Getting started in Astrophotography is easier than you think but mastering it will take a life time. This is a guide for beginners or people with a small amount of experience. I’ll be focusing on taking pictures with nothing but DSLR cameras and regular lenses. No telescope required!
In early 2004 Kodak announced it had stopped producing Technical Pan 2415 black-and-white film, widely regarded as the best film for astrophotography. Many of us were left with a choice — either stockpile whatever rolls of Tech Pan we could find, or make the transition into the digital age. At the time I wasn’t ready to invest large sums of money on a CCD camera and the required accessories. While I mulled over these choices, Canon announced an astrophotography version of their popular EOS 20D digital SLR camera. After much contemplation, I decided that this EOS 20Da (S&T: November 2005, page 84) was the best choice for me, and I have never looked back. Read More…
The only piece of equipment you will need is a tripod. If you have another type of digital camera with a “manual” setting you can still follow along though some of the options I talk about may not be available to you. Later on I will go into some other pieces of gear you can buy that will further enhance your ability to take pictures. Read More…
Astrophotography is a hobby rapidly gaining popularity thanks to the fast advancing CMOS sensor technology. Over a decade ago, the light recording material employed in astrophotography was primarily chemical emulsion. Its low sensitivity makes it very hard to record the weak signal from deep space. In addition, the lack of real-time feedback is a huge source of frustration for beginners. Operational errors such as out-of-focus can only be realized after several nights of hard work after the film is developed. Read More…
A DSLR now serves as my dedicated camera for astrophotography, which may be used with typical camera lenses for wide-field shots of celestial objects, or may be mounted onto a telescope for closeup shots of galaxies and nebulas. Read More…
When you look at the Andromeda galaxy (which is 2.3 million light years away), the light you are seeing took 2.3 million years to reach you. Thus you are seeing the galaxy as it was 2.3 million years ago.
Light from the sun takes 8 minutes to reach you, thus you see the sun as it was 8 minutes ago. It might have blown up 4 minutes ago and you wouldn’t know about it! Know 24 more facts…
Even though man has studied the heavens for thousands of years, we still know very little about the Universe we live in. And as we continue to learn more, we are consistently amazed, and sometimes confused, by what we learn. Here is a collection of amazing, interesting, and strange astronomy facts, in no particular order.
1. Scientists believe that we can only see about 5% of the matter in the Universe. The rest is made up of invisible matter (called Dark Matter) and a mysterious form of energy known as Dark Energy.
2. Neutron stars are so dense, that a soup can full of neutron star material would have more mass than the Moon. Know 8 more facts…
Our Universe is full of wonders and powerful forces.
When we study astronomy we always learn amazing, and very interesting facts. Some of them are strange indeed.
Here is a list of some remarkable and fascinating astronomy facts.
You may know some of these fact already, but a couple of them can be a real surprise!
1. Your weight on other planets is not the same
As you know different planets have different gravities, which mean that an astronaut’s weight will change from planet to planet. For example, an astronaut weighing 75 kilos on Earth would weigh only 28 kilos on Mars, but 177 kilos on Jupiter.
2. Crossing the Milky Way takes a very long time, even if you try to do it fast! Know 8 more facts…
And if you enjoyed these interesting facts about space, be sure to share it with your friends on Twitter.
Telescopes, are eyes for the astronomers, which give them the divine view of the world above. A good telescope is the most important tool for a budding astronomer to make his/her mark in the industry. Telescopes which can be defined as optical instruments used to make distant objects appear nearer, actually work on a simple mechanism of collecting and focusing rays of light from the object and in turn making them appear magnified. They are actually windows to the universe and have made the world above us come alive. The first known telescopes were invented in Netherlands during the 17th century and thereafter there has been no looking back. There are endless options available and one can choose a telescope which best suits his/her purpose. Choosing the right telescope amongst the vast array is a demanding and challenging task. Before buying a telescope one should be clear about these four questions- what one wants to observe? How one wants to observe? Where one lives? And where he/she will be observing? Then these questions need to be weighed in connection to the attributes of the telescope selected,in order to find the best match.
Looking at the night sky through a telescope can be the most amazing feeling, as it transcends you to a new world full of imaginary objects. Initially buying a telescope with a very good scope remained out of budget for most of the people, but now with the advent of digitally-driven manufacturing technology, telescopes of high quality and great capacity are available at affordable prices. In this article we shall be assessing the attributes of certain telescopes which fall under the preview of best telescopes for beginners under $200 and are highly recommended by customers on amazon. These telescopes will be studied from various aspects like their features, uses, advantages and drawbacks, ultimately leaving us with one such telescope which is best suited for the beginners. So let us begin our journey into the unknown and discover something new.
Our list of the best telescopes for beginners under$200 would include:
1. VIXEN OPTICS 32752 TELESCOPE.
2. CELESTRON COSMOS 60AZ TELESCOPE.
3. ORION OBSERVER 60 mm AZ REFRACTOR AND STRATER KIT.
4.TWINSTAR 60 mm COMPACT REFRACTOR ASTROVENTURE TELESCOPE.
