For those of us out there that like to take stargazing just that extra step further, it’s important to invest in a quality telescope and to know what each of the different types have to offer. Here are some of our favourite telescopes that we’d recommend for the average beginner stargazer to kick-start their astronomy viewing experience.
What different types of telescopes are there?
There are three basic types of telescopes: Reflectors use mirrors to bend the light that enters the telescope, meaning that the eyepiece is usually in a more convenient position at the back. This type of telescope is often used to look further into the deeper parts of space to see things like planetary moons and other nearby galaxies. Refractors, usually used by stargazing enthusiasts that are just starting out, are perfect to view closer celestial objects and features such as craters on the moon or brighter planets. Finally, Catadioptric telescopes use a combination of both mirrors and lenses to create a powerful, high-quality magnification.
Orion SkyScanner 100
This reflector telescope is perfect for beginners. It is compact and most importantly very easy to use. It doesn’t require complicated assembly and produces great views of the moon, brighter galaxies and other planets. With a sturdy desktop mount, reasonable price tag of around £145, this telescope is the one to purchase for younger starry-eyed astronomers looking to learn and observe the brilliant universe around us.
Sky-Watcher StarQuest 130P
This telescope, in the middle of the price range at £200, is easy to handle and remains very portable weighing just 8kg. As another reflector telescope, this well-made option can be connected to a smartphone via an adapter to produce digital images. Which means that your discoveries can be saved and shared with friends and family. It’s a great choice for those just starting out and is sure to set amatuer stargazers on a long and enjoyable path of intrigue and exploration.
Meade ETX90 Observer
While this telescope comes with the slightly increased price tag of around £360, it serves as an incredible all-rounder and is very easy to assemble. This telescope provides a clear, crisp view through its intricate lens, boasting ‘breathtaking detail and contrast’ and revealing deep-sky objects with ease.
Now that you’ve got an idea of what telescope to buy, you’re going to want something extra special to look at! Register a star today and use your new-found magnifying powers to find and observe your own small piece of the sky.