Different Types of Telescopes and Their Uses

Different Types of Telescopes and Their Uses

Gazing at the darkened sky, speckled with stars and moons and planets through a telescope opens up the imagination for skilled astronomers. For a person that has never used a telescope before it may sound difficult to do. For the beginner, maneuvering an instrument may seem tricky and the technology might appear intimidating because of the complexity of the tasks involved. On the contrary, there are telescopes made simple enough for even the beginner astronomer with simple adjustments yet very solid functionality.

Choosing a Telescope

The universal telescope made perfectly for everyone that desires to see what is beyond our atmosphere does not exist, so consumers need to prepare beforehand when considering such a purchase. Instead, each type of telescope is manufactured to perform certain functions that distinguish it from other telescopes, making choosing the best telescope somewhat of a challenge for the novice user. The best telescope for the casual observer is one that will assist with obtaining the most enjoyment, while providing the best view of the objects the astronomer wishes to see. It should also conform to the buyer’s interests, needs, and wallet. There are essentially three Categories of telescopes to choose from, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

The refractor telescope comprised of lenses that gather and bend light, has a tendency to be more on the larger side. This telescope’s bragging feature is that it is manufactured with lenses that allow the light through unobstructed, as opposed to its competition with mirrors. To elaborate, think of a piece of glass opposed to a mirror. Which one allows the light to penetrate better? This unimpeded passage of brightness creates an improved contrast for the viewer, giving the refractor telescope bragging rights in this category. Cleaning is almost unnecessary with this all-encased telescope, and problems with misalignment are almost non-existent. On the pricey side when measured up to other similar telescopes, the refractor delivers some of the clearest visions.

The reflector, hence its name, contains mirrors to gather and refract the light from the northern skies. The reflector’s bragging rights come in the measurement of the aperture, or the circumference of the lens. The higher the aperture, the more light is brought in which results in a superior image. For less money than the refractor, a reflector with a larger aperture can be purchased that provides similar or even higher quality viewing. Because the images that are observed are brighter with a larger aperture, the star gazer can see more objects with the reflector than the refractor. The reflector requires more cleaning than the refractor, but an economical buy, value is the key aspect of the reflector.

The compound telescope is a mixture of the refractor and the reflector, consisting of lenses and mirrors combined. Smaller and much more portable than the refractor and the reflector, the compound telescope is normally considered a smart investment. Although brightness is compromised with this versatile telescope, it boasts clearer images than both the refractor and the reflector. Reasonably priced per comparison, the compound telescope is wonderful for the beginner and should definitely be considered if a particular model within this class is affordable.

A wave of digital telescopes are also available for purchase and are marvelous for viewing with, but the astronomer needs to know where to direct the digital scope to “look” in order to catch a glimpse of their intended destination. For this reason, it would not be the best investment for the beginner telescope user, even though they do deliver excellent viewing.

Starting out with a more basic telescope with average features is the best bet. As desires change and the need to expand to a further part of the universe increases, the more accomplished astronomer can consider upgrading to a stronger telescope that requires more skill. In conclusion, the best telescope theory is simply a myth; whatever best fits your needs is the proper choice.

Beginner Telescopes

There are a myriad of different telescopes available on the market for novice stargazers; they fall under the classifications of refractors, reflectors, and compound telescopes. Coming to a decision as to which telescope is right for the aspiring astronomer will depend on their overall viewing expectations.  Although price is always a factor to some degree while seeking the perfect beginner’s telescope, other options to consider like size and portability will also directly affect the amount of enjoyment obtainable from the model.

The price of anything nowadays is usually a deciding factor in any purchasing situation because of the current economy. Telescopes can range from the inexpensive children’s type telescope that provides only basic views of the sky to the mammoth telescope NASA uses to view distant galaxies in perfect detail, named the Hubble Space telescope. Purchasing a telescope from either end of the price spectrum can ultimately leave the consumer frustrated or disappointed if their skill level does not match the complexities of the product. The more expensive telescopes have a tendency to be more complicated and manufactured for use by the accomplished astronomer, leaving the beginner perplexed due to the advanced options. The expected price of a telescope to start exploring the stars with ranges from $200 to $600; however, used models can often be found at a fraction of that price.

