Jun 01

The Importance of Having A Good Quality Telescope

If you’re just getting started out in amateur astronomy then you’re probably wondering what size budget you’ll need to get yourself kitted out properly? You know that you don’t want to buy some $50 mall trashscope, but you’re also not even close to being ready to hand over $1,000 for a big Newtonian scope either. What you need is to find the financial middle ground here when it comes to down to it. You’ll hear some people advise that you should never buy a telescope for less than $500, but we can assure you that there are plenty of great telescopes in the $200 – $400 range, ideal for a beginner’s budget.

That being said money is money and you’re probably wondering exactly why you should spend more than say $100 on a telescope in the first place? Why not allow us to give you some very valid reasons for investing in a high-quality telescope instead of some mall “toy” scope instead.

Reward Your Expectations

The main reason you want to buy a telescope is because you’re fascinated with our solar system and the universe in general right? So when you unbox your telescope and get it all set up the way you wanted the last thing you want to have happen is for the entire experience to fall flat on its face, and this is exactly what happens to people who buy cheap telescopes based solely on the pictures printed on the outside of the box.

The Importance of Having A Good Quality TelescopeAny $50 telescope is going to have a poor lens, wobbly eyepieces and a tripod/mount which shakes more than a politician facing a congressional hearing. In short you’re going to be so disappointed with what you see through a cheap scope that you’ll probably just bin your new hobby and look for something else to do. There’s a very good reason why most informed amateur astronomers invest their money in an Orion, Celestron or Meade telescope when they’re starting off and it’s basically down to the fact that these brands of telescope produce images that a trashscope never, ever could.

An Expandable Hobby

Following on from the fact that you obviously want to be able to see the craters of our Moon, the cloud bands on Jupiter and the rings of Saturn as clearly as possible is the fact that astronomy can become a hobby for life if you want it to be. Obviously how you start out with your new hobby is going to decide how long you stick with it but again if you start with a cheap scope then you’re going to lose interest very quickly and just move on.

On the other hand when you buy a good quality telescope you’ll want to experience more of what the universe has on offer each night, so you’ll invest in some new Plossl eyepieces and other accessories to start with. Then you’ll find that one telescope might not suit all of your needs so you invest in another one which has a larger aperture, or maybe one of the GoTo mount models with a handheld computer instead. Astronomy can be a hobby for a long as you chose for it to be but investing in a high-quality telescope to start off with is always a good move.

Create A Knowledge Heritage

Like with any hobby you tend to become something of an expert after you’ve been involved with it for several years – this includes everything from model making to astronomy. You see when you’re having fun doing something you tend to forget that you’re constantly learning. All those terms like ascension and declination are just second nature to you after a matter of a few days or weeks. Obviously you’re not going to develop this level of knowledge staring through some cheap, unstable refractor – all the more reason for buying a decent Orion, Celestron or Meade in the first place!

What you’ve probably never considered is that all the knowledge you have (or will have) built up about the stars, planets and other celestial bodies is something you can pass on to your brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews too.

Manufacturers Backup

To a certain extent one of the main reasons for spending your hard-earned cash on a high-quality telescope is that if something does ever go wrong at least you have a warranty to back you up, something that isn’t going to happen with a cheap generic telescope. Companies like Orion and Celestron manufacture their telescopes to very high standards, because they don’t want unhappy customers grumbling about their telescopes in online forums – it’s just bad for business.

Spending that extra $150 on your first telescope can be the difference between getting involved in a new hobby you’ll enjoy for decades and throwing in the towel after the first hour.

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