There are a lot of people nowdays who are getting into astronomy. Astronomy can be extremely interesting if you have the right equipment and most people find it quite thrilling to view an object which is so far out through a good telescope. The word telescope is Greek and means to look far off.
Buying a telescope is usually a tough decision, especially if you do not know much about them. If you are planning to become an astronomer, or just want to observe the sky in much more detail, than you should do a lot of research on the different types of telescopes prior to buying one.
Telescopes use lenses or mirrors to make an object appear closer, brighter as well as bigger. Telescopes that use lenses, refractor telescopes and catadioptrics, gather light to a focal point and magnify the image before it reaches the eyepiece. A catadioptric telescope uses both mirrors and lenses to bend the light and bring it to a focal point in order to make the image seem larger. Another type of telescope known as the reflector telescope uses only mirrors to bend the light and fold the path in order to magnify the image.
It is always good to read a couple of astronomy magazines before buying your first telescope. They will give you all the information regarding the best telescopes being used by amateur as well as professional astronomers.
When it comes to buying a telescope there are a few things you need to consider such as portability, magnification, size and quality of the image.
The magnification of the telescope depends on the diameter of the lens or aperture. The more the aperture of the telescope, the more the magnification will be.
Refractor telescopes have superior quality images but can be quite hard to carry around if you plan to buy one with greater aperture. A 10 "refractor will require a whole room to accommodate it, while a 10" reflector can be easily transported from place to place with great ease.
Catadioptric telescopes use both mirrors and lenses to magnify the image. These telescopes are great for beginners and are much more affordable as compared to refractors. Unlike refractors, catadioptrics and reflectors do not have problems of different colors coming in the way of the image. This usually happens with refractors as the lenses divide white light into different colors (colors of the spectrum) when it passes through the lens.
Getting yourself a brass telescope will be a good idea if you want something that not only performs well, but looks elegant. A telescope is an expensive device which used to be a symbol of nobility, and was usually used by the elite. So it makes sense to get a nice brass telescope to put in your room or living room.
When buying your first telescope it is better to look at all the available options online rather than going to a mall. You will get to read a lot more about the telescope you are about to buy, and also will have a chance to compare prices and features.