Astronomy/Beginner Astronomy

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Question
My 74 year old Dad mentioned he would like to have a telescope.  He has never had one so he is a beginner.  I have been researching different telescopes and have seen the astronomy binoculars that are available.  Which do you think would be a good fit for him, a telescope or the binoculars?  I realize he will need a tripod for the binoculars too.  He does wear eyeglasses if that is a factor in this decision.  My price range unfortunately is going to have to be around the $100 range.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Answer
Hi Sandy

This is a tough one, because the more you pay, the better the telescope.  And $100 is just about the entry level for a scope.  The best source for this type of scope is probably Orion--and here is a link to a nice scope they are offering, on sale, for right at $100:

http://www.telescope.com/Orion-SpaceProbe-3-Equatorial-Reflector-Telescope/p/984

Binoculars are also fun to play with, and they really are a good way to get to know the sky and it's delights, but your dad wants a telescope, not binoculars.  And while binoculars will show you lots of dim fuzzy clouds in the sky, the best views of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn are going to be with a telescope, not with binoculars.

If you have more money, invest in a scope that has a larger diameter, because that will gather more light and show more things!

I think he'll be happy with this scope---and have a lot of fun with it.

Hope that helps

Paul Wagner  

Astronomy

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Paul Wagner

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Astronomy and telescope making. Have made at least seven telescopes, both refractors and reflectors, and have spent 30 years looking at the nighttime sky.

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