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Some Important Factors You Need To Consider Before Buying Your First Telescope

Jan 29, 2008
There are several factors you will need to think about when you buy that first telescope. The salesperson will no doubt cover for you all the advantages of having the biggest aperture and all the accessories you will ever need. However, there are a few considerations the salesperson might miss that will be just as important to you.

Portability is important for most people for their telescopes. This is because there are many objects in the sky that can be seen better from different locations. You may need to get out of the city and away from the light pollution that it there to see some things. Some solar or lunar eclipses are best seen from remote locations.

You want to be able to take your telescope with you. Therefore, it should be easy to take apart and put back together again. In fact, you will probably have to be able to put it together in the dark. It should not be difficult to carry, and if it does not fit into your car, you will not be able to transport it.

When the salesperson is rattling off the features of a telescope you might buy, ask about the maintenance it requires. Ask to look at an owner's manual if possible to see what will be required of you.

You need to know if you are up to the task of adjusting mirrors or lenses so that they will be properly aligned. You need to know if it is a telescope that will tend to get very dusty, causing you to clean it and then align it.

When it comes to storage, the salesperson will not be leading you to think about where you will put your telescope when it is not in use. You must be the one to make that judgment.

Considering how large the telescope is, you need to think of a place you can store it where it will be safe from damage. It should also be somewhere away from dust and moisture. If you do not have a space big enough that qualifies, you may need to get a smaller telescope.

The last thing any salesperson wants you to get hung up on is the price. While you do want to get the telescope that is best for you, most people are limited in the amount of money they are able to spend on a telescope. What is more, even if you have unlimited funds, you want to get the best value for your money.

The prices of telescopes can vary widely. For example, a small reflector telescope can be anywhere from $250 to $1000 and a large reflector can be double that. A compound telescope is usually more expensive, from $1000 to $3000. Achromatic refractor telescopes go for prices from $2000 to $10,000.

When you go to make that first purchase, do not let the salesperson steer you into buying a telescope that is impractical for you. Think about the portability of the telescope, how you will maintain and store it, and the cost of the telescope before you pay hundreds or thousands for it.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living with his 18 year old son in Jensen Beach, Florida. Find more about astronomy as well as telescopes at http://www.nsearch.com
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