Celeston telescope

Advice for buying a telescope

Many starting in astronomy are keen to acquire their first telescope to see what is in the night sky. This is a very basic guide.

This society runs workshops from time to time on this subject for members.

Basic astronomy

The best advice is to gain a little knowledge before deciding to buy a telescope.

  • If you have a Public Library nearby, check out their stock of books
  • Or search on-line. There are numerous web sites with good basic tutorials on astronomy
  • Or buy a basic book. We can supply a few
  • Get a chair or lounger, and view the sky with the naked eye. Pick out a few star patterns
  • Don't dash out to buy a telescope, use a pair of binoculars if you have them
  • Find other astronomy enthusiasts nearby, or consider joining a Society
  • Gain some knowledge before spending any money
  • Seek advice from knowledgeable members on what to buy

Buying a telescope

It's easy to be overwhelmed by the options and figure given when buying a first telescope

  • Be practical. How much space do you have to store a telescope?
  • Most important consideration is aperture - larger apertures collect more light and make objects brighter
  • There are three basic telescope types, reflector, refactor, and compound
  • Reflectors are generally cheaper, then refractors, with compound more expensive.
  • A common refractor is call a Newtonian, designed by Isaac Newton in 1680s
  • The simplest type of telescope is a Dobsonian. Good value for money.