5 Pro Tips While Choosing A Telescope
Are you someone who loves sky-watching? If you love watching the stars and galaxies in your spare time, telescopes are your next best friend. You’ll agree that they are the best ways to explore the wonders of the night sky, that too right from the comfort of your home.
It is also not unnatural that the thought of possessing a telescope has already crossed your mind. There are lots of telescope options in the market today. However, when it comes to buying a personal telescope, you have to make choices. There are quite a few technicalities to consider before you buy your own telescope. Take a look at the 5 pro tips that you should consider before buying your own telescope.
- Know the terms
You should know about the most common terms used in conjunction with telescope before buying one.
- Aperture – The diameter of the primary lens in a telescope is called its aperture. It is quite commonly expressed in millimeters or inches. It determines how sharp an image it can produce of the night-sky object, as well as its light-gathering capabilities.
- OTA or Optical Tube Assembly – this is where light is gathered in a telescope, and houses eyepiece and other accessories.
- Mount – this supports the OTA. There are broadly 3 types of mounts: Altitude-azimuth or Alt-Az or AZ (can be moved up and down, and left and right), German Equatorial or EQ (can track motion of the stars) and motorized (either AZ or EQ).
- Decide which type of telescope you need
Take your pick among Refractors, Reflectors and Catadiotropics. Refractors are the most basic types of telescope, but tend to get bulky with increase in aperture. Dobsonians are the most common types of reflector telescopes. They have large apertures and long OTAs, making them a preferred choice for many. However the most popular among all three are Catadiotropics because they are portable and less bulky. This is because they combine the principle of both refractors and reflectors to optimize image quality.
- Know that magnification is not dependent on aperture
Always remember that a larger magnification does not imply clearer images. However large aperture certainly means so. A good telescope should ideally provide a magnification of 50 times its aperture.
- Focus on your needs
If you’re merely looking for sky-gazing, either type of telescope should suffice. However, if astrophotography is your passion, then you need to make some additional choices. This includes, selecting an appropriate mount and camera, besides a telescope that has a good focus and image-formation. Want to know the best telescope for deep space astrophotography? Read up expert reviews on the internet on the various options.
- Take tips and practice
You should connect with your local astronomy club, discuss and take suggestions from seniors regarding telescopes. You can use a second-hand telescope at first to get some practice, or practice with telescopes at the local astronomy club, before going out and buying an expensive telescope. Take your time and do your research before investing in a telescope.