Due to the fact that telescope manufacturers promote their telescopes on the market according to the magnification, people assume that magnification is the most important factor. This cannot be further from the truth. The size of the objective, or the lens, is the primary factor in producing the clearest images. The power of the objective mixed with the focus of the magnification produces the image to the eye. Most skilled astronomers normally work with low magnification to view their favorite spots in the sky because the image actually appears clearer than at a high magnification. For the beginning astronomer, in fact, a magnification between 30x and 50x and an objective between four and six inches is more than enough viewing power.

If the telescope will be used specifically for indoor viewing and moving the telescope to different places is not an option, portability should not be a factor. Refractor telescopes are larger size telescopes, characterized by their use of lenses for an objective. For the astronomer wishing to create the perfect experience by relocating the telescope outside, size and portability will definitely need to be taken into consideration before the model is purchased. Reflector telescopes, characterized by the use of mirrors instead of lenses, are a smaller, more portable version of the telescope and they normally work better for the aspiring stargazer who wishes to view the sky from multiple locations.

The beginner will also want to stay away from the computerized telescopes until they acquire a grasp of the sky and its expansive map. These telescopes require the user to input where objects are in the sky in order to function, and the novice astronomer will not have readily memorized this information. As a beginner, it will be more important to learn the map of the sky with the telescope, instead of learning the telescope and the map separately.

Building a Newtonian Telescope

The Newtonian telescope dates back to the days of the Newton era, hence the name. Sir Isaac Newton, a British scientist, while playing around with a couple of mirrors and a scope, and eventually created the first reflector telescope in 1668. Amateur astronomers that are interested in building their own telescope normally favor the Newtonian telescope to reproduce because of its simplicity and ease of use.

Refractors and reflectors are the two prominent telescopes used by star gazers today, and these categorizations are derived from the type of light collecting tool the telescope contains. The refractor telescope utilizes several lenses to collect the light into the telescope, while the reflector instead uses mirrors.  When building a telescope at home, the Newtonian telescope is often chosen because of the simplicity of the build. While people think that building a telescope that actually works like an expensive is complicated, it is a fairly straightforward project that can be completed without too much headache once all of the materials are gathered.  The essential steps are below.

  1. Purchase a mirror with the diameter of about 6” to 8” for the objective.
  2. Create an octagonal tube constructed with slender plywood to ensure the telescope is lightweight. Glue eight boards, cut at 1/8” identically, around nine 1/8 octagonal formers each containing a 7¼” diameter cutout.
  3.  Pin together all the baffles and the ½” plywood back plate, then cut and sand them into shape. This will guarantee that they are all equal in size.
  4. Cut eight 3 1/3” by 48” boards into 22 ½ degree bevels on the edges. Mark the bevels with the positions of the baffles. Using woodworking glue, glue the bevels to the marked positions.  It is important to check that they are all square and vertical.
  5. Start gluing the boards on carefully to avoid twisting. Glue one on one side, then glue a board to the other side, working around the tube alternating sides. Leave the final board off until the inside is painted and the project is ready to be finished. Give a second coating with PVA glue to strengthen to the joints, then let dry overnight.
  6. Mark the spot where the mirror will reside inside the tube, and drill four holes to accommodate the ½” plywood cell plate.
  7. Apply a coat of blackboard paint to the inside of the tube, and be sure to paint the last board that was left off. While the paint is still wet, throw some sawdust into the tube, coating the entire inside. Shake the excess dust out, and apply a second coat of paint to seal the sawdust in. Let this dry.  Once dry, use a vacuum to clean up any stray sawdust.
  8. Attach the final board to the telescope.
  9. Coat the outside of the tube with sanding sealer, rub it down, and then finish off with a couple coats of glossy white paint.

The finished do-it-yourself at home Newtonian telescope will not only be fabulous looking, it will provide countless hours of viewing pleasure fueled by self accomplishment.  It also allows the user a unique insight on the inner workings of a telescope and this knowledge will definitely help when choosing more powerful models in the future. In addition, a home built telescope is far less expensive than one purchased at the store and if built properly will deliver nearly identical or even clearer images of the solar system for the exploring astronomer.

Bushnell Telescopes

Bushnell, a company that specializes in manufacturing quality telescopes and a whole line of other technologically advanced tools and instruments, is considered an industry leader in sports optics. Prominent organizations have granted performance and design awards for many of their products for outstanding craftsmanship and features. The range of purposes for their telescopes can fall anywhere between studying nature and hunting to star gazing and bird watching, and are usually considered to land in the category of “sports optics” to knowledgeable astronomers. Bushnell has manufactured products ranging from telescopes and spotting scopes to binoculars and weather resistant digital cameras, just to name a few. Offering technologically advanced astronomy for the ambitious star gazer, these Bushnell telescopes provide computerized functions to assist the user with finding points in the night sky that they desire to discover and study.

