Questions to ask before buying any telescope

What do you expect to use it for?

If you want to look at the Moon and bright planets, don’t buy a big telescope. You will be frustrated with the small view. If you want to see deep-sky objects like galaxies and star clusters, then get a big telescope.

Do I need to collimate the optics?

Some scopes come pre-collimated (aligned), but if yours doesn’t, then yes. Collimation is done by adjusting mirrors or lenses so that they are aligned properly in order to produce an image free of distortions or aberrations. Some telescopes come with collimation knobs on the back or top of the tube; others require special tools that are not included with most entry-level telescopes. If your telescope is not already collimated, expect to pay around $50 for this service if done by an experienced technician.

What size should my primary mirror be?

This depends on what you plan to use your scope for, but generally speaking bigger is better as long as it won’t break your budget and fits in your car! The most common sizes for amateur astronomers are 6″, 8″ and 10″. Larger mirrors gather more light.

What do I want?

If you’re new to astronomy, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what kind of telescope is best for you. There are so many different kinds out there with different features and capabilities. How do you know which one will fit your needs?

The first step is figuring out what kind of stargazing experience you want. If all you want is something that allows you to see the moon and stars clearly, then almost any telescope will do the trick. If you’re looking for something more advanced, however, such as a planetary or deep sky scope, then there are some additional considerations that come into play.

How much do I want to spend?

When it comes down to it, telescopes are expensive but they don’t have to be ridiculously expensive either. You can find decent starter telescopes at most department stores or big box stores for under $100 but these tend not to last very long at all because they’re made cheaply in China using low-quality components.

Why do you want this telescope?

The first question you need to ask yourself is why you want this particular telescope. If it’s because it looks cool, then don’t buy it. If it’s because you want to see the moon and stars better, then buy it. If your answer is “because I want to take pictures of things,” then keep reading.

How much money do I have?

I’m not going to sugarcoat this; telescopes are expensive. It’s not something that can be bought by impulse or on a whim. You can get a decent starter scope for around $300-$400, but if you really want something that will last for years and years (and years), be prepared to spend at least $800-$1000 on your first scope (this includes any accessories like eyepieces or filters). That being said, there are other options out there that cost less than $200 but aren’t as good as their more expensive counterparts (or at least they won’t last as long). Just make sure what kind of money you’re willing to spend before doing anything else. You can check telescope Celestron like Celestron Starsense Explorer and Celestron Starsense Explorer 114LT Telescope Review.

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