Australia’s location in the southern hemisphere means that its night sky offers a different view of the cosmos than the northern hemisphere. For example, Australians can observe the Southern Cross, a prominent constellation that can only be seen from the southern hemisphere. The Milky Way is also more visible in Australia, as the country is located in a less populated and less polluted part of the world.
So, if this amazing view of the cosmos intrigues you too, the first thing you need to look for is a high-quality telescope in Australia. However, with so many models and brands available in the market, it can be overwhelming if you are a beginner.
Take a look at the following guide to know what to consider when buying a telescope.
Before you start looking at telescopes, it is essential to set a budget. Telescopes can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. It’s important to note that the most expensive telescope doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best one for you. Before deciding on a budget, you should consider your needs, how often you will use the telescope and your experience level.
Aperture and Magnification
The aperture refers to the telescope’s primary lens or mirror’s diameter. The aperture size determines how much light the telescope can gather, which in turn affects the telescope’s resolving power. A larger aperture allows you to see fainter objects in greater detail. The magnification, conversely, determines how close the object will appear. However, higher magnification does not necessarily mean better quality viewing. When selecting a telescope, consider the aperture size and magnification together to ensure a clear and sharp image.
Mounts and Tripods
Mounts and tripods are critical components of a telescope and play a significant role in determining how stable and comfortable the telescope is to use. There are two main types of mounts: altazimuth and equatorial. Altazimuth mounts are more straightforward to use, making them ideal for beginners. Equatorial mounts, on the other hand, require more knowledge to operate but provide excellent stability and accuracy for longer observations. Tripods come in different materials, such as wood, aluminium, and carbon fibre. Consider the weight and portability of the tripod when selecting a telescope.
There are three primary types of optical designs: refractors, reflectors, and catadioptric. Refractors use lenses to bend light, and they are ideal for observing the moon, planets, and double stars. Reflectors use mirrors to reflect light, and they are better suited for keeping deep-sky objects like galaxies and nebulae. Catadioptric telescopes use both mirrors and lenses to produce an image and provide a balance between the two designs. Each design has advantages and disadvantages, so choosing one that suits your needs and budget is essential.
Telescopes often come with various accessories that can enhance your viewing experience. Eyepieces are an essential accessory, determining the magnification and field of view. Ideally, you should have at least two eyepieces: one for high and one for low magnification. Barlow lenses can also increase magnification and are a good addition to your accessory kit. Filters can also enhance your viewing experience by blocking unwanted light and improving contrast.
Buying a telescope in Australia is a fun and exciting experience, but it’s essential to research before purchasing. With careful consideration, you can find a telescope that suits your needs and allows you to explore the universe’s wonders. Remember always to practice proper care and maintenance of your telescope to ensure its longevity and continued performance. Happy stargazing!