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Top Mistakes Made When Buying A First Telescope For Home

Apr 9, 2008
You've gone to the store, and seen a telescope. It is the only telescope available, and says you can see the entire universe. It looks so good, that NASA's Hubble Space Telescope doesn't look like it can compare to this 'best telescope in the world'! There are some things to consider before buying your first telescope.

* Buying Telescope Myths
There are some myths about telescopes which can make getting into astronomy, in the right way, hard. Some myths that constantly crop up are:

- Telescopes cost a lot of money
- Telescopes can only be found in observatories
- The telescopes magnification is the most important thing to consider
- How far away you can see with the telescope

These myths are ones which can make you feel disappointed when you get your telescope. It is best to address them, so you can get off on the right foot in your new astronomy hobby.

Telescopes don't cost a lot of money. Good ones can, and it all depends on your budget, needs, and what you can find. This is where getting in to astronomy with the easiest route can be disastrous. The first telescope you see looks like a great telescope, and costs so little (generally under $100 telescopes). It is a bargain and you buy.

Good telescopes can be found from many places today. Telescopes are being made more compact, and new technologies are making astronomy a hobby that you can get into for whatever your budget.

One point to think about is that of magnification. The cheap telescopes found in toy stores all too often will have magnification as the main point. However, magnification is not the best way to consider which telescope is best. In fact a telescope is advertised with the main point being its magnification, and then it is likely not going to show you any kind of details of those pictures on the box!

An example may help to illustrate this point further. If you bring your eyes close to the monitor, you will notice when you get real close, the image gets blurry. How this applies with the telescope is that yes, you may see what is there, but it doesn't mean that you can have a clear image of it! Another way to find this out is with a picture taken on a cell phone or webcam. As you increase the image size, the quality goes down.

As you can see from the 2 examples, the magnification is not the best way to choose a telescope. Another way to measure whether it is good to buy the telescope or not, is to look at how many telescopes for astronomy they sell. If the store only has 1 or 2 different options, then it is not giving you an ideal range of choice.

With the myth of how far telescopes can see, and what you can see, the same examples serve. You can look outside in the night sky, and indeed you see many different objects in space. It is not how far or what you can see, but how big, and the quality of the optics, in most cases. Bigger the lens or mirror, the more light it can gather, and the bigger and better the image.
About the Author
Here is some telescope resources that can help you find and buy a telescope:
First Telescope
Buy Telescope
Meade Telescope Sales
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