Telescopes essentially act as buckets that collect light. The bigger your telescope, the more the amount of light it will gather, and obviously, the better you will be able to watch even faint and distant objects.
The three broad categories of telescopes are reflectors, refractors and catadioptrics. Work out which type suits the person for whom you are planning to buy it and his / her level of interest and expertise. They are expensive, though.
So before you decide to purchase one, put some thought.
Then there is a wide range of telescope accessories that you can get for someone keen on a stargazing venture. Some of them are an absolutely must, whereas others are needed only by professionals.
We list some of them below:
Mount: It is an essential accessory. A mount is necessary to hold the telescope steady. It lets a user aim it skywards at different points. Two main types of mounts are azimuth and equatorial. The former suit the beginners.
Eyepiece: it determines a star gazer’s field of view. An eyepiece is also an essential accessory for telescope stargazing. A telescope invariably has one, but it may not be of desired quality. Eyepieces are categorized on basis of barrel size (standard size is 1.25″) and focal length (measured in mm).
Filter: It is not an absolutely must. Yet, a filter is useful as it cuts down on glare and increases contrast as well as the definition of what one sees through the telescope. It protects a user’s eyes. Lunar, planetary and solar filters are among the most popular filters.
Drive system: It makes the telescope track the sky more effectively, and keeps objects within one’s field of view.
Computer-driven mount: It allows one to ‘tell’ the telescope what is to be observed. The computer then finds it for a user.
Dew shield: It’s an optional accessory. A dew shield slows down the condensation of undesirable moisture on the telescope, accumulating on damp nights.
Barlow lens: This optional accessory connects to the eyepiece. It can bump up magnification by at least 2x or more.
You can check star gazing accessories to gift here…