For example, the Bushnell NorthStar Series Telescope is equipped with touch controls and a built in catalog of 20,000 celestial objects. Simple enough for the amateur first starting to learn, this telescope contains a “Go To” command that instructs the telescope to find what the user “tells” it to find. An automatic tracking function can keep the object chosen in the viewer, and then follows it without additional interaction from the user. The RVO, or Real Voice Output, comes in handy in conjunction with the display to make it easy to read while using the telescope in the dark of the night. The tripod assembles in seconds and an included accessory tray tops this amazing telescope off.

The Bushnell Discoverer Series, similar to the NorthStar Series, also features the Real Voice Output and a database of celestial objects programmed into it. The database is a bit smaller than the one in the NorthStar series, but it is more focused and detailed on the objects programmed within.  An eyepiece that rotates, allowing the user to share viewing with another star gazer without messing up the focus of the telescope, is also featured in this state-of-the-art telescope.  Easily adjustable and accurate to a fault, the Bushnell Discovery Series telescope will provide the viewer with an awesome toured voyage to the galaxies from the comfort of their home or anywhere they decide to view the universe.

The Bushnell Telescope Voyager Sky Tour series features a talking hand-set that gives the user detailed audio descriptions of the planets and stars. The Smart Mount that it resides on directs the telescope as the audio does the talking, making functionality and technology combine into one awesome viewing experience. The audio voice is even programmed to feed the user interesting facts about the parts of the sky they are viewing as they move along. Versatile, the Bushnell Telescope Voyager Sky Tour is available as either a refractor or a reflector, catering to the desires of astronomers that have a preference of either technology.

Bushnell’s computerized telescopes, decked out in the newest technological advancements, are the new way to explore the wonders that the night sky has to share. The ease of use of these telescopes makes them suited well for the beginning astronomer, and the veteran star gazer will make full use of the many advanced features packed within each model.


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Celestron Telescopes

The Southern California based company, Celestron, manufactured its first telescope in 1960. Since then, the company has developed into a leader in the telescope industry with recognition that stretches around the globe. Celestron proudly presents humbly priced beginner telescopes for amateur users on up to the hefty high powered viewing lenses made for the most skilled astronomer. From spotting scopes for the hunter to telescopes for the astronomer and binoculars for the bird watcher, Celestron has covered all of the sight enhanced bases. Celestron has also incorporated computerized technology into their telescopes to carry star gazing to new heights, to the thrill and excitement of astronomers encompassing every skill level.

For beginners interested in purchasing a new Celestron telescope, the Celestron NexStar SLT telescopes are an ideal choice.  These telescopes come equipped with the GoTo technology that people are raving about, since it makes finding a particular star or constellation a breeze. GoTo refers to the software and mount that work together simultaneously to automatically fix on an object in the sky that the user wishes to view. Celestron’s software, SkyAlign, needs the user to key in the time, date, and location, then point the telescope to any three items in the sky. With the assistance of the StarPointer Finderscope, NexStar will then perfectly align the telescope for the beginner astronomer without the commonly associated hassles.  In addition, the NexStar SLT is portable, lightweight, and effortless to assemble. Ranging between $400 and $500, these telescopes are a bargain for the technology enhancements they offer to the ambitious new astronomer.

A popular line of Celestron’s newest telescopes, for example, the CPC Series Computerized Telescopes, come decked out with SkyAlign technology and GPS alignment for expediency. The SkyAlign makes aligning the telescope a painless task, while the GPS is programmed to download from satellites the exact time and date as well as its position on Earth. Once the telescope has accomplished this, getting the telescope into the proper alignment is quite simple with the aid of SkyAlign.  Once aligned, Celestron’s telescope software NexStar can establish the positions of the stars and planets in the night sky without additional programming from the user. The CPC catalog is comprised of over 40,000 celestial objects, including stars, nebulas, and other points of interest. While telescopes are supposed to only view the sky at night due to the delicate nature of the parts of the telescope and the possible strain on the eyes, the CPC series contains a “Solar Sys Align” feature that allows the astronomer the pleasure to view the planets and start during the daytime as well. These computerized telescopes can hit the pocket hard with an average price near $2000, but considering the amount of software and the technological advancements these telescopes are comprised of they are a worthwhile investment for the serious hobbyist.

