Mount construction can be Alt-Azimuth or equatorial
Optical tube - a bucket which collects distant light
In principle, the bigger the telescope size, the more light it collects, the more brilliant the images, the more you see. In practice, all the artificial lightning at night means that with bigger telescope, you only gather more of a terrestrial light pollution. From towns, you will be doomed to bright objects anyway, therefore, for the first scope, choose quality of optics rather than the quantity of diameter. There are three major kinds of telescopes: Refractor, reflector and catadioptric. Each has its own pluses and minuses. For a first telescope, a good refractor is perhaps the best choice, which can help you if you think that you might sometime progress to astrophotography. This refractor can then be used for guiding camera, which will keep your imaging telescope and camera super steady for deep space photos.
Eyepieces - where the stars meet the eye
To see details of crater Clavius on the Moon, you will need the maximum amount of magnification that your telescope can muster. This means short focal length eyepiece. However, with that magnification you'd miss Great Andromeda galaxy completely - you need less magnification, and also as wide field of view as possible. This means long focal length eyepiece developed to show ultra-wide field. Eyepieces come in all varieties and measures. There are some that are over one pound in weight, but most are more manageable. An essential property of the eyepiece is the barrel dimension, or the diameter of the tube that fits the telescope. Two sizes dominate now: 1 1/4 inch, which is the most popular dimension, and 2 inch, which is commonly found on bigger telescopes. Additionally, there is the.925 inch size. This is the size found on a number of department store telescopes and both such telescope and eyepiece should be avoided.
Most small telescopes may be bought in tripod-mount-optical tube packages. Typically, they include a few eyepieces - one with short focal length for high magnifications and one with longer focal length for wide field views.
In the end, below are a few purchasing pointers in a nutshell:
Good tripod and mount are definitely more important than optical tube. Telescopes magnify things. Not only things we're trying to watch. They also magnify vibrations of the telescope if you move it. And when you are searching for the little spots of light in a tiny, dim circle, having them leap around like mad fireflies can entirely spoil your experience.Start off small, plan large - don't go for the biggest and most complicated telescope that you can afford. Buy a small scope of good visual quality. When you progress in amateur astronomy, this may consequently be used as a guide scope for astrophotography, or as secondary scope or (properly filtered) as solar scope. Also, small telescope can be smoothly positioned, repositioned and stored almost totally assembled, which happens to be excellent plus if you only want to see one thing quickly.If you are purchasing separate eyepieces, decide upon 2-3 that could cover almost all of the telescopes magnification range.