November 27, 2004

Buying a telescope?

Here's some handy tips on buying one from Space.com.

They make some excellent suggestions. Our family has one, and I did some research after-the-fact (Google is your friend) and discovered that the one we bought isn't very good. The optics are actually rather good, but the overall quality makes it difficult to take full advantage of them. We've had fun with it anyway.

They do make a great suggestion though:

A good pair of binoculars makes a very good instrument for the beginning amateur sky watcher.

Other useful things for that astonomer on your gift list are star charts and books on general astronomy. Check out Amazon or any good book store. Something as simple as a notebook, sketchpad or red-filtered mini-flashlight are invaluable too. How about a thermos for coffee or hot chocolate? It gets chilly out there.

I've also pointed out simulation software, which is perfect for those too-frequent cloudy nights. If you've never tried it, you really should. The images presented by even "toy" telescopes can take your breath away, and it's a fun and educational way to spend a family evening together.

Posted by: Ted at 05:36 PM | category: SciTech
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1 Ooo! Haven't looked through my old telescope in years! In fact, I have no farkin' idea where it is. Hmmm. Move 3 times in 9 years and things just seem to end up missing, I guess.

And clear winter nights are the best for stargazing and planet-watching. Humidity is at low levels, and there's just something about looking into outerspace when it's cold. Makes the cosmos seem just that much more like home.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at November 27, 2004 07:27 PM (nzXsm)

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