Why you need a portable telescope?
Most sky gazing lovers dream of a telescope. The regular home version is excellent for observation, and you will enjoy its work until you feel the need to observe the space while on the go. Portable telescopes solve this problem as they can be carried around easily. Their weight is one of the most significant factors that contribute to its portability. With a device that weighs just around five pounds or so, it’s so easy to take it wherever you go to enjoy the views of our galaxy while being surrounded by beautiful nature.
Features to consider when choosing a telescope
Wondering what features you should look for in a telescope? It helps when you know precisely what to look for in a telescope before you spend a fortune buying it. Many people feel frustrated if the brand they purchased couldn’t fulfill its purpose, this can be daunting especially if you are a beginner. What telescope should you buy? You can use the following explanation as a guide to enable you to choose the right telescope.
Types of telescopes
It’s crucial to look at the kind of telescope you want to buy. There are three main types, reflector, catadioptric, and refractor. The reflector makes use of mirrors while catadioptric uses mirrors and lenses, and refractor utilize lenses as their optical material.
Reflector telescopes – The reflector uses glossy surfaced mirrors to gather light, after which it then cast a reflection of the image. The light collected at the rear mirror is transmitted into the eyepiece.
Refractor telescopes – The refractors utilize various lenses to gather the light which it then reflected to the eyepiece. Refractors are able to transmit 90% of the light rallied in them. They are long-lasting and easy to maintain.
Catadioptric – Catadioptrics transmit 64 to 75% of the light it has collected. It combines all features of reflectors and refractors, and this is because it uses both lenses and mirrors to gather light.
The aperture size is also one of the features you should consider when choosing a telescope. Aperture size is the diameter of the mirror or lens which gathers the light. The size of the aperture determines how bright and sharp the image will be. Taking into account, a refractor telescope should have a 6-inch (150 mm) mirror at least while a reflector requires a 4-inch lens. The Celestron 21035 is an example of a refractor telescope with an ideal proportion: 70mm aperture and 400mm focal length.
Focal ratio (f/x)
Another feature you should consider is the focal ratio. It is known as the speed of the optics. This characteristic depends on the focal length. You should look out for this crucial feature, usually the longer, the better. Use the following as a guide for focal ratio range.
f/3 to f/5 = fast, but lower power; best for deep space photography and observing full field
f/6 – f/10 = slow, but higher power; best for narrower field viewing, photography of the moon, the planets, and binary stars
Mounts are also a vital part of the telescope. They are used to track an object; thus they make movement easy during observation. The two types of mounts are equatorial and altazimuth. Equatorial mounts have the ability to rotate and follow an object from one axis. This type of mount is great for astrophotography. The altazimuth can follow objects on two axes with the rotation of the Earth. It can move horizontally and also vertically. Alt azimuths are cheaper, more portable, and easy to use. It also needs manual operating which can become tedious over time.
When talking of eyepieces, the focal length should be taken into account as well. Focal length and eyepieces work hand in hand. One thing most people don’t know is; the higher the eyepiece size, the lower the magnification is and vice versa. Usually, manufacturers include two or three eyepieces of focal length between 5mm – 35 mm range.
Besides all the above features, there are many other ones you can check to make sure you buy an ideal telescope which is going to meet your needs. One of these things is the dimension of the telescope.
You should also check the warranty for the product you are buying. There should be at least a 12-month warranty on the telescope, and this is to guarantee you that you are covered in case the telescope develops a technical problem.
Also, the accessories which accompany the product should be checked – whether it has a tripod, a Barlow lens, a carrying bag, etc. Believe us, when we say, that high-quality telescopes are often met within $300 and $500 price range.