Saturday, June 15, 2019

Today's Telescope Tip

I have observed this before (but some of you may be new to this blog, or worse, do not memorize everything I write here).  The biggest disappointment young people experience is when Mom and Dad buy an inexpensive reflector as a first telescope for Junior.  There are three reasons for this.

1.  The mirror and mechanical parts are often very poorly made.  There is not much to do about this, unfortunately.  Spend a bit more money on a somewhat smaller refractor and ignore the huge magnification numbers that appear on the box or ad.

2. Few reflectors are properly collimated when you get them.  Even if they were good at the factory, every drop of a shipping crate is guaranteed to fix that.  Spend a little money on a laser collimator.  You will be amazed at how much the image quality improves.

3.  Many of the cheap reflectors come with low quality eyepieces, sometimes made of plastic not glass.  Orion Telescopes sells lots of decent eyepieces that will dramatically improve the images.  Make you sure you are buying a Plossl type or orthoscopic type eyepiece. 

TelescopeS typically have either .965" or 1.25" diameter eyepiece focusers.  Get one with a 1.25" focuser.  The eyepiece in this size are almost always superior in quality.

2 comments:

Fidel said...

I was going to suggest that you write a book explaining all of this, or collect your notes in one place...but is there already such a resource?

Jay Karamales said...

Those are great tips, thanks.