you're probably looking at at least a $300 venture.
Reflectors are best for noobs in my opinion, as you can get more aperture (light gathering capabilities) for less money.
While reflectors usually require a little more upkeep than a refractor, and are slightly more difficult to clean, collimate, and carry around..
They allow you to see the "most stuff" for the amount of money you pay.
and really, the upkeep, cleaning, and collimation of reflectors is not all that difficult,
just a little more so than a refracting scope.
Refracting telescope~ Long thin tube, with lenses at the front and rear.
Reflecting scope~ shorter, wider tube, with 2 mirrors and a lens in the eyepiece. (open at the top/front)
There are also other types of scopes also, but for beginners, its usually a reflector or a refractor.
Today, "GoTo" scopes are pretty affordable. ( handheld remote control for slewing and controlling the scope digitally), also comes with huge star
databases that find and track objects automatically for you.
Many astronomers will say that "GoTo" scopes are not great for beginners because they don;t allow the beginner to use their brains as much as they
would without it.
They feel that one can learn more if they are not given a computer built into their scopes, telling them what everything is.
I agree somewhat,
But I have found that having a goto scope is an amazing thing!
and one can learn tons from them!
You may be learning less from books and the like..
but the built in computer teaches you a lot also!
Buying a "GoTo" scope will cost more...
and it can also take away from your aperture.... (if spending more money on GoTo, and less on actual aperture.)
So, You could buy a 5" reflector scope, with GoTo capabilities, that might cost around $300...
Or, you could take that same $300, and do without the "GoTo" computer, and gain a few more inches in aperture. (mirror size), and possibly get an
8" reflector instead.
Which would allow you to see quite a bit more, but you would be guiding the scope and learning by yourself, without the aid of the scope teaching you.
cloudynights forum is a great place for beginners and pros alike.
And all the pros will be more than happy to help you pick a good scope for your needs.
Im sure Im leaving out a lot,
but if you have any specific questions/requests/whatever..
Feel free to ask.
I'll answer what I can.
Im excited for you!
I remember when I got my first real scope..
and it was one of the most exciting times ever!