5. MEADE INSTRUMENTS 209004 INFINITY 80 AZ REFRACTOR.
Reviewing 5 Best Telescopes For Beginners Under $200
A. VIXEN OPTICS 32752 TELESCOPE (WHITE)
To begin your astronomical ordeal- The Vixen Optics 32752 Telescope, can be the best companion. One problem which beginners to the astronomical world face is understanding the complexities and technicalities of their gazing tool. Vixen Optics is a great solution to this trouble. This telescope has an easy handling and quick set up features, which make it a preferable choice among the entry level astronomers. The ease does not make the telescope compromise on its quality, the telescope can provide one with a great visual exploration of the night sky. The telescope has all the features which one may find in a high priced optical device. The inclusion of variety of eyepieces makes the astronomical journey specific and fun and the light weight makes this telescope’s portability to different places of interest easier.
The Vixen Optics 32752 Telescope is a great device with some excellent features, all at a very attractive price. This device with it slow motion controls gives the beginners the desired time to adjust their angles and get a better view. The telescope has a sturdy and expandable tripod making it very flexible for use, the tripod has an expandability from 27.5 inches to 50 inches making the viewing comfortable. This entry level telescope gives to the beginners the benefit of gazing at the night sky with great accuracy(owing to the diagonal eyepiece holder and inclusion of a variety of eyepieces (PL20 AND PL4)). The telescope also has an accessory tray attached to it, leading to extra comfort of putting all the important astronomical pieces at one accessible place. The product dimensions are 13x 37x 8 inches and it weighs around 0.2 ounce, since it is light in weight it is easy to handle and can travel places with you. The telescope has an aperture of 70 mm which leads to high quality visuals.
1. The Vixen Optics 32752 Telescope provides all the features of an expensive telescope like clarity and great visual quality, at an affordable price.
2. This telescope is a boon for beginners, as they get the ease of setting up and carrying it to places which are the greatest matters of concern.
3. The telescope comes with two additional lenses, which help in adjusting the view to one’s convenience.
4. The tripod has a great expansion and thus provides great viewing comfort which might not be available in many high priced, bigger telescopes.
5. Great tool for night sky exploration, with its diagonal eyepiece holder and mounts slow motion handles.
6. Gives extra comfort due to features such as quick and easy set up.
1. Only two extra eyepieces are available with the product, any detailed search might need more variety and thus lead to extra cost.
B. CELESTRON COSMOS 60AZ TELESCOPE.
The Celestron Cosmos 60 AZ is a one stop solution to the quality and affordability problems which the beginners confront. If you are looking for something with great quality, clarity and sturdiness you are at the right place. This 60 mm refractor has fully coated achromatic glass lens which gives to you clear and crisp images. This telescope is easy to set up and use. Since it weighs around 11 pounds it is permanently mounted. One feature which makes this telescope stand out is its step toward saving the environment, under which a portion of proceeds from this telescope goes to the international dark-sky association which in turn works towards minimizing light pollution. This telescope is a great choice for both astronomical and terrestrial use and can be used with ease by children and adults alike.
The Celestron Cosmos 60AZ Telescope with special edition COSMOS eye nebula graphic gives great image quality at affordable prices. It has been formulated with a pan handle and a smooth clutch for accurate pointing. The telescope has a fully coated achromatic glass lens and rugged tripod with steel legs. Thus a sturdy structure with great accuracy. The accuracy feature receives more boost from the inclusion of a red dot finderscope, which points to the objects accurately making searches easy and spot-on. The telescope boasts of an easy set-up and has 2 Kellener eyepieces to assist in specific searches. The telescope has a 60mm refractor and gives sharp and bright viewing of the solar system and beyond. This telescope has been widely used and appreciated for its ease of use and quality, which is available at a great price. The flow of a portion of its proceeds towards minimizing light pollution gives this telescope a definite edge over others. The purchase of this telescope also entitles you to a free planetarium app for your android phones and a cosmic calendar poster which makes it quite a good deal for beginners stepping in the field of astronomy.
1. The Celestron Cosmos 60AZ Telescope gives to the beginners the ease of set up and use.
2. It provides a special feature of red dot finderscope, which makes object location easier and accurate for those who are not well-versant with the astronomical art.
3. The incorporation of special edition COSMOS eye nebula graphic helps in receiving clear and crisp images.
4. This product is associated with the international dark-sky and thus has a philanthropic edge attached to itself.
5. With the product one gets 2 Kellner eyepieces, cosmic calendar poster and a free planetarium app which seems quite exciting.
1. The major disadvantage attached to this product is the fact that it weighs around 11 pounds and is thus permanently mounted, making it immobile.
C. ORION OBSERVER 60 mm AZ REFRACTOR AND STRATER KIT.
The Orion Observer 60 mm AZ Refractor and Starter Kit is undoubtedly an amazing choice for beginners in the field of astronomy, taking their first dose of celestial visuals. This telescope is great choice for backyard astronomy and has some amazing features which make it a preferred choice. Whether it be taking glimpses of lunar crates, Saturn rings or the Jupiter moon, this telescope with its two fully coated 1.25 inches kellner eyepieces, an Orion EZ finder and a 1.25 inch focuser gives bright and clear images. This telescope with its good quality visual and equally easy use makes it a great choice for beginners and is sure to increase their interest further. Apart from the great features it is also coupled with some interesting goodies, to make it worth every penny spent for it.
