How to buy a telescope
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
29-11-2007 14:29 CST
Every year I get several queries from readers on how to get started with astronomy and questions on what kind of telescope to buy. As I have never owned a telescope or even binoculars and have, I am sad to say, looked through the eyepiece of one about five times in my life (not a night person, you see), I'm probably the worst space writer in the universe to offer such advice. Fortunately, I can point all you budding amateur astronomers to Phil Plait, who has much more useful advice to offer. I will echo his advice on attending star parties. I have attended a couple -- in fact, those are the only occasions on which I've looked through a telescope -- and the people who attend such events tend to be enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and only too happy to share their wisdom with you!
If a telescope is too pricey a gift, consider offering a Planetary Society membership. I try not to shill too often for membership in this space, lest I become as obnoxious as an NPR pledge drive, but really, we can do a lot of great things with your money, and members get The Planetary Report as a benefit, among other things...
Or read more blog entries about:
Fifteen years ago, Society members and passionate space advocates like you helped save the Pluto mission. Now we can do the same for missions to Europa and Mars.
Join over 27,600 people who have completed their petition and consider a donation to support advocacy efforts.