How to Buy Your First Telescope

A 16-page must-have handbook for any beginning observer, this booklet includes descriptions of telescope types, mounts, accessories, basic night-sky targets, and more.

Selecting a telescope, like buying a car, is subject to your tastes as a consumer. In other words, the choice is up to you. But the editors at Astronomy magazine have just made that decision a lot easier with “How to Buy Your First Telescope.” This 16-page pluck-out guide sponsored by Celestron appeared in the November 2011 issue of Astronomy.

After reading this goldmine of information, you’ll be able to identify the main types of telescopes (and the advantages of each one), tell the difference between computerized and manual mounts, and select the proper eyepieces and accessories. You’ll also read about getting started as an amateur astronomer. In fact, we’ll even help you target appropriate objects in the sky.

In short, this guide provides everything you need so you can make your first telescope purchase as informed as possible. Thanks to the folks at Celestron for their input and for helping make this 16-page booklet a valuable resource for budding amateur astronomers.By Michael E. Bakich

Buying Your First Telescope


Getting Started in AstronomyTo help spread the word that backyard astronomy is easy and fun, our free Getting Started in Astronomy pamphlet is available as a downloadable 10-page, black-and-white Adobe PDF file suitable for printing and photocopying.

It comes in two versions: one for stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere and another for those in the Southern Hemisphere. Each version contains the following:

1–  “Your First Steps in Astronomy,” offering simple tips for starting out right and avoiding frustration.

2–  “Finding Your Way Among the Stars,” with helpful instructions for using naked-eye star maps.

3–   Six bimonthly charts of the stars and constellations visible in the evening sky throughout the year. (These maps do not show the positions of the Moon and planets, which are always changing. As noted in the instructions, if you see a bright “star” near the line labeled “ECLIPTIC” that’s not on the map, you’ve located a planet.

4–  “Exploring the Moon,” with a lunar map suitable for use with binoculars or the unaided eye.

Getting Started in Astronomy is © 2003 by Sky Publishing and may not be reproduced in any form, either printed or electronic, except as follows:

You are granted the nonexclusive right to print, photocopy, and freely distribute any or all pages of the flyer for personal or noncommercial use as long as you preserve the Sky & Telescope logo and copyright notice on every page. Appropriate uses include distributing copies of the flyer at your club’s Astronomy Day exhibit, or handing out the current evening-sky chart at a star party.

Getting Started in Astronomy – S&T 8 pages

Northern Hemisphere version (858-kilobyte PDF)    with charts suitable for skywatchers in midnorthern latitudes such as the United States, southern Canada, and Europe.


Starry Night Astronomy CompanionStarry Night Companion offers a tour guide to the heavens.  In the these pages, you’ll do something Copernicus could only dream of: You will learn your way around the universe.  You’ll come to know it as a place filled with wonders, from red giant stars to glowing nebulae.

You’ll experience what it would be like to view the sky from hundreds of light years away.  And like the astronauts, you’ll return to Earth with a new perspective on our planet and its place in the cosmos.

Best of all, you’ll enrich your experience of the wonders above our heads.  The sky is there for us to enjoy, and that enjoyment is only increased when we understand what we are seeing.  When we stand under a dome of stars, we can see it with the benefit of centuries of detective work that have unraveled the heavens’ secrets.

And we can ponder the mysteries that remain for us to solve, if we only pay attention.

  Starry Night Astronomy Companion 192 Pages


 Star Date – Teacher’s GuideEach activity in the StarDate/Universo Teacher Guide meets the U.S. National Science Education Standards (NSES), which were developed with these guiding principles:

• Science is for ALL students.
• Learning science is an active process.
• School science reflects traditions of contemporary science.
• Improving science is part of systemic education reform.

The NSES promote not just hands-on science, but also minds-on science.

The astronomy context of these activities aligns their content with the NSES “Physical Science” and “Earth and Space Science” standards.  The “Science as Inquiry” standards manifest in the structure and format of the activities.

Some activities overlap grade levels; many teachers will find ways to modify the activities to fit the level of their students.   StarDate -Teacher Guide




How to Choose Your First Telescope

I’m wrote this article assuming you have little or no knowledge of telescopes and need a place to start.

You need to consider your own individual needs including cost, versatility, portability usability, appearance etc. Start simple.

Telescopes with all the bells and whistles, computer controls etc, as good as they are, will hinder or limit the beginner in truly appreciating and understanding their way around the night sky. Besides they’re much more expensive to purchase. Click here 

How to Choose Your First Telescope


Aboriginal Astronomy by Ray Norris

Some Aboriginal groups use the motions of celestial bodies for calendar purposes. Many attribute religious or mythological meanings to celestial bodies and phenomena. There is a diversity of astronomical traditions in Australia, each with its own particular expression of cosmology.

However, there appear to be common themes and systems between the groups.We can’t help being intrigued by the beauty and mystery of the sky, whatever our ancestry, and we all love to swap stories about it.

By doing so, this project aims to promote a greater appreciation of the depth and richness of Indigenous Australian cultures. Aboriginal Astronomy by Ray Norris


I Bought a Telescope – What Now
Just how much can one expect to see looking through a moderate, say 6 to 10-inch, reflecting telescope?  Will a nebula be just a fuzzy cloud or will it display form and structure? Will a galaxy have detail or be just a fuzzy patch in the eyepiece? How about the Moon and planets?The answer to these questions depends on several factors. Some have to do with the telescope being used, the environment one observes from, and the object being observed. Let’s explore a few of these factors.

I Bought a Telescope – What Now


An Introduction to Astrophotography

What do you need to know before getting into Astrophotography? If you’ve ever paged through any astronomy magazine on the market and you turn to the pages at the back where they show the images submitted by the readers you may think that you will never be able to afford to do any astrophotography or that you will never achieve results like that?

Well, don’t despair because you don’t have to be a millionaire to start the great hobby of astrophotography. This guide will refer to equipment with which you can achieve very good results without having to break the bank.




 NOW… Have a Look At Our Selection Of FREE

Astronomy/Space FACT SHEETS!






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