This 60 mm refractor can bring great joy to the beginners in the field of astronomy, with its adjustability, easy set up and amazing features. This telescope is equipped with a 60 mm glass lens to provide sharp images, has two different magnifying options to get a better view and at the same time has a sturdy and expandable base. The Orion EZ finder II is a special feature of this telescope, this aiming device helps in easy and faster location of the desired celestial object. The 1.25 inch kellner eyepiece and 1.25 inch focuser adds to the precision and leads to a breath-taking view. This telescope comes with- an astronomy book giving a detailed introduction of astronomy, Orion moon map 260 to identify the names of caters and features on moon and a star target plan sphere to see what is there in the sky on any given day in the year. Such boost of knowledge compliments the views which this telescope generates with great precision and thus can be termed as a great package at a great price.
1. This telescope has great value for beginners owing to the ease of use, set up and clarity.
2. This telescope has 60 mm glass lens, 1.25 inch telescope eyepiece which gives a great view.
3. The telescope has two different viewing options to it, giving one the flexibility to assess various angles.
4. The Orion EZ finder makes location of objects easier, adding precision to work.
5. The product is accompanied with literature on astronomy and a moon map which makes the package exciting.
6. A great tool to see all the moon details.
1. Not a great choice if one has more interest in planets than in moon and stars.
D. TWINSTAR 60 mm COMPACT REFRACTOR ASTROVENTURE TELESCOPE.
Twinstar 60 mm Compact Refractor Astroventure Telescope is a great choice for those who want to put their first step forward in the field of astronomy. A great tool, this telescope is a beginner’s delight with 60 mm refractor, 6 mm eyepiece and up to 50x magnification. This telescope is not very extensive on its features and this simplicity makes it easier for the beginners to work with it. All one has to do is to point and start gazing at the endless possibilities. The telescope is as easy to install as to use. The structure is adjustable and mobile, owing to its clean and crisp design.
The Twinstar 60 mm Compact Refractor AstroVenture Telescope is a boon for beginners. This telescope comprises mainly of four parts which can be assembled in a jiffy. The product is super light in weight which makes it quite portable and hence gives it great flexibility. The simple structure does not mean that there is any compromise on the view quality, the 60 mm refractor is powerful enough to give a clear view of the moon, Saturn rings and even some of Jupiter moons. The magnification can range from 15x to 50x, making objects appear really close. This telescope stands out on the features of clarity, portability and easy assembly from many other telescopes in the same segment, making this telescope a great choice for beginners.
1. The most important feature which makes this telescope stand out is the easy portability feature, since it is very light, carrying it becomes very easy.
2. The telescope has a very simple design and does not need any technical support for installing it.
3. The clarity and image quality is at par with many highly priced telescopes.
4. Gives additional zooming feature.
1. The telescope is highly recommended for children, but lacks double eyepiece which is a necessary feature needed by young kids.
E. MEADE INSTRUMENTS 209004 INFINITY 80 AZ REFRACTOR.
The Meade Instrument 209004 infinity 80 AZ Refractor is a beginner’s best friend. This telescope is great for viewing both astronomical and terrestrial objects. The wonders of night sky can be captured with precision with this 80 mm refractor. The images are bright and detailed and thus gives great pleasure of viewing. It has a precision Altazimuth mount which has slow motion controls, making sky gazing a memorable experience. This product is a first step in astronomy and can surely lead to a giant leap.
The 18 pound 80 mm refractor telescope is a great choice for those interested in discovering cosmos and outdoors. This telescope comes with three eyepieces which enables one to have low, medium and high powered magnification for viewing objects, giving one flexibility of work. This telescope also has a red dot finder, which helps in locating objects with great precision and makes the entire sky gazing experience worthwhile. The slow motion controls of the telescope helps in analyzing the movement of objects in an easier manner. Thus we can say this telescope with clear and sharp images, sturdy base, precise finder and great magnifying options is a good choice for beginners, giving them the desired convenience to accomplish their dreams.
1. The telescope has an 80 mm aperture which helps in delivering better, clearer images.
2. This telescope has a great focuser and has eyepieces which can give low, medium and high levels of magnification.
3. The telescope comes with astronomical software and also has DVD’s with instructions, thus making work easier.
4. The slow motion control makes sky gazing precise.
5. A refractor telescope means that the telescope does not have mirrors, which would need to be aligned.
6. This telescope can be used for day time observations (ocean, birds etc.)
1. Tracking celestial objects might prove difficult because the EQ mount turns with the rotation of earth, while the controls functions right, left, up and down.
VIXEN OPTICS 32752 TELESCOPE.
The vixen optics telescope has been priced at $135.72
At the amazon customers review it has a 5 star ranking
This telescope is super light in weight at 0.2 ounce and thus has the advantage of portability.