Celestron was right on the money when they created these state-of-the-art telescopes, taking the headache out of the tedious steps of using a telescope by installing intelligent software right into their products. Their new generation of enhanced telescopes will entice any new astronomer to hop right into the sky, while veteran users will appreciate many of their routine viewing tasks being completed for them automatically.

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Dobsonian Telescopes

The Dobsonian telescope, named after John Dobson who initially designed the mount that holds the telescope, is a reflector telescope by category.  Utilizing mirrors to bring the light into the telescope, this is a great beginner’s model that is very affordable. The Dobson telescope is quite often referred to as a Newtonian telescope, one of the oldest and most popular types of modern reflector telescopes. The “Galilean” or refractor telescope, on the other hand, uses a series of lenses to collect the light.

Boasted as the best telescope for the cost, the Dobsonian telescope has a much wider aperture, or light gathering device, than other comparable telescopes at the same price. This simply means that the Dobsonian can pull in more light than other telescopes with a smaller aperture.   And, the more light that the telescope is able to bring in, the more improved sights that can be observed through the telescope. This being said, if a good sized budget is available for a telescope, it could purchase a really large and powerful Dobsonian.

There are also a few disadvantages to the Dobsonian telescope, and the main one is their recurring need for realignment, necessitating more maintenance than its counterpart, the refractor. Misaligned telescopes produce poor resolution of objects being viewed through the telescope. Owning a Dobsonian will mean that it is imperative to learn and know how to collimate, or re-align, a telescope. Something else that will be imperative to learn in order to use the Dobsonian telescope to its full abilities is how to position the telescope unless, of course, it is computerized. The Dobsonian will require cleaning as well, unlike the refractor telescopes that necessitate almost no cleaning at all.

Computerized Dobsonians are on their own level, able to automatically pinpoint exact objects that the viewer wants to see. The downfall of computerized telescopes is that the person operating must know how to “tell” the telescope where to “look”, and for the beginner or the even slightly skilled star gazer, this could be confusing and frustrating. However, for the advanced or highly skilled astronomer computerized telescopes are almost irreplaceable. On evenings when the sky is clear, a computerized telescope could contribute to hours of non-stop, technologically enhanced sky patrolling.

The smaller Dobsonians are made with the intention to be portable. The lightweight structure of the hollow-tubed Dobsonian contributes to its portability, making it easier to carry.  Since setting the telescope up is a breeze, it can be moved from the upstairs room to the outside for marvelous evening viewing whenever necessary.

As with all telescopes, the Dobsonian has its unique features as well as its disadvantages. For the beginner astronomer, the Dobsonian is a great investment because of its price and portability. If the willingness to learn more about the telescope and use it to its full capabilities, the Dobsonian can become one of the best purchases ever made. All in all, a Dobsonian telescope performs as a great economical telescope for the star gazer that is desires to further his education in astronomy without crushing their bank account, and should be strongly considered before making an initial purchase.


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Spotting Scopes

Spotting scopes are telescopes that are created specifically for daytime use.  Because the magnification levels of the spotting scope start where the binoculars end, this makes an excellent tool for all levels of astronomers. It presents several different uses, including surveillance, bird watching, and hunting just to name a few. A refractor by classification, the spotting scope uses a series of prisms to collect the light.  Although designed as a telescope, the spotting scope differs tremendously.

Smaller than the astronomical telescope, the spotting scope reveals an image that is upright as opposed to the telescope, which normally creates an upside down or reverse image. Magnification in the spotting scope is much lower than the telescope, which allows objects to be viewed in the daylight. Telescopes utilize mounts, as opposed to the spotting scope, which is normally accompanied by a photo tripod. Unlike the telescope, the spotting scope is manufactured to be resilient to water and fog.

In addition to the examples listed above, the spotting scope can easily attach to a camera to take pictures at a distance. The spotting scope allows viewing landscapes, ships in the ocean, and other distant objects that a binocular has a hard time focusing on. They can also be used along with pistols, rifles, and archery at a shooting range.

The desire of the user is the deciding factor in what kind of spotting scope to purchase. Most of the observing that is done with a spotting scope only needs 30x to 40x magnification. Otherwise, the scope’s magnification mixed with the daytime atmosphere can create haziness or blurriness. Regardless of how expensive and wonderful the spotting scope is; if the magnification is exceedingly high, the quality of the images will suffer.

