How does a good telescope work?
Topic: Binocular case stored
July 17, 2019 / By Jeannine Question:
I'm thinking about getting a telescope, but I'm not exactly sure how these things work. If you were to get one of the better ones for a couple hundred dollars or so, what exactly do these telescopes do? And how well can you see things in outer space with the telescopes? If you were to look at Mars with one of these telescopes, how well would you be able to see it? Whoever have one of the nice telescopes, can you tell me how it works, what you can see, and how well you can see it? thanks alot guys
Best Answers: How does a good telescope work?
Fay | 6 days ago
There are several different kinds of telescopes and all of them have some excellent features. Refractors and Reflectors, plus Schmidt-Cassegrain, APO refractors, Mac-Cass, and many more. There are also several mounts to chose from and the mounts are just as important, if not even more important, than the scope is. All of the different scopes and mounts have some features that some people like and do not like. No two eyeballs are the same and the perfect scope for one person might be completly wrong for another person.
There is no one scope that is "better" than another ---except for the junk scopes out there which are all just a waste of money. Never, ever buy from Walmart, Costco, Target, or any other discount store like that. Junk scopes are flooded into the market from those stores. You will be buying nothing but bad optics and plastic.
If you are new at this, then stay away from anything used from any site. If you don't know what you are buying and who you are buying from you will most likely be getting someone else's headache---with no warranty either. Buyer beware you know. Some great deals on used equipment, by people who know how to use and take care of scopes, are out there but if you don't know what you are doing, you might be spending a lot of money on junk.
Orion is the very best for value and for customer service too. I have 2 of their scopes and I will only buy from them from now on. My first scope was a manual controlled scope and I am very glad that it was because it forced me to learn where things are in the night skies. Go-To type scopes can be frustrating to use. If you do not have them aligned exactly perfect, they do not find the targets. If you are a beginner, you will be frustrated unless you spring for a GPS Go-To. An object locator is just that---it will locate objects for you (must be aligned first) but an object locator is not a tracking motor. It will not keep the scope on the target.
The Orion site has some excellent diagrams and explanations of all types of scopes and mounts.
Things to consider are size--can the user lift and transport the scope to the viewing site easily? Does it fit in your car? If not, then it will gather dust in a closet. I recomend a carrying case too so it is protected in storage and transport. Can the viewer reach all the knobs and buttons? I have a long tube large manual refractor and it is very dificult for me to reach the knobs when I am pointed to Zenith. I am not a tall person.
Take your time in making your decision.
+++ I would like to suggest that you join a local astronomy club or astronomical society BEFORE you spend your money on a scope. There are many different kinds of scopes and what is perfect for one person is not perfect for another. Everyone has their own set of eyeballs and no two are the same. If you join a club, you can attend a few of their star parties and try out members scopes to see what works best for YOU, before you buy a scope. The members can also help you when you get your scope and show you how to get the most out of your new scope as well as to help teach you where the treasures in the sky are located. Most clubs have loaner scopes and extensive libraries that you can gather more information from too. Most clubs will have monthly membership meetings with informative presentations given by members and by guest speakers. You can really learn a lot from these clubs and an added plus is all the great new freinds you make there too.
Some people will suggest that you purchase binnoculars. Not a bad idea but dont buy anything less than 10x50 and you must have a tripod too or you will not be happy with your astronomical views because they will be too shakey from your movements. Personally, I prefer a scope to binos because if binoculars are not aligned properly at the factory, then you get double images and distortions that cant be fixed. Most of the cheaper binoculars are not properly aligned. That is not as important for terrestial viewing but it is a killer for astronomical viewing. Binos can also be bumped out of alignment and become useless for astronomy.
When you buy go Orion and you wont be disappointed. Don't try to learn everything all at once or you will be overwhelmed and discouraged. Patience is the key to Astronomy.
You will need a good star chart program too.
This is great freeware that you can download. Tell it where you are and it will tell you what you see. Ask it where something is and it will show you.
I wish you all the best! Enjoy!
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Originally Answered: Where can i find a good, cheap telescope to buy?
I think that the best thing you can do right now is to take your time with this purchase. It is clear, based on the things that you have mentioned in your question, that you are new to the hobby of amateur astronomy. Nothing wrong with that, but it is easy for new guys to rush into a purchase without understanding what they really want. They then end up with a scope that collects dust in the closet. That would be unfortunate, but it happens all the time.