The number of eyepieces stands insufficient, for variety viewing.
13x 37x 8 inches and a weight of 0.2 ounce.
CELESTRON COSMOS 60AZ TELESCOPE.
This telescope has a pocket pinch of $99.95.
At the amazon reviews it has been ranked with five stars.
It has the advantage of COSMOS eye nebula graphic, which provides for great viewing.
This telescope is permanently mounted, making it immobile.
Dimensions- 34x49x34 inches with a total weight of 11 pounds.
ORION OBSERVER 60 mm AZ REFRACTOR AND STRATER KIT.
This telescope is priced at $99.99.
Enjoys a five star ranking at amazon
Comes with an Orion EZ finder, which helps in location of celestial objects with great precision.
The planetary gazing is not very clear.
TWINSTAR 60 mm COMPACT REFRACTOR ASTROVENTURE TELESCOPE.
This telescope is priced at $99.99.
Has a 4.8 star ranking at amazon.
This telescope has very easy installation, comprises of four parts which can be put together without any technical guidance.
Lacks double eyepieces, making it difficult for use among young learners.
Weighs around 14 pounds.
MEADE INSTRUMENTS 209004 INFINITY 80 AZ REFRACTOR.
The Meade instrument has a pocket pinch of $159.99
Reviewed with4.8 star ranking, at amazon.
This telescope has an 80mm aperture, which is the best among its contemporaries.
The disparity between the controls and EQ mount makes viewing celestial objects a little difficult.
53X34X34 Inches are the dimensions, with a total weight of 18 pounds.
After a detailed study of the available options in the segment of beginners telescopes under $200, we deciphered that VIXEN OPTICS 32752 TELESCOPE stands out with its diverse and user friendly features. The comparison which was based on the criteria’s of weight, clarity, precision, ease of use and installation and price made Vixen optics stand out as a clear winner. This telescope with its features of slow motion control and a strong and sturdy tripod base make the astronomical work easier and precision driven. The biggest constraint which the beginners face while using a telescope is the technical and installation aspect. In case of this telescope the use and installation are both very simple making the beginners at celestial adventure feel relaxed. The quality of this product is comparable to many telescope which are way highly priced, thus this telescope gives a vivid range of features and extremely sharp and clear pictures at an affordable price. Night sky exploration becomes fun with this telescope, as it has diagonal eye piece holders with slow motion handles so as to give a detailed view. The best feature of this telescope is its light weight, at 0.2 ounce this telescope is highly portable and thus can increase the scope of view. The optical tubes are high quality and can give great magnification effects. Setting up does not require any technical assistance, it can be easily done by a newbie and thus is very convenient to use. The provision of an accessory tray and extra eyepieces adds to the comfort. Thus we can effectively conclude that the VIXEN OPTICS 32752 TELESCOPE stands out among its other contemporaries in all-most all aspects of portability, clarity, ease of use and convenience of installation. So give your celestial dreams the desired wings in form of Vixen Optics 32752 Telescope and see yourself fly.
Was it a catastrophic collision in the star’s asteroid belt? A giant impact that disrupted a nearby planet? A dusty cloud of rock and debris? A family of comets breaking apart? Or was it alien megastructures built to harvest the star’s energy?
Just what caused the mysterious dimming of star KIC 8462852?
Massimo Marengo from Iowa State University in Ames wondered when he saw all the buzz about the mysterious star found by citizen scientists on the Planet Hunters website. Read More…
It may be time to call off the search for Mars’ missing carbon.
Mars’ carbon-rich atmosphere was once thick enough to raise the planet’s surface temperature and allow entire oceans of liquid water to form there — a drastic change from the cold desert it is today. This metamorphosis of the Red Planet has put scientists on the hunt for a left-over “carbon reservoir” in the planet’s dirt and soil. So far, the has come up empty. Read More…
Mars may one day have rings similar to Saturn’s famous halo, new research suggests.
In a few tens of millions of years, the Red Planet may completely crush its innermost moon, Phobos, and form a ring of rocky debris, according to the new work. Phobos is moving closer to Mars every year, meaning the planet’s gravitational pull on the satellite is increasing. Some scientists have theorized that Phobos will eventually collide with Mars, but the new research suggests that the small moon may not last that long. Read More…
Observing a blazar is a little like standing beneath a relativistic waterfall. Look up: that flickering point of light is a head-on view of the powerful plasma jet shooting out from a supermassive black hole.
The free-flying electrons within that mess of plasma twirl at almost light speed around magnetic fields, and they radiate across the electromagnetic spectrum, often drowning out any other forms of emission. We might even see a sudden outburst when turbulence, a sudden influx of plasma, or some other force roils the jet. Read More…
An international team of astrophysicists led by a Johns Hopkins University scientist has for the first time witnessed a star being swallowed by a black hole and ejecting a flare of matter moving at nearly the speed of light.
The finding reported in the journal Science tracks the star — about the size of our sun — as it shifts from its customary path, slips into the gravitational pull of a supermassive black hole and is sucked in, said Sjoert van Velzen, a Hubble fellow at Johns Hopkins.
