the specifications of any telescope this will be listed like this, “20-300x magnification” where the numbers are how much magnification is available. In general, the bigger the numbers the better because you will be able to see things that are further away and also closer objects such as the moon will appear in more detail.
Price & Type
There are two different ways which telescopes can magnify an image. Using lenses or using mirrors to make objects appear closer than they are. Telescopes using mirrors to bounce the light in and direct it toward a lens are called reflector telescopes. Refractor telescopes, on the other hand, use one larger lens at one end to direct the light into the eyepiece at the other end. Refractor telescopes are more expensive to buy but can provide a slightly better image, especially when you get to the higher end models. Reflector telescopes are great for beginners looking to get a good start in this hobby as you can get a nice telescope with good magnification at a very affordable price.