Book review

A brief outline of the different types of telescope.

There is no perfect telescope. Each one, as long as it is of reasonable quality, will show you fascinating things, although in general the more you pay the more you'll see. Many people have more than one telescope, just as a golfer has more than one golf club. Hopefully, as you read on you will be able to decide which is the right one for you.

Visit a star party or telescope shop, or glance through an astronomy magazine in search of your first telescope, and you may decide that the whole business is a daunting challenge. And in some ways you'd be right. There really are dozens of options, and you can easily end up with something that you're disappointed with and end up not using at all. It all makes choosing a car, say, seem easy by comparison. At least you can test-drive a car and you have an idea of what you want from it. In the case of a car, though, you probably know before you begin what sort of car you want - a humble hatchback, a swanky saloon or a funky four-wheel drive. Just as each type of car has its advantages and drawbacks, so the different types of telescope have their own uses. To start with, here's a nutshell guide to what the types are. Following that, we go into more detail about each type and what to look for.

Contents

1. What's available?
2. Binoculars
3. Refractors
4. Reflectors
5. Catadioptrics
6. More about binoculars
7. Terrestrial telescopes
8. Shop-testing small Telescopes
9. Bonus: What to avoid in a small telescope
10. Small refractors
11. Bonus: How a refractor works
12. 76 and 80 mm Refractors
13. Larger refractors
14. Reflecting telescopes
15. The 6-inch reflector
16. Dobsonians
17. SCTS - KING CATS

An Introduction to Telescopes: Beginners in Astronomy by Gerard Strong

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Gerard Strong
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