“These events are extremely rare,” van Velzen said. “It’s the first time we see everything from the stellar destruction followed by the launch of a conical outflow, also called a jet, and we watched it unfold over several months.” Read More…
Telescope is an instrument that increases the periphery and visual sense of the eyes. When one decides on to buy a telescope one has to do meticulous homework in regards to the various technical aspects of the telescope and then zero into the one which would suit the specific needs. The need to understand the technicality arises from the fact that an amateur astronomer would not be wanting something which is an advanced space telescope and thus waste monetary resources.
A telescopes technicalities can baffle one and the decision as to which one is best suited to ones needs does not come easy. A veteran astronomer and an amateur astronomer would look for different features in their telescopes and thus understanding the functions and technicalities helps by fitting the right block at the right place.
Let’s take a look at the basic technical aspects that make a good telescope which can help one adjudge which telescope is best suited for his/her sphere of work:
The aperture of a telescope is basically the diameter of the mirror or the main lens of the telescope. The aperture determines how bright and sharp view one will get or to say- as the aperture of a telescope increases the view through it becomes sharper and brighter. This notion in literal sense would lead one into believing that, to have a good telescope just have the one with high aperture, but this contention is not true. When one is choosing the right telescope for himself/herself, one should take into consideration his scope of work and the fact that whether the telescope will suit the work environment. For instance if one buys a huge telescope, so as to have a good size of aperture and he/she needs to carry the telescope every-day to various places, then the decision would stand wrong. So what is important is to understand the work practise which one will follow and then choose a telescope with technical aspects best suited to individual needs.
Magnification or Power
The magnification capacities of a telescope is determined by the fact that how close a view of the celestial objects can the telescope offer. The power of the telescope to offer a good magnification is an important technical factor when one is choosing the right telescope for himself/herself, but the fact remains that it is not a decision making factor.
When an astronomer buys a telescope the sole aim which stands is to get a close look at their objects of interest, thus magnification capabilities of a telescope are critical to decision making, but the important aspect is that any telescope’s magnification power can be increased by using different eyepieces. These eyepieces are basically removable lenses which one looks into to get the view. When one buys a telescope he/she generally gets along with it a range of eyepieces and if not a variety of them are available in the market. So this technical aspect can be taken care of and is not much of a concern.
Though a fact remains that just using a high power eyepiece would not give you the desired magnification, till such time it is not supported by proper aperture. So if one uses a high power lens in a telescope with small aperture the view will be magnified but fuzzy. Thus while one chooses a telescope the various technical aspects should be well coordinated for best results.
As we know that all the cars perform the same task of transporting people from one place to another but what differentiates one brand from another is their design. Similarly among telescopes too the designing determines their portability, economies and visual sharpness. Telescopes with similar aperture can also differ in price and portability depending on their designs. Thus design of a telescope is a technical aspect which needs to be looked into while making the buying decision.
On basis of their designing, the telescopes are categorized into three categories:
1. The Refracting Telescope
In a refractor telescope, there is a thin, long tube through which the light passes from the front objective lens in a straight line, to the eyepiece at the opposite end. This is the most commonly used type of telescope and is very simple in design. The best part about this telescope is the fact that since the tube is sealed the optics are protected and little maintenance is required. A refracting telescope provides excellent views of planetary and binary stargazing.
These telescopes have an aperture of 3 to 5 inches and thus are not very suited for gazing distant galaxies. Their portability is also a matter of concern as they are quite bulky and long which restricts their practical use. The refracting telescopes are also quite a burden on the pockets.
2. The Reflecting Telescope
A reflecting telescope works on a different mechanism where a parabolic mirror is used instead of a lens to focus light to a flat secondary mirror, which in turn performs the task of reflecting the image out of an opening located at the main tubes side. This telescope has the advantages of easy construction and thus is easy to use. This telescope gives excellent view of remote galaxies and delivers good quality bright images. It is quite portable and is pretty economical.
Since the tube of this telescope are open in the air it catches dust easily requiring more handling care and maintenance. This telescope is not apt for terrestrial applications and this limits its scope of work.
3. Catadioptric Telescope
This is the most popular type of instrument, where a combination of lenses and mirrors is put to use to form an image. This type of telescope is compact, durable and versatile and provides excellent lunar and deep sky observations. On the other hand it generates a great pocket pinch and doesn’t have a very appealing appearance.
So these are the three kinds of designs for telescope which are segregated on the basis of their technical aspects. One should choose what best suits his/her personnel needs.
Mounting in crude terminology is the base on which a telescope stands, which helps in having that perfect view without any disturbance. Mounts for a telescope can be classified into two types:
THE EQUATORIAL MOUNT – This mount makes your tracking of motions quite swift and easy and is quite advantageous when one is aiming to find his/her way among the stars.
THE ALTAZIMUTH MOUNT – This mount is simpler as compared to equatorial mount giving an up-down, right-left motion. This mount is light in weight and quite low in cost.
