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Stargazing Good first telescope

  1. Oct 16, 2009 #1

    I'm not sure if this is the right section but it seems the best one for this question. I've been looking to buy a telescope just for fun and I'm surprised with just how many different options are available out there. I'm looking for something that's good for beginners since I've never really had a proper telescope before, and nothing too expensive (probably ~150-200$)

    Anyone could recommend anything? Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2009 #2
    There are quite a few good options-- I think you can get a small dob for that price range, which is what I would do. If not, one of the small Meade or Celestron scopes (can't remember the exact P/N) would be good.

    I suggest you go to this site (click on 'Forums'), look for the beginner forum, you'll find more options and opinions there on this kind of thing.

  4. Oct 17, 2009 #3


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    Find a nearby astronomy club, and attend a meeting or two as a visitor/guest. Let the members know that you are interested in astronomy and are thinking about buying a telescope. Someone may have one for sale, and best of all, you'll get to try it out before buying. Buying a 'scope before you have an idea what will serve you best is a good way to end up disappointed, with an infrequently-used 'scope.
  5. Oct 17, 2009 #4
    What do you hope to see through your scope? I usually recommend a 6 inch dobsonian as anyones first telescope. This would be capable of some deep sky work. You will want to spend more like $300 though. Anything less will be a disappointment and will hinder the somewhat difficult process of learning your way around the night sky and learning how to effectively use the scope. If you only wish to look at planets and the moon once in a while though, you can get away with something cheaper. On the other hand if you just want to see jupiter once a year, just find a local astronomy club and they will be glad to show it to you.
  6. Oct 17, 2009 #5
    Thanks for the link! I'll be looking over their review section and see if I can find something interesting.

    We have a pretty big planetarium here and I just found out they have an amateur astronomy club so I think I'll join. It's ~30$ for a year and gives you access to some of their equipment, classes and access to talks given by people "in the field". Thanks for the tip!

    The more I look online the more I realize that spending less than 300$ isn't a good idea. I figure I should wait a bit and spend more to get something that'll last longer and that I can really enjoy. In the meantime I'll see what the astronomy club has to offer!

    Thanks for the replies
  7. Nov 1, 2009 #6
    It might be an idea to buy a pair of binoculars first. Less expensive and you might be able to get a feel for what you would like to gain from a telescope.
  8. Nov 2, 2009 #7


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    I agree with turbo's suggestion, good chance to view before commiting. Generally speaking, telescopes tend not to wear out. Serious amateurs are often willing to part with 'used' equipment at attractive prices.
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