Choosing a Telescope
There are basically three types of telescopes available in the sector but, before choosing the type of telescope that suits you, you also need to consider other factors including cost, where you will use the telescope and what you will use the telescope for. The three main options on offer include:
1. Refractors (also known as dioptrics) come in the traditional telescope design (i.e. a long tube like body). These telescopes are often used as a first telescope and they are light and can be carried around more easily than other types of telescope. They can be used for looking at both sky and land objects.
2. Reflectors (also known as catoptrics) are generally bigger and heavier than standard refractors. Here the eye piece through which you look is situated on the top of the telescope tube rather than at the end. These telescopes are considered to be good for looking at the night-sky.
3. Compounds (also known as catadioptrics) use lenses and mirrors to show images. These are often heavier and more expensive than other models but can be used for both land and sky viewing. They are also good for astrophotography.
Other choices worth considering here include:
- Aperture - the aperture of your telescope can affect what you see. In basic terms you will see further in certain situations with a bigger aperture.
- Mounts - some mounts come with manual controls and some with motorised drives that can make them easier to move around.
- Filters - if you will be looking at the day time sky with a telescope then you will need a solar filter to avoid eye damage when you view the sun.