These are some of the technical aspects which should be taken into consideration while one is deciding as to which telescope to buy. These technical aspects should be compared with the needs and work of the user, so that the ultimate choice of the telescope turns out beneficial for the one using it.
I am planning to buy a telescope for amateur astronomy, but there’s some confusion between reflector and refractor telescopes. Which one is better? Also, what other factors should I consider for a good telescope?
Refractor telescopes are telescopes that use lenses to gather and focus light. Refractors deliver sharp, high-contrast images with crisp views of the moon, planets and stars. Refractors are known for their rugged simplicity. They are easy to aim, they need little maintenance and lenses rarely need alignment-very popular for beginning students of astronomy. Read More…
The two types of telescopes are quite simple to tell apart. Refractor Telescopes use lenses, much like your regular eye glasses. Reflector Telescopes use mirrors. Both are very great tools for viewing space, but there are some key differences.
Refractor telescopes are almost always very long and slender in size and shape. The eyepieces is always at the bottom of the telescope, putting your view straight through the lenses that are place on the back and front of the telescope. Read More…
Who dares to ask that question? Why there have been many spirited debates on the subject, which have discussed every detail and nuance of the question. Many times these debates only serve to fan the flames of the opposing camps. It is not my intention that this thread would have any such effect. My hope is that we can bring out the relevant points of comparison to help in choosing a telescope for astrophotography. Either design has its place in astro-imaging – the two designs are complementary and not necessarily in competition. It’s also worth noting there may be differences in how we answer the question, depending upon whether we are viewing or photographing our subject. Also it matters if we are photographing a wide view or narrow view (like planets). Read More…
Mankind has long gazed toward the heavens, searching to put meaning and order to the universe around him. Although the movement of constellations — patterns imprinted on the night sky — were the easiest to track, other celestial events such as eclipses and the motion of planets were also charted and predicted.
The study of our Universe is not new, the history of astronomy shows it to be the oldest science. People have been looking up, trying to explain the universe for as long as there have been people. The earliest Astronomers were priests and holy men, studying the movement of celestial bodies to determine celebrations and planting cycles.
Looking back in history, the ancient Greeks were the first to start developing theories about the design of the Universe (early science of astronomy).
Previous observations of the moon had already led to the knowledge that the Earth was round. When coupled with Plato’s assertion that the sphere was the perfect geometrical shape, the original Geocentric, or Earth-Centered view of the Universe was formed.
While many earlier observers in history believed the heavens were a giant bowl covering the Earth, this new philosophy, expounded by Astronomer Eudoxus and Philosopher Aristotle in the 4th century BC, said the sun, moon, and planets hung on concentric spheres, all surrounding the Earth. Read More…
The Ancient Greeks were the driving force behind the development of western astronomy and science, their philosophers learning from the work of others and adding their own interpretations and observations.
In many older textbooks, the Ancient Greeks are often referred to as the fathers of ancient astronomy, developing elegant theories and mathematical formulae to describe the wonders of the cosmos, a word that, like so many others, came to us from the Greeks.
In fact, this assumption is incorrect and, whilst the Ancient Greek astronomers made huge contributions to astronomy, their knowledge was built upon the solid foundations laid by other great cultures. The Mesopotamian and Zoroastrian astronomers and astrologers, in the Fertile Crescent and the empty deserts of Persia, made many sophisticated observations and devised complex theories to describe cosmological phenomena. Read More…
Astronomy is an area where the Greeks displayed a remarkable talent. Observational astronomy, which was the main form of astronomy elsewhere, was taken a step further in Greece: they attempted to build a model of the universe that could account for the observations. They explored all imaginable alternatives, they considered many different solutions for the various astronomical problems they came across. They not only anticipated many ideas of modern astronomy but also some of their ideas endured for around two millennia. Even at the time of Isaac Newton, some aspects of Aristotelian cosmology were still taught at the University of Cambridge.
Our knowledge of Greek astronomy before the 4th century BCE is very incomplete. We have just a few surviving writings, and most of what we know are references and comments form Aristotle, mostly opinions he is about to criticize. What is clear is that the earth was believed to be a sphere, and that there was an increasing effort to understand nature in purely natural term, without recourse to supernatural explanations. Read More…
The Romans. The first Roman calendar was said to have been created by Romulus at the founding of Rome in 753 B.C.E. The original Roman calendar was based on the lunar month, and the year was thought to contain ten lunar months. Later, Numa Pompilius added the months January and February (Januarius and Februarius). Tarquinius Priscus (616-579 B.C.E.), an Etruscan king, made further refinements. His calendar was 355 days long, with an extra month after February every two years. This extra month was at first called Mercedinus, “payment for work,” and was a time when land leases were paid. Later, this extra month was known as Intercalans. The Pontifex Maximus would determine the length of Intercalans, to bring the calendar in line with the Solar Year. Read More…
Astronomers and spaceflight programs also contribute to the study of our own planet, when missions primed at looking outward (or travelling to the moon and beyond) look back and snap great pictures of Earth from space.