When actually purchasing a spotting scope, understand that they are defined with numbers. The numbers correspond to the magnification and the size of the lens respectively. For instance, the numbers 25-40×50 represent a range of magnification of 25x to 40x and a front lens that measures 50 mm in diameter. The size of the objective, or measurement of the lens in millimeters, determines how much detail the spotting scope will convey.

Of course, a quality lens will far override the size of the objective, so whenever the choice is available quality is the option to choose. Also, when discussing size it’s important to remember that a smaller scope will be more portable than a larger one. Consider the use that will be required for the scope, and purchase accordingly.

It is important to decide what the main objective is when purchasing a spotting scope. If the scope is being purchased to use with a camera during the day, quality images delivered by a larger objective will be far more important than the magnification. If using the scope for hunting, the size of the spotting scope will be important, considering that the hunter carries a rifle as well. Compact and versatile, the spotting scope is a useful tool for the sporty hunter, the artistic photographic and the quiet bird watcher alike.

Tasco Telescopes

Tasco Worldwide, otherwise known as simply Tasco, manufactured a line of telescopes geared specifically for the beginner astronomer.  Based in sunny Miramar, Florida, Tasco first started as a fishing and hardware distributor called Tanross Supply Company. When the Tanross Supply Company started manufacturing binoculars and eyepieces, the name of the company was changed to Tasco in 1954. Today, Tasco telescopes are managed and produced by Bushnell Performance Optics; the company that purchased the line in 2002 after Tasco Worldwide filed bankruptcy and liquidated their assets.

Quite often compared to the Celestron telescopes, the Tasco line is frequently found in department type stores, leading to a significant amount of criticism regarding its telescopes. Boasted as beginner telescopes, the Tasco refractors that are available for purchase at the local department stores have a tendency to contain very small, non-achromatic objective lenses that are often complained about by the consumer.  In addition, emphasizing the magnification of their telescopes has hurt the Tasco brand, as even beginner astronomers understand that the magnification is not the key to clear and concise views. On the contrary, it is the size of the objective that determines the power of the telescope and stating otherwise makes many consumers feel somewhat cheated.  Packaging on the Tasco brand products will announce that the telescope and accessories in the box are a “complete package”, but the telescope, particularly the eyepieces, the star diagonal, and the accessories, are manufactured with poor quality and often need to be replaced.  Despite the criticism that Tasco has received, the product line up of binoculars, telescopes, spotting scopes, and rifle scopes are still popular because they are inexpensive and decent in quality. These are normally the telescopes that parents have purchased to present to their children on birthdays or the inexperienced astronomer has scooped up to initiate their star gazing dreams without expending a large amount of cash.

Tasco telescopes are far from useless, though. The mirrors included in the Tasco reflectors are made with respectable quality, and fortunately there are changes that can easily be made to these telescopes in order to achieve better quality views. For the astronomer that already purchased one of these telescopes, adding a better eyepiece and star diagonal to the Tasco telescope will enhance the views drastically.  On a Newtonian reflector however, star diagonals won’t work so do not spend the extra money thinking otherwise. Desired magnification for Tasco telescopes should be kept low, specifically in the 30x-40x range, to avoid instabilities that can occur such as shakiness and movement of objects out of the field of viewing. With these small adjustments to the Tasco telescope, viewing pleasure should increase significantly.

As a beginner telescope, Tasco telescopes may leave the aspiring astronomer disappointed with the results and unfortunately causing them to give up on astronomy altogether.  Originally built with integrity and more quality components, these telescopes seemed to have diminished in quality over the years due to increased demand for budget models and expanding competition at the high end price points.  From an economical standpoint though, if budget is the only factor a Tasco telescope will provide visual access to the stars, planets, and moons at a cheaper price than most of the other telescopes on the market and can always be upgraded when viewing demands require it.

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Used Telescopes

As people expand their knowledge about telescopes and become accustomed to the functions, there is an inclination to run out to purchase a newer, more technological telescope. Stop right there! Why not buy a used telescope with advanced features that only come on the more expensive models? It seems there is a wave of astronomers, beginner and advanced, that are selling their old telescope and purchasing new ones. For the bargain shopper or someone who simply doesn’t have the budget to purchase the snazzy new telescopes on the market, buying a used telescope is a perfect solution.

A local telescope store will carry an assortment of telescopes and accessories, new and used. They also employ people that possess the knowledge to point the prospective buyer in the right direction for a used telescope to meet the buyer’s desires. The local telescope store can provide a number of decent used telescopes to the buyer, describing in detail the advantages and disadvantages of each one. When looking for a used telescope, this is probably the best place to start.

