How to find the right telescope for you

November 30, 2020

How to find the right telescope for you

Telescope with Christmas lights

A Holiday Telescope Buying Guide

Astronomer Phil Plait, at Syfy Wire, goes through a list of some quality telescopes for beginners, experts and for those in between. He has written other posts like this one on where to start. We have very similar recommendations amongst the astronomers at OSU. Binoculars are a great first step into backyard astronomy. The next step is figuring out what ou want to do with your telescope and buying one that suits your needs and budget. PBS has a crash course video to help familiarize yourself with how some of the recommended telescopes work. Trying before buying is very helpful. Delaying your purchase until after you look through a few scopes with your local astronomy club can certainly prevent buyers remorse.

Noisy Astronomer's Holiday Telescope Buying Guide

Another colleague has a list of tips and recommendations when looking into buying a telescope. Some of the basic ideas are go to brands you can trust and spending more doesn't mean you are getting more. It is a good read and covers a lot of the questions people have.

Dobsonian style telescopes are some of the cheapest to buy but will make you learn the night sky to use them. This is actually your best option as many of the "go to" style telescopes take more experience to troubleshoot and setup. We would highly recommend looking at some night sky books to go along with your purchase or to lead your purchase giving you time to look through a few telescopes next year with your local astronomy club.