If you’ve always wanted to be able to look at the Moon and planets or admire the stars and galaxies, but never managed to get your own telescope, then you should definitely consider buying one. While in the old days, telescopes were reserved only for the rich, nowadays you can buy a quality model that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Modern telescopes come with all sorts of features and gadgets that can help you explore the visible universe or turn your gaze to the earth and admire nature in all its splendor. There are many things you can do with a telescope, and you can read about the multiple uses and benefits in this short guide below.
You can start learning about the universe with an entry-level model
One common misconception among people who are passionate about the universe but never gotten to purchase a telescope is that these devices are exorbitantly expensive. While this can be true of high-end models, the offer on the market is rich with telescopes of various calibers and qualities, and you can definitely buy one at an affordable price to start admiring the skies.
You can get an entry-level telescope for a couple of hundred dollars or less, and make no mistake about it – it won’t be a plastic toy. Some come with large apertures which can collect a lot of light, meaning that you get to see even distant planets or stars in bright images with high resolution.
You don’t have to skimp on quality to start exploring the universe the affordable way. You can purchase a decent telescope with quality optics and a field of view that’s appropriate for your intended objects of study.
Modern telescopes come with learning modules
Maybe one of the biggest advantages of modern telescopes is that many come with computer modules which can help beginners get around to learning basic settings and orienting techniques. These computerized mounts can track objects for you so that you don’t have to spend frustrating hours aimlessly searching the sky.
You can either have the telescope search for specific coordinates or pick one of the sometimes thousands of celestial objects contained in the extensive database and effortlessly get it into view while also benefiting from detailed info about it as well as surrounding objects of formations.
You get to explore the Moon and planets in your solar system
You don’t need the highest power telescope on the market to be able to closely observe the craters, valleys, and mountains on the Moon. There are other planets in our solar system just waiting to be explored, from Saturn, with its mysterious rings, to Jupiter’s bands and giant storms.
If you wish to see these objects closer, then you can also increase the magnification by getting eyepieces so that you can see more details, especially on the two gas giants in your solar system.
You can admire the galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae
The great thing about telescopes is that they’re highly versatile, not to mention that fact that there are many models to choose from so you can get the right unit and accessories for your preferred celestial objects.
With a quality telescope, you could observe galaxies such as the Andromeda, which is the nearest large galaxy, as well as other distant star, star clusters, and superclusters. With a new powerful telescope with a large aperture, you can also admire spectacular nebulae with their unique shapes and beautiful colors.
While you surely won’t get to see as many details and colors as in photos taken by Hubble Space Telescope, you will establish an intimate relationship with each object you bring into view as well as get the joy of exploration and discovery that you wouldn’t get just by simply looking at a high-resolution picture on your computer.
A telescope is ideal for astrophotography
If you don’t want to admire planets and stars only with your eyes, then you should be glad to learn that getting a telescope would also enable you to take beautiful photos using even a basic digital camera. You can take long exposure shots of your favorite celestial body and all you need is a telescope, a good solid mount for the telescope, and a camera.
You will surely be impressed by what you can achieve with even inexpensive equipment. Astrophotography could well become your next big hobby, and a telescope would provide you with the perfect start to your cosmic explorations.
You can use a telescope for terrestrial observations
While you can definitely enjoy spending countless hours looking at the night sky, trying to find your next target, that doesn’t mean that a telescope is only limited to cosmic explorations. You can also use such a device to observe terrestrial formations, far away mountains, or other landmarks and geographical features.
You get to share your hobby with like-minded astronomers
While a telescope is a personal tool that’s suited to a normally solo hobby, that doesn’t mean that you can’t share it with other like-minded people. You can sign up at your local astronomy club and get to enjoy free lessons and learning materials, or take a class trip to the outskirts of the city for some nighttime observations.
You can also share your astrophotography work with others, get feedback for your pictures to improve your techniques, and just chat about the latest discovery, shot, or gadget on the market.
With a telescope, you’ll get out of the house more often
By getting a great portable telescope, you will also get out of the house more often. Getting outside the city is not only an option but actually a necessity in most cases. This is because the polluted air from the city, as well as the bright lights on the streets, can affect the resolution and brightness of the images you get to see.
You’ll certainly enjoy getting a breath of fresh air while exploring the sky. And for the times when you aren’t in the mood for traveling, you can always look at the stars from your backyard, which is still better than being stuck between four walls.
You can become famous by discovering and naming a celestial body
While buying a telescope won’t instantly make you famous, discovering a new celestial body and naming it probably could. You certainly won’t get on the cover of international magazines, but you’ll get the joy of knowing that you’ve brought your own contribution to understanding a bit more about the universe, not to mention the fact that you get to choose the name a celestial object.