Amateurs and professionals who are in love with science and love watching the night sky use professional telescopes. I’ve even seen kids keen on scientific innovations and have curiosity about the night sky. So, why not make them for technical and scientific and give the answer to all their questions with a telescope for kids?
In this article, I will show you how to choose the best telescope for kids and this way you will answer to all their curious questions.
Guide On How To Choose The Best Telescope For Kids
Beginner telescopes for kids – what are the options?
New to telescopes and don’t know where to start? This article can help you make the right choice when buying a beginner telescope for kids – helping them to start a journey of exploration and wonder through our Solar system, Galaxy and Universe!
Helping Kids To Unlock The Beauty of the Night Sky With A Telescope…
What are the choices?
Okay, although a pair of binoculars with a star chart will be an excellent start for the budding young astronomer (a large aperture 10 x 50 pair would be best), it just doesn’t have that… telescope magic, right? Read More…
Astronomy is a hobby that can hold your attention for a lifetime, so it’s worth starting out right. That doesn’t mean you must spend a fortune. But whatever your price range, you want to get the most for your money.
The vast majority of inexpensive telescopes are purchased during the holiday season and given as gifts, mainly to children. Inexperienced buyers make the same unfortunate mistakes year after year. It is far too easy to spend your hard earned dollars on poor quality instruments, and the awful performance of these telescopes often discourages the recipients from pursuing their interest in astronomy. This guide, and the links that follow, will help you spend your telescope dollars wisely. Read More…
Looking at the night sky can be inspiring for kids, and the right telescope can drive their interest in astronomy for a lifetime. A child’s age may determine which telescope is appropriate for studying the sky. We’ve rounded up what we think are the best telescopes for kids in different age groups, from relatively simple instruments for preschoolers and kindergartners, to more advanced scopes for young stargazers in middle school and up.
Note: Parental supervision is suggested for small children playing with telescopes. To avoid eye injury, NEVER allow children to point telescopes at the sun during daytime viewing. Read More…
We’ve got little telescopes for little people. For our youngest stargazers, we recommend smaller, simpler telescopes that anyone can use. Keep in mind that a 6 or 7 year-old child is going to need some adult supervision with almost any telescope, but kids closer to 10 years old can use more advanced telescopes on their own with a little bit of guidance. We generally don’t recommend computerized telescopes for kids this young, but an older child could benefit from one. Your best bet is a manually controlled scope. Read More…
Our universe is immeasurable and vast but with the help of telescopes, one can look at far corners with ease and simplicity. Gazing into the night sky offers a wide number of strange and wonderful sights that can only be cherished for a lifetime. If you love to watch the famous constellation, stars and planets twinkling and gradually moving towards the horizon or illuminating the sky in varied colors, then get the right kind of best telescopes for beginners.
When one is required to buy a telescope, ‘high class’ devices are mostly preferred but people fail to understand to assess their need. A telescope comes in various variety and amazing capability at various price points. It is not necessary to go for the high class and expensive telescope when you have to just perform simple night gazing tasks. Or buying a simple and inferior telescope for your special and dedicated night sky gazing tasks will not do any justice at all. First of all, understand your needs and the types of telescopes available in the market.
The different types of telescopes
In order to pick from the best telescopes for beginners, understand the features and advantages of four distinct types of telescopes. The four types of telescopes are reflector, refractor, hybrid and dobsonian.
• Reflector Telescopes
Reflector are the best telescopes for beginners as it possess a bigger aperture, respectable optics along with a easy set up functionality. Beginner will easily be able to mount the reflector telescope with ease and it bigger aperture will allow to see more of the night sky and smart optics will offers better clarity and precision of the vision.
• Refractor Telescopes
Refractor telescopes come with excellent quality of optics; it can easily be linked with computers and requires lower maintenance. It offers an advantage of using both during the night and daytime with better viewing experience.
• Hybrid Telescopes
Hybrid telescopes are known for their compact design, a beefy mount set up and higher precision of vision to the users. It is one of the best telescopes for beginners that can be used both during the day and night times with same precision and vision clarity.
• Dobsonian Telescopes
Dobsonian telescopes are for those who are looking to perform some rigorous night sky gazing tasks. These telescopes comes with a big aperture which offers bigger avenue of gazing through the sky and it also makes it easier to find targets with it.
How To Choose The Right & Best Telescopes For Beginners?
In order to decide which one will be best telescope for yourself, you have to take various factors into consideration which includes the place you live, the place you wish to explore and how will observe the sky itself. All the above-mentioned telescopes are great for gazing and exploring the night sky. If you wish to use the telescope for bird watching, opt for the Refractor or a hybrid telescope as both of them offers daytime gazing solutions. Both of these telescopes present the image on the right hand side, which will make it easier to track the movements of a moving target like bird.
Maintenance Factor In Telescopes
Maintenance is another factor, which is worth discussing, as all kind of telescopes requires a certain amount of care from the part of the users. The refractors and hybrid telescopes comes with closed tubes but the optics is known to accumulate little bit of dust over the time which can cleaned easily with help of cotton fabrics. Another thing worth noting is that the air can easily circulate in these two telescopes which allows it adjust and adapt with changing temperature swiftly. These telescopes are also able to keep the image distortion at lower side.
