Buying your first telescope

Senior Editor Michael E. Bakich shares the top 10 things you should know before buying your first telescope.
By | Published: July 1, 2004 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
Top 10 things you should know before buying your first telescope

    10. Three main types of telescopes exist.

    9. The mount is as important as the optical tube.

    8. A go-to drive will enhance your experience.

    7. You can “test-drive” telescopes.

    6. Make sure your telescope has what you need.

    5. Do some research.

    4. Set up your telescope in the daytime.

    3. You get what you pay for.

    2. Bigger means better.

    1. Pick a telescope you’ll use.

More telescope-buying resources

  • Buying a telescope — Buying a telescope is a big decision. Here are a few tips to get you started.
  • Using a telescope — Now that you’ve bought a telescope, here are some ideas about what to start observing.
  • Videos: Product Showcase — From binoculars to telescopes, software, eyepieces, and more, Product Showcase shows you what’s new on the market.
  • Intro to the sky — Learn the constellations, and find out what creates “shooting stars.” Plus, explore the Moon, the solar system, and more.