How will you use your telescope? Visually, Camera Assisted, or for Astrophotography

More Info: Visual Astronomy EAA Astronomy Astrophotography Introduction: This guide is intended for beginners looking to buy a telescope.  We recognize there are a lot of choices out there and we focus on what works best for our club members considering the Raleigh, NC area.  When preparing to buy a telescope, one of the first  considerations is how you plan to use it.  Each section below will take you to specific information about that style of observational astronomy.  With big…

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Recommended Dobsonian Telescopes

RAC receives a lot of questions about buying a telescope. The answer always depends on your goals in astronomy, but for many a dobsonian style telescope is the most cost effective option to own an amateur class telescope. Dobsonians are relatively inexpensive because their optical tube is the least complex and it is mounted on a very simple base. This makes them very rugged telescopes and very easy to set up and operate. And since Aperture is king when it…

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Telescope Accessories

No telescope comes with all the accessories you need out of the box. Consider this list of accessories that many amateur astronomers buy over time. The exact accessory may depend on the telescope you buy. What not to Buy Generally you’ll get a 10mm and a 25mm plossl eyepiece that fits a 1.25″ focuser. Stick with those. They’re all you’re going to need for a while. Avoid buying color filters as they are virtually useless. Also avoid buying any 1.5x,…

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Aperture is king

For visual astronomy (looking through the eyepiece at the telescope), aperture is the most important feature of a telescope. Telescopes are light concentrators, so a bigger aperture collects more light and dim objects are brighter. Magnification is not an important consideration for most first-time telescope buyers. For most newcomers to the hobby, it is recommended to start with at least 1200mm of focal length and at least a 6″ mirror. For every 2″ of aperture you add ~72% more light…

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