Mar 13

8 Fun Things To Do With Your Telescope

So you’re wondering if it’s actually possible to have “fun” with a telescope – after all aren’t they just for nerds and astronomy geeks? To be fair amateur astronomy got a bad name without good reason because people from all walks of life enjoy gazing up at the stars from their yard, or somewhere near their home.

How much fun you have with a telescope is really down to two key things:

  1. The type of telescope you have
  2. Your own imagination

So what are the fun things you can do with that shiny new telescope you just bought?

8 Fun Things To Do With Your Telescope

  • Astronomy

    Well it’s the most obvious use for your telescope now isn’t it and the idea of “fun” is a pretty subjective thing too. Some people think diving out of a perfectly good airplane is a lot of fun but astronomers would argue (pretty sanely too) that enjoying the free lightshow offered by the cosmos each night is a lot of fun. We just wanted to get the most obvious “fun” out of the way first before moving on to other ways to get a kick out of using your telescope.

  • Daytime Viewing

    Around 99% of people who buy a telescope don’t ever think about using the same telescope during the day, even though there’s no reason for them not to do that. The only type of telescope you can’t use during the day is a reflector telescope because it projects everything upside down, but refractor and compound telescopes work just fine. Your telescope has a much higher level of magnification than any pair of binoculars you might have so if you want to spend a few hours gazing at distant mountains or hills then your average refractor or compound telescope is ideal for that.

  • Become Famous

    We mentioned this in another article but did you know that if you’re the first person to find a new comet, asteroid or planetoid then it gets named after you? How cool would it be to become the next Edmund Halley and have millions of people staring up at a comet or asteroid named after you for the next couple of hundred years? There are still dozens of new comets, asteroids and other celestial bodies being discovered every single month so why not go out there and grab your 15-minutes (or centuries) of fame?

  • Astrophotography

Once you’ve gained a little bit of experience in using your telescope you can take the next natural step in your amateur astronomy hobby and get involved in astrophotography. Most modern telescopes will have at least some way of allowing you to attach a DSLR camera to them, which means you can set up the camera to see exactly what you’re seeing and then just push a button to take a picture. The beauty of this is that you can share your hobby with your friends through social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but there’s also the option for you to sell some of your best images to stock photography sites and make yourself some extra cash. Yes…you could actually make your hobby pay for itself by just taking a few pictures of the moons, planets and stars you’re gazing at each night anyway!

  • Challenge Yourself

Far too many people simply point their telescope at our Moon, never bothering to up their skill level when it comes to astronomy. Even just our own solar system has a huge amount to offer so why not set yourself a new challenge each and every week? One of the biggest and best goals to start out with is identifying the moons of Jupiter, and you also get to watch them move in front of our impressive gas giant neighbor too. So not only are you increasing your skill and acquiring new knowledge, you’re also keeping your hobby fresh and interesting both for now and years to come.

  • Teach Your Friends

    When you truly enjoy astronomy it becomes something you’ll want to share with your friends so why not make an evening of it by taking your astronomy on the road? You could grab a pizza, or some burgers…or both, a few sodas and head for somewhere with as little light pollution as possible. You don’t think your friends will be interested? Well in that case wait until you show them detailed views of the craters on our Moon, or the rings of Saturn and then watch their minds expand as you’re talking to them about it – even the ones who think telescopes are just for geeks!

In A Nutshell

Your telescope can be as much of a source of fun as you want it to be and even just spreading your astronomical wings to include your friends and do some astrophotography will add a whole new dimension to how much fun astronomy can give you.

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