Refractor and Dobsonian telescopes require the users to adjust the line of sight, in simple terms, ‘collimate’ the mirrors from time to time. It is not a hard thing to do but one has to adjust it often for getting better vision. A hybrid telescope doesn’t need much collimation and Refractor happens to be among the best telescopes for beginners as it simply does away with the adjusting of line-of-sight completely.
Understand the Aperture
Aperture is the opening present in the telescope that allows the light to enter inside in order to frame images. Each telescope comes with a definite aperture size a large size means more are can be viewed through the telescope while smaller results in vice versa. The buyer mostly prefers wider aperture or larger aperture as it offers sharper focus and brighter images.
It should be noted that telescope job is not just to magnify the targets but also funnel the light photons in such a manner that it offers better assembling of images. The best telescopes for beginners should be the one that offer better images and wider area to focus upon while gazing at the targets.
Consider the Option of ‘Computer Control’
Nowadays, most of the best telescopes for beginners come with a simple on-screen on board computers that allows users to pinpoint on the targets with ease. Having computer control makes it easier to find and point at the targets, which helps in saving a lot of time and minimizes the effort.
With the old-fashioned telescopes or telescopes devoid of computer control, a user has to struggle with reading the start charts and finding objects in the changing night sky. However, with telescopes having computer control, this frustration coming from the inability to pin point the celestial targets are simply erased away.
Some of the astronomers disagree with the usage of computer control in the telescope as it makes the task of star gazing too easy for the beginners. But you are certainly not here for such intellectual and hardcore astronomy gigs; therefore, it is better to buy best telescopes for beginners with computer controls.
If you wish to follow the path of old school with telescopes devoid of computer control, you will have to devote a large amount time that will run in hours to pin point the targets. You will gradually learn about the time inductive task of reading the star charts and finding the right constellation and other celestial bodies present in the night sky. It is also a great way to experience the marvels of the nature and the magical stars and bodies of the night sky.
Compare, Read reviews and Watch Videos
In order to find the best telescopes for beginners, you can invest your time in reading the reviews of the telescopes on the internet. Reviews offers a great way to understand all the features, specification, advantages along with the limitation of the various telescopes present in the market. A video review offers a huge opportunity to see the telescope in action and understand how to use the device exactly. Videos will even tell you about various tips and tricks to increase the functionality or to get more out of any telescope. Don’t forget to compare prices on the online and offline stores in order to get the best deal on your favored telescope.
Once you had successfully bought your first telescope, march to your roof or balcony and get ready to observe the amazing cosmic events that lay throughout the 2015 and 2016.
Who says in the modern world masses living in the city never look at the night sky? You should note that there are many professional telescopes present with residents of high-rise apartments and on their rooftops. The guide to buying a professional telescope may begin with masses living in high-rise, who may be an armature, professional or buy a telescope as articles of ostentation. Since, the use of telescope is different to many, even for the professional astronomers. This is the only equipment to do search of celestial and terrestrial bodies as per your connivance if you own them by spending for the right telescope.
Guide To Buying A Professional Telescope
Associate with Night Gazing Clubs
The guide to buying a professional telescope will be better when you are a member of any of these clubs like sky gazers, armature astronomers and star gazing clubs. You can get an idea to buy what type of telescope by interacting online or personally, with the members of these clubs who own a professional telescope.
Search Online for Best Reviews and Comments by Users of Telescope
The online or web search will be the right guide to buying a professional telescope. Since you can find the right online store who sells a professional telescope, retail astronomical apparatus store and for second sale apparatus (Telescope) from the web. Many branded manufactures of professional telescope serve the global demands by their online store only. You can get better ideas by reading the customer reviews of these branded telescopes and their experience. You can choose the best one by comparing price, accessories they provide along with the telescope, durability, warranty if any, digital imaging portability, analogous adjustment, digital adjustments and the portability of the apparatus.
Choose your Professional Telescope
You may have special interest with astronomy and may be trying to astrograph. Few may be interested in comets, planets and looking beyond stars. All of these require the right professional telescope, which may be of reflecting telescope, catadioptric telescope, Dobsonians telescope and refracting telescope. The guide to buying a professional telescope may help you to navigate astronomical and terrestrial purposes. Since, the high-rise building rooftops provide you a dust free clear sky to watch scenic views from the rooftops of your city and night sky gazing.
Plan your Budget to Buy a Professional Telescope
Planning your budget is most important, when comes to buy a professional telescope. Since, there are many up-gradation and innovations happening with astronomical absorbing equipments that you may feel bad later that I would have brought the advanced model. Since the latest model are image captive with wifi devices and auto adjustable with remote sensing. There are also many replicable lenses and other accessories come along with a professional telescope. The size do matters, since most often you may go for the standard size, traditional size 7 x 50′ or the professional 10 x 50′ which is the astronomers preference. While, buying a costly telescope you must also see how far its value may go second sales. When comes to budget, the guide to buying a professional telescope will help you to select the professional telescope professionally.