Choosing the right telescope


There are lots of telescopes available on the market, and for the beginner, selecting one can be a bewildering experience. Before buying a telescope it is important to ask yourself the following questions, or simply contact Northern Optics telescopes of Lincolnshire for advice

Selecting a telescope for both astronomy and land viewing sounds attractive, but these applications can work against each other, and your choice will usually be a compromise. However, once you have decided on the telescope’s main purpose, choosing one can become much easier.If you have decided that your telescope will be used primarily for observing the night sky, the instrument required does not necessarily need to give a right side up image and is not required to focus on nearby objects. With the exception of the moon, planets and close star clusters, interesting night sky objects are faint, in fact most are very faint. As a new observer you may be mainly interested in viewing the moon and planets, and if this is the case, a telescope with a small objective (primary mirror or lens) may be sufficient. However, most observers quickly graduate to galaxies, nebulae, globular clusters, open clusters etc. To view these objects you will require a telescope with the largest aperture that is possible for your circumstances, which will include things like cost, weight, portability, etc.

Newtonians are a popular choice for astronomical use because they have the lowest cost per inch of aperture. Observation of faint deep sky objects, such as nebulae and galaxies, can be achieved at a relatively reasonable cost by reflectors having mirror diameters of 6-8″

Refractors are good for achieving high power and contrast when viewing the planets and the moon. They have a reputation of providing crisp, sharp-quality images. Since they are virtually maintenance free, they are easy to operate, but due to high costs for the large aperture scopes, most beginners will choose a Newtonian reflector as a first scope for all round astronomy. Short tube refractors are now another low cost option for beginners. Their smaller size makes them an excellent choice for a portable telescope and the beautiful wide-field star vistas which they provide, are great for learning your way around the night sky.

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