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Q&A: Buying Your First Telescope

14 Dec 2015, 07:01 UTC
Q&A: Buying Your First Telescope
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Question: I’m thinking about buying someone a telescope as a Christmas gift. Problem is, I don’t know that much about telescopes, or what would be a good choice for a beginner. Any suggestions? — SS, New River, AZ
Answer: I get that question a lot during the holidays. Also popular is “I got a telescope as a gift but have no idea how to operate it. Can you help?” and “I got a telescope as a gift but can’t see anything besides the Moon. What am I doing wrong?” I answered that last question way back in my April 5, 2006 post. For the first question: RTFM (read the fine manual). But in this post, I’ll focus on the question asked by SS.
The graphic at top is recycled from my April 5, 2006 post. It’s worth including here, just as a reminder of what you don’t want to purchase. And before proceeding any further, you might also want to read this: 1stScope.pdf. It was written back in 1994 for a column I was doing in PAStimes, the newsletter (then in print only) of the Phoenix Astronomical Society. Some of the telescope stores mentioned have since closed, but 30+ years ...

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