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Advice for Purchasing a First Telescope

12 Nov 2015, 16:20 UTC
Advice for Purchasing a First Telescope
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Question: I am purchasing my first telescope and for good viewing of Saturn, Mars, Jupiter and the Moon, am I best to buy a 130mm aperture or 200mm aperture telescope?
Also, I’m deciding whether to go with a telescope that comes with a tripod, like Celestron Astromaster. Or a Dobsonian Skywatcher that doesn’t need one.
What are the pros and cons to having or not having a tripod? – Michelle
Answer: For observing objects like planets or the Moon a telescope with a smaller aperture is sufficient (and likely less expensive). If you decided to try to observe deep-sky objects like star clusters or galaxies, you might need a larger aperture. Regarding your second question about tripod or Dobsonian mount for your first telescope, let me point you to the Stargazer’s Lounge, where this question was in fact addressed. Hopefully you can find some useful answers in the responses to this question there.
Jeff Mangum

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