posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 12:56 AM
Three of the most important things for a telescope are the optics, size of the mirror (in a reflector) and whether you want to track the object you
are looking at. If you know these up front you can make a more informed decision.
A refractor is a telescope that looks "through" lenses (like binoculars) as opposed to a reflector which bounces captured light off a mirror to an
eyepiece. The less the number of lenses the light has to pass through before it gets to your eye the less the image degrades. So a reflector is better
. The larger the mirror the more light is gathered from the object you are looking at. 4, 6 or 8" mirrors are the choice for most beginning
astronomers. A 6" is the best for your price range.
You want to track the object as you look at it. Its frustrating trying to keep up with it in the eyepiece as you view it. Without a sturdy stand
(keeps wind vibration down), an equatorial wedge and a motor drive you just see a moving object in the view finder all the time. The farther away the
object, the faster it moves out of view.
Trust me, that is very annoying.