Are you new to the world of telescopes and a first-time buyer? It can be tricky making a decision on what to buy for your first telescope.
The team from Stargazers Club WA are here to cut through some jargon and give you helpful tips to make the process easier.
When it comes to buying a telescope for a beginner, it’s a balancing act between different types of telescopes and how much you want to spend.
What Type of Telescope is Best for a Beginner?
For anyone starting out with their first telescope, we recommend a Dobsonian. We think Dobsonians are the easiest type of telescope to set up and use. Plus, you can get a reasonably large mirror for the money you pay. More on that in the next tip below, “What Size Telescope is Best?”
The mount that the Dobsonian telescope tube sits on is quite straight forward to use too. The telescope tube moves up and down like a seesaw whilst the base swivels around in a circular motion. You set the stand down on the ground, attach the tube to the stand and away you go.
Although, having said this, if you have health issues with your back, a Dobsonian might not be for you. That’s why the tip below about speaking with experts is important! Always speak to an expert before purchase.
What Size Telescope is Best?
Telescopes are one product where size does matter! It’s not how long the telescope is, but how big the diameter of the telescope’s mirror is that’s important. The larger the diameter of the primary mirror, the larger the telescope’s aperture or opening will be and the more light collecting power you will have. This means the image you see will be brighter and sharper when you increase magnification using different eyepieces.
Dobsonian telescopes are good value for money when it comes to the size of the mirror. You can buy a large mirror for a reasonable price.
What Do You Want from a Telescope?
This is an important question to ask yourself before purchase. Different types of telescopes are good for different things.
A telescope to attach a camera to for deep sky astrophotography has a very different set up to a Dobsonian that will give you lovely views of planets, the Moon, star clusters and nebulae.
So, the next tip about speaking to experts is really important.
Speak to the Experts
If you are not sure what style of telescope is best for you, talking to experts is your best bet.
Come along to one of Stargazers Club’s BYO Telescope Classes. You don’t need a telescope to attend and you’ll learn all about what type of telescopes there are and what might suit you. Our friendly team offer great guidance and you’ll get to see different telescopes that other attendees have bought.
Or pop in to see the helpful staff at BinoCentral in Joondalup will be able to explain all types of telescopes to you depending on what you want to do. We’re lucky in Perth to have a specialist telescope shop and the team at BinoCentral have a lot of experience and are long-time telescope users.
Tell them the Stargazers Club team sent you and they’ll look after you for sure.
Consider Binoculars Instead!
A pair of binoculars is a great way to start an astronomy hobby. It’s amazing how much you can see and the Moon is particularly good. They are very easy to use, lightweight, less expensive and have a wider field of view then telescopes, making it easier to find objects in the night sky. Of course, binoculars don’t magnify objects as much, so the images you see will be smaller.
Remember, there is nothing better on a warm summer night, then to be outside under a star-spangled sky. Country WA is one of the best places on the globe to see this spectacle. With Christmas fast approaching, perhaps a telescope should be on the shopping list.
Donna, at Beam Me Up Media, is aiming to produce a television series featuring the amazing places and characters making WA the go-to destination for space science and stargazing.
after you've bought a telescope, how do you use it?
We specialise in making telescopes easy and fun! You’ll soon be on your way to telescope nirvana.
We look forward to welcoming you to our friendly community of Stargazers & Astronomy Lovers where we thrive on making learning about the galaxy easy & fun!