If, like many people, you’ve developed a greater interest in the night sky since the pandemic began, or maybe your kids have become avid stargazers and a telescope is on their Christmas list, there are a few factors to bear in mind before you rush out and buy astronomical telescopes in the UK.
As an article for Forbes recently pointed out, telescopes are specific scientific instruments and it really helps to know how they work if you want to get the most out of one.
There are more variations of telescopes than you might first appreciate, so begin by deciding what you want to get out of owning one (and what you want to be able to see). Also remember that if you’re considering getting started in astrophotography that you’ll need to find a telescope that enables you to take photos through it.
Another important point, according to the publication, is that to get the most out of a telescope you need to understand the night sky itself.
Spend time studying the stars without any instruments to help you. This will ensure you know where different constellations, planets and stars are located in the night sky and that, in turn, will allow you to align your telescope correctly once you’ve bought it.
Being patient is another tip worth bearing in mind because it takes time to learn not only how to navigate the night sky, but also how to get the best from your telescope to appreciate some of the finer details.
There are reports that a decade-old plan by NASA to put a large telescope on the moon could be gathering support again. If the project were to go ahead, it would see a telescope constructed on the moon’s surface, potentially allowing scientists to study the first stars to form in the universe.