Are you amongst the millions of people who have a keen interest in astronomy? Well, if the answer is yes and you want to be able to do astronomy research almost like the professionals, then it is high time that you buy a telescope. A telescope can be defined as an instrument which enables the viewer to view distant objects closely and clearly. For beginners, choosing the right type of telescope can be a big headache. To clear all your confusion and doubts there is an information guide for you – telescopes for beginners.
Broadly spoken, there are three categories of telescopes determined by their optical design – namely: the refractor, the reflector, and the catadioptric. Given below is a brief insight into each of these types to aid you in the selection of your telescope for beginners.
The Refractors are easily distinguishable owing to their long design. They are basically made up of a long tube that holds a large lens in the front, known as the objective lens. The objective lens enables light to pass through it and concentrate it at the back end, where it passes through the eye-piece, enabling the viewer to get a clear picture. The aperture depends upon the size of the objective glass. Refractor type telescopes are recommended as telescope for beginners.
The size of objective lenses can not be increased beyond a certain limit. It was due to this problem that reflector telescopes were designed; these telescopes enable concentration of light at a point using large convex reflectors. Isaac Newton was first to use reflector telescope, that is why this type of telescope is often referred to as Newtonian telescope.
A special type of Newtonian telescope is the Dobsonian, it is particularly popular amongst amateur astronomers. Some reasons for that are the very good performance regarding to watching the planets.
Catadioptrics are also known as compound telescopes as they combine features of both reflector and refractor telescopes. Light first passes through a large, clear lens, called the corrector plate, which tweaks it ever so slightly before reflecting off the primary mirror at the back of the tube.
As already mentioned refractor telescopes are often recommended as telescopes for beginners. They are very easy to install and can provide a clear view of the sun(with filters, of course as you might hurt your eyes!), moon and stars. At the same time they are economically priced and provide a good beginning knowledge to its user. Once you are comfortable using these telescopes you can upgrade to reflector telescopes and ultimately to catadioptric ones.
There are many manufacturers available in the market nowadays. Some of the most reputed are Meade telescopes, Galileo telescopes and Celestron telescopes. Celestron telescopes is considered an ideal manufacturer for telescopes for beginners by many. They do not only provide high performance but also a user-friendly designing. The Galileo telescopes are for medium-level users as they requires some adjustment and a professional touch in installation.
To conclude off it is largely dependent upon the requirements of the users. But as telescopes for beginners, a simple refractive telescope can help you gain first-hand knowledge of telescopes and you can upgrade it later to reflective and compound telescopes which require a good deal of knowledge to work with.