Telescopes for beginners

Talk or ask questions about the hardware used in astronomy.
Post Reply
ATB
Posts: 1
Joined: April 14th, 2013, 6:29 pm

Telescopes for beginners

Post by ATB » April 14th, 2013, 6:33 pm

I am looking to buy my husband a telescope as a graduation gift. I know absolutely nothing about them, so I'm hoping to find some info through this forum. We live in Baton Rouge now, but will soon be moving to a rural area with much less light pollution. He is an amateur, so he won't likely need anything too high tech. I'd like to spend less than $200. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Poppa-Chris
Posts: 112
Joined: December 13th, 2012, 6:32 pm
Location: Denham Springs, LA

Re: Telescopes for beginners

Post by Poppa-Chris » April 15th, 2013, 2:33 pm

For a first scope for an adult I would reccommend a Dobsonian mount reflector of 6" to 8" aperture.

http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Dob ... egoryId=13

But at $200 your budget is a tad light. There will be accessories (added eyepieces, filters, charts, books, etc.) that he will want/need that will also effect the total cost.

But most scopes that are smaller in aperture or have flimsy mounts that will fall into your price range will be very disappointing in the long run. If you wish to give him something to truly enjoy for many years, you will really be looking more along the lines of $500.
Poppa-Chris


"First star to the right, then straight on until morning!" - Peter Pan

Christopher K.
Posts: 4376
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Telescopes for beginners

Post by Christopher K. » April 16th, 2013, 10:36 pm

It is true that $200 limits your choices. Lack of electronics is no problem; you want the telescope to be manual, especially if it's a surprise and he didn't have any active role in choosing the model.

One alternative might be to buy a nice binocular, say anywhere from 6x to 12x, along with a BRAS membership and a good book on binocular astronomy for beginners. An advantage would be the chance of actually being able to locate a good binocular in or near town, rather than ordering a telescope from out-of-town.

The BRAS membership would allow use of the club's dark-sky site in Maringouin.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4376
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Telescopes for beginners

Post by Christopher K. » October 18th, 2018, 10:02 am

HRPO will present its annual "Buying Your First Telescope" lecture on Friday 2 November at 7:30pm. This talk increases the patron's chance of getting the best deal for the money, and increases the chance of the scope being used on a regular basis. The talk has no admission fee and is aimed at a general adult audience.

Post Reply