Selecting Equipment

This is a question that only can be answered by you. I can help you decide what questions to ask yourself to determine, what may help make your decision, but you need to make the final decision. You need to ask yourself: What do I want to do with my new hobby? How much time do I want to invest? Do I want to get into photography? Do I want to start off small and grow as I gain knowledge? How much money do I have to spend on this hobby? Do I want to look at objects in the solar system or deep space objects? These type of questions will help guide you to the decision you will make.

I belong to an astronomy club with about 200 members and many in the organization use only binoculars. You can do marathons for certificates with only binoculars. Some use small scopes so to challenge their skills on the objects they view. Some observe only the moon and planets. This is why I stress that you should spend as much time at star parties and clubs as possible to find your true interest. The people in these organization will be glad to talk with you and let you look through their equipment. They are proud of their equipment and want to share their knowledge with you. In this way you will get a good feel for the direction you want to head.

If I were to start over again I would start off with a good pair of binoculars. A very good pair that will last a life time will run in the area of about $150. This will give you a good opportunity to really learn the sky. You will appreciate this when you get a scope. You will learn to find objects by a method called star hopping. Good maps and knowledge of the sky is what will guide you to the jewels in the night. My next purchase would be a Dobbsonian style scope. You get your biggest bang for the bucks with this style. Simple to use and very little to maintain or break. You can get a 6 inch scope for under $500 or an 8 inch for under $650. A really great deal. This unit comes in two pieces and sets-up in a few minutes. This is a small investment for good quality equipment.

Orion has a fine line of quality scopes and binoculars. After you find what your special interest in astronomy will be and you want to get larger and more quality, you will easily be able to sell your scope and recoup most of your investment. Now that you know what you want to do in this hobby, you can increase your investment in the type of equipment you need. If you decide not to pursue astronomy any longer, you will have lost very little money and gained a lot of knowledge of our universe. Not a bad investment for your time and money.

Please feel free to contact me if you need any information about equipment or starting in astronomy. I still learn new things each day and it is always nice to have someone else there to share the experience. You will amazed how fast you will learn the roads in the sky.

Clear skies!!!! Hope to hear from you soon.

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