Tips for Using Telescopes

What are Telescopes

History of Telescopes

Tips On Using Telescopes

Frequently Asked Questions


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Tips for Using Telescopes

Telescope can lead to most interesting experiences in the field of astronomy. For amateur astronomers and enthusiasts, general tips on telescope can prove helpful in getting started.

First thing first, is your telescope lying in the box it came in? You must have kept it away to first learn about the ordeal of peeping at the fantastic cosmos through the eyepiece. To really develop this craving into a serious hobby, it is wise to first find a few good books on the stars and constellations. Unless you understand the symmetry of stars, craters, constellations and planets, you would not be able to understand the entire theory of universe and its history till date.

If you are still in course of finding a good telescope, here are a few words of caution. It helps to know that the optimum magnification limit for any telescope is 50-60 power per inch of aperture. If you have, for example, a 6-inch reflector, 300-power is as high as you should ever attempt to go. For an optimum of a 3-inch refractor, it should be 150 power. Do not go by the vague and illogical promises made by manufacturers assuring a double or even triple magnification.

Now that you know what magnifications you can expect and with some background reading, I am sure we can touch the other practical tips,

Observation: You can begin with observing closely as you gaze at the sky. There is a complete expanse of stars, nebulae and galaxies for you to explore. The choices are next to infinite. As you come across the crescent moon next time, look at it closely. Keep on expanding your knowledge, as you grow fonder of the instrument that takes you closer to such a cosmic experience.

Know your skies: It is an excellent endeavour to learn and find your way through constellations and stars with the naked eye. Become an expert at recognizing and spotting cosmic bodies. Search for a cornerstone constellation and keep track as you move toward others. After few such attempts, the sky will fall into a familiar configuration for you. Astronomers often create their own shapes and symmetrical figures to keep track. Working with star patterns is a skill that will eventually lead you to spatial targets in the sky.

Community: Find people with astronomical interests in your neighbourhood. You can also find enthusiasts online and learn about their experience. Meeting a beginner who feels the same way about the cosmic world can be a motivating experience. You can also start with introductory level of astronomy textbook to grasp the basics. Textbooks are the most systematic way of learning through chapters, modules and questions for follow up. The updated versions generally keep you abreast with new developments in astronomy. You can also join a library with specialized literature for beginners.

All in all, astronomy can be fun to enjoy with your colleagues, friends and family. Ideally, the most appropriate time to purchase a telescope is after you have had your preliminary round of sky discovery and learning. For beginners, even a pair of good binoculars can help. When you are conversant with the happenings of the cosmos, you can think about a good telescope. Telescopes normally take up a lot of space, but for the sky connoisseur looking to indulge into the art, the sky is not a limit-it is just a journey to unending possibilities.


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