Tip & How-To about Optics

Binoculars make a GREAT first "Telescope"!

For beginners in the Astronomy hobby we usually recommend that they buy a nice pair of either 7x50mm binoculars, or 10x50mm binoculars as their first 'telescope".

Additionally they should buy one or two Astronomy books, one of which should be a star chart. You will use the star chart and the binoculars to learn a little bit about the night sky BEFORE you buy your first telescope.

Good books:

Objects in the Heavens by Peter Birren- http://www.amazon.com/Objects-Heavens-Peter-Birren/dp/155369662X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1264187389&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Sky & Telescope Star Atlas- http://www.amazon.com/Sky-Telescopes-Pocket-Atlas/dp/1931559317/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264187432&sr=8-1

Turn Left at Orion- http://www.amazon.com/Turn-Left-Orion-Hundred-Telescope/dp/0521781906/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264187469&sr=8-1-spell

Nightwatch- http://www.amazon.com/NightWatch-Practical-Guide-Viewing-Universe/dp/155407147X/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264187498&sr=8-5

Spend a few months learning the sky with the binoculars and JOIN a local Astronomy club. The members will help you learn the sky and you will get to look through their telescopes and decide on which one you should purchase. Did you know that the Astronomical League gives awards for completing several different observations using binoculars! Join your local AL Astronomy club to learn about observing awards using only binoculars!

List of Astronomy Clubs by State:

Clear Skies!

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For a beginner, what's the best telescope you can recommend that's also affordable? I really wanted to have one, but I don't know much about good telescopes that I can afford. Is a US$100 telescope good enough?

You need to spend about over $200 to get a good telescope. Something similar to this one:


I would suggest a nice pair of 10x50mm binoculars as your first "scope". Use these for a while and learn the sky. (way under $200 for a nice pair)

Apr 14, 2011 | Optics

2 Answers

we just bought a Magnacraft Telescope. Can you help us with a problem?

This is really considered to be a toy telescope, and is really not suited for Astronomy.

What is your problem?

Oct 08, 2010 | Magnacraft Optisan Telescope and...

1 Answer

i need to know the price on this telescope

They sell for $40- $70 at garage sales and on craigslist.com

Please do not buy this telescope. first it is only 60mm, a pair of 10x50mm binoculars are almost the same aperture, and the binoculars would be better for Astronomy.

Second, the scope is on a shaky tripod and also has a shaky weak mount which will make it difficult to point.

Oct 05, 2010 | Tasco Astronomical 302675 Telescope

1 Answer

no manual for telescope

You will not find a manual for this telescope. It is imported from overseas,

Here is a PICTURE of the telescope setup-

This is a very small refractor style telescope. The 60mm aperture is about the same size as a pair of 10x50mm binoculars. The binoculars would have been better for Astronomy than the small scope, since the binoculars have a wider field of view.

Jul 27, 2010 | Optics

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