My new hobby: stargazing with an used telescope

Stargazing is a beautiful activity that can bring so much satisfaction especially if you are looking for a hobby. Being able to look at the sky and see that the universe is so much bigger than we could possibly imagine can be overwhelming but nevertheless stunning. So, if you feel like a freshman stepping into the optics field you probably don’t know how much money to spend on a good telescope. I would suggest not to invest too much in the beginning because in time you will increase your knowledge and more likely prefer advanced models. However, I will give a few hints about important features that even used telescopes must possess to give you a full optic experience.

Buying a used telescope doesn’t mean that it is broken or not working properly. It may be the reason that the previous owner didn’t have time to use it or maybe he needed a professional tool. Either way, the first thing you must consider in your search is the brand name. A good product will last more therefore even used a telescope will be sufficient. Plus, it is more likely to find service support for a well-known telescope in case you need repair or piece replacements.

A brand-new telescope with full option technical feature may ease your wallet considerably but if you opt for a used one that won’t get you ripped off you should look for a model that has some useful extras. You should read everything that is written on the box or right on the telescope. A serial number can make a huge difference in price and quality. Trace the letters and the numbers online or consult a professional forum and learn more about the model you are interested.

Once you find a telescope that catches your attention you can contact the buyer and if possible plan to make a try-out. This way you can test what you are buying and see if the product has faults.

Even if you are a novice in terms of optics and telescopes you can learn a few things before the purchase. The aperture or the diameter of the primary lens should be large and with a full capacity of attracting the light. Also, the size of the telescopes decides its portability. For outside gazing, you might want a smaller telescope that is easy to carry around.

Magnification should be no more than two times the aperture if you look for clarity and precision.

So, after doing your fair amount of research you should be able to get a telescope that suits your needs and budget. Take into consideration my advice but also consult the optics clubs, books or any other useful resources.