I recognize that you have at least taken the time to raise the question here, and that's a good start. But your criteria tend to be sorta self-contradictory. For example:
1. There is simply no such thing as a good, cheap telescope. You will get precisely what you pay for. The telescope manufacturers are very aware of the relative benefits of their products, and they are priced accordingly. You should not buy a used telescope unless you know how to repair it, so you are stuck with the market rates.
2. You say that you want a scope that will move by itself to an area that you type in. You then say that you want to see far and have a good look at the planets with it. You should understand that if you buy a scope that will provide really good views, it will cost more. If you buy a scope with a computer so that you do not have to learn the sky, that will also cost more. If you want both of these features, it will cost a lot more.
3. I am not sure how much you are prepared to spend. For a little over $300, you can buy a good scope that will let you see hundreds of objects from the planets to distant galaxies. But you will have to learn how and where to aim it. For about the same amount, you can buy a scope with a computer that will aim the scope for you (once you learn how to set it up, and if it doesn't need rebooting). It will point the scope at thousands of targets stored in its database. Unfortunately, you will only be able to see 10 of them or so once you actually look through the eyepiece.
If your budget is really that limited, I would highly recommend that you favor the first choice, i.e. a scope with no fancy electronics that will allow you to see things better. You can use it (and a binocular) to learn the sky, and you will need to learn the sky in order to properly use a computer drive anyway. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to help folks with their computer drive because they have no clue where to start once they get outside at night. A good example of a telescope that I can easily recommend to folks that are just starting out is this one:
This is a simple scope with a solid mount and sufficient aperture to see hundreds of things. It has no computer. It is easy to use and easy to set up and transport. These are all important criteria; a computer GoTo system is less critical.
I would not buy this scope yet, even if you think it's a great idea. Instead, I would take some time to attend a few star parties held by your local amateur astronomy club. these can be found on line; they occur everywhere. Take the time to learn the sky and look through some scopes. Establish your expectations. You will not see Hubble images. See what to expect at the eyepiece and at the cash register. Make some new friends. When you know what you want to buy and why you want it, then go buy it. It will be more valuable that way.
ADDED: For $600, you can either buy this and a few essential accessories (books, a red light, a carrying case, etc) - or you can buy the 10 inch version of the same model (search xt10), with 35% more light gathering capability. Again, you should base your decision on first hand knowledge gained at the eyepiece by attending a few star parties. Remember that most astronomical targets are not hard to see because they are too small; they are hard to see because they are too dim. You need light gathering power, and that means aperture (the diameter of the scope) in order to really see anything at all. Try before you buy!
Good telescopes start at around $180, and you need to spend at least $300 to get one that will satisfy you for more than a short time. Telescopes do two main things: they gather light, making faint objects brighter, and they magnify the images, making it possible to see fine detail. The objects which most amateur astronomers look at with their telescopes are the Sun (with special filter), Moon, planets, double and multiple stars, and deep space objects. The latter include star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.
A typical 8-inch telescope will show you a wealth of detail on the Moon, sunspots on the Sun, the polar caps of Mars, the cloud belts and four brightest moons of Jupiter, Saturn's rings, clod belts, and five or six satellites, Uranus and Neptune (but only as tiny disks), and thousands of deep sky objects.
Here are a few web pages with good information on beginner's telescopes:
For more advanced information, read Phil Harrington's Star Ware, 4th edition (Wiley).
You'll get the greatest value for your money with a Newtonian reflector on a Dobsonian mount, such as these:
Buy from a store which specializes in telescopes and astronomy, either locally or online; don't buy from department stores, discount stores or eBay as mostly what they sell is junk. Find your local astronomy club and try out different telescopes at one of their star parties:
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"good telescope" and "couple of hundred dollars" do not go together in the same sentence. my best scope cost as much as a nice used car. i have eyepieces that cost more than that. the cheapest telescope worth buying is the orion starblast.
the very best thing you can do is hook up with local astronomers and see for yourself.
at the very least, do some research with a reference like nightwatch. do not buy from a department store. only buy from a telescope store.
if you love us at all, do not even think about ebay.
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A telescope absorbs light and magnifies it through a lense. I recommend an Orion dobsobian reflector telescope. Go to Orions website.
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