The internet is a vast market for almost anything consumers are looking to purchase. Shop around on the internet for used telescopes, simply by typing it into the search engine. Literally thousands of websites and companies display their products on the internet, and drastic bargains can sometimes be found.  When shopping on the internet though, beware of companies and websites that are privately owned.  Checking the comments and review websites is an intelligent way to investigate sellers on the internet before handing out even a penny.

Also consider inquiring at pawn shops. People bring their used electronics to pawn shops in exchange for money every single day. Sometimes new items can be found in pawn shops, but for the most part used and completely functional, well-kept electronic items make up most of the store. Pawn shops carry a wide variety of used electronic equipment from stereos, computers, cameras, game consoles, and sometimes even telescopes. Each pawn shop decides which items they will accept and which items they will not, so it’s not sure-fire that pawn shops will keep them in stock but it’s always worth a quick look.

When inquiring at the telescope stores and the pawn shops, ask if they will make a trade. There’s an excellent likelihood that they will agree to accept the old telescope in addition to a little money in exchange for a different, more enhanced used telescope that they have in stock. A handy tip when inside these stores is to carefully study the price tag since many retailers will include the date purchased on it.  If that telescope has been sitting idle for a good bit of time it is likely that an extended discount can be negotiated.  The internet can also be a superb way to sell a current telescope that’s no longer up to par for the advancing astronomer.

For the beginner astronomer ready to make their first purchase, the telescope shop would be the most informative place to look. Lack of education about telescopes could lead to purchasing one that requires advanced user knowledge in order to operate, or features that are not worth the investment for the user’s skill level. On the other hand, if the buyer has a specific model in mind that they’re interesting in purchasing and they are aware of the pros and cons of the telescope, the internet and the pawn shops are outstanding resources to find the absolute lowest price available.

Telescope Accessories

Prior to propping up the telescope and putting it to use, there are several convenient accessories that the star gazer should consider purchasing to enhance their viewing pleasure.  A magnificent tool used to view the night sky, the telescope functions by gathering the light from the stars, moon, etc. and refracts (if it has lenses) or reflects (if it has mirrors) the light, and then delivers the image to the retina of the eye.  Used by itself, the telescope will deliver the sights beyond the atmosphere, but adding accessories can create an enhanced experience.

Starting with comfort, the observer will seriously enhance their star gazing escapade with a comfortable chair. Many people do not consider this an accessory to the telescope, but after using the telescope without a chair a few times will prove this point on its own.  Discomfort while observing will eventually lead to less use of the telescope, and the overall experience will become generally unappealing.

For the beginner astronomer, a star gazing book is the perfect addition to the telescope. Books are essential tools for learning the map of the stars, but will require their own accessory. In order to read the book while examining the sky, it is necessary to procure a lighting fixture that will not affect star gazing. An adjustable light that can easily change brightness is the best bet for this job.

To preserve the delicate, and quite often costly, telescope, a storage case will embrace the parts in a convenient container. With an assortment of colors and designs padded for the comfort of the telescope’s elements, cases are an accessory that the telescope owner cannot do without. A good storage case should be able to handle minor drops and falls while keeping the telescope safe. Because the telescope is considered an investment by most people, the case can be considered a wise purchase that will protect one’s investment.

Another item that can protect the telescope is a scope cover. Weather is the worst enemy for the telescope, and anything that fights dampness and humidity will extend the overall life of a product. The natural elements like thunderstorms and dust storms can be devastating to the telescope, and the rays of the sun can be extremely harsh on your equipment over time. A scope cover protects the lenses or mirrors from the callous elements of the weather, essentially extending the life of the product and guaranteeing the clearest possible images.

The portability of the telescope will depend on whether or not there is a battery or power supply to use on electronic models. If observing the sky from a location away from home, an automobile battery charger is an essential accessory for uninterrupted viewing.  If a power supply is instead used the unit should be capable of use throughout the evening without interruption.

Hundreds of other telescope accessories are available to the star gazing fanatic to make their star-hopping more comfortable, and the items listed above are only a few of the accessories to get the beginner astronomer get on their way to observing the beauty of the evening skies. As the amateur becomes more accomplished in using their new telescope; they will discover additional wants and needs to further enhance their experience, and luckily the amount of accessories are almost as endless as the universe itself.

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