posted on Dec, 14 2010 @ 05:28 AM
A telescope is only as good as the quality of its mirror // lense.
You have three types:
Refractor: - uses lenses to form the image.
Reflector: - Uses mirrors to form the image.
And catadioptric: Uses both lense and mirror:
Each type has its perks, whether size, price or quality, for example, I have an 8 inch reflector, which is great for planets galaxies, nebulas etc,
but its a pain in the arse to move about due to its size / length.
Here are my tips:
chose a known brand, don't buy a cheapy or you will get nowhere, think Meade, Celestron etc, AVOID Tasco
Think size, reflectors are cheap, good image but bulky, refractors are expensive, bulky but do work well and are easier maintained, catadioptric
(Schmidt-Cassegrain, Maksutov-Cassegrain etc) are small, compact, great image quality but can be expensive.
Mount: Alt-Azimuth Mount - great all rounder, especially motor drive. Equatorial Mount - absolute must for photography, its easier to follow a star
/ planets motion to the earth.
Eyepieces: Depends what you intend to do with your new scope, you will want a few different eyepieces for different things, and a Barlow lens which
sits in between the main lense and the scope and provides double // triple the magnification. 25mm or 40mm focal length are best suited for deep
space, star or nebulas. For the moon and planets, between 4mm and 18mm are best.
look into solar / lunar and light pollution filters.
Hope this helps.
EDIT: Forgot to say, the bigger the aperture (lense // mirror) the better.
edit on 14/12/10 by woogleuk because: (no reason given)