Want to buy a telescope for the first time?
Buying a telescope for the first time can be a tricky experience. If the telescope you choose is not well made, doesn’t have specifications for what you want to use if for, or is too complex you may not get the enjoyment out of it you anticipate. Also your expectations of what a small home telescope can show you may be not be realistic. In Australia there are many astronomical organisations and businesses that will give good advice if asked. The key is to understand what you want and what you are willing to pay before you go to a merchant for advice. Here are some resources you may find useful:
Take a look at this useful article by Astronomy Today on buying your first telescope. The website AstronomyforBeginners.com has a few good suggestions here. Space.com also has a guide which may prove useful. The Darwin Astronomy Astronomy Group has also put together some information on buying a telescope.
Why are binoculars a good alternative for beginners?
Binoculars can be a viable, even preferred method for beginner stargazers. They are portable, easy to use, give good views, and generally not as expensive as a telescope. Stargazing.net has a guide on using binoculars for observing, and Sky and Telescope magazine makes some suggestions on the best options for binoculars.
I want to get into astronomy but I don’t know how!
Ah. Excellent. Information on your local astronomical society is just a few mouse clicks away. If you’re in Australia – you can find information on all astronomical societies in Australia here. Anywhere else in the world – try this site.