Can you give me advice on buying a telescope?
If you are planning to buy a telescope then you should ask these 2 questions to yourself:
- What do you really want to do with a telescope?
- How much money do you have to spend?
For those that have at least a mild interest in astronomy, who actually want to look up and "see the stars" and are not looking for a fancy living room decoration, here is some advice for them :
Start with Binoculars - If you do not want to spend much then buying a binoculars is the best option. Binoculars, even inexpensive ones, will amaze you with how much you can see of the night sky.
Never Buy a telescope based on its power - The best telescopes are limited to about 50x-75x per inch (25.4mm) of aperture and that is more than enough. So we should never run after telescope based on its power.
Judge the Aperture of the lens - The diameter of the lens or mirror is generally the most important attribute (but not the only one) to consider in a telescope. Generally one will be happiest if they buy as much aperture as can be had in their price range. Large aperture refractors (lens based) can be very expensive.
Good Mount is must - One can have the best optics in the world, but if the mount is shaky or hard to track the sky with, you will not be happy. A good combination of aperture and solid, easy to use mount is a Dobsonian.