If you’re about to get your first telescope, you might have to think twice before spending your money on a model as you need to make sure that it can allow you to look at everything that interests you. There are three major factors that you should try to bear in mind when prospecting the market for optics, in general, and a telescope, in particular.
The first piece of advice that I can give is to avoid rushing in. It’s a good idea to spend some time doing your research and coming up with a list of ten telescopes, for instance, that you might want to buy. In some areas in the United States, there are clubs where people can get together and look at stars. Amateur astronomy requires a bit of investment in terms of both your finances and the time that you’ll devote to studying it. Other people can help you make the right choice, so if you have friends who are into telescopes as well, be sure to give them a ring and ask for their opinions.
Above all, you should try to avoid getting overly excited while you’re at a department store. In most cases, the units that you’ll find in such a store aren’t the best in the world, and they often cost more than products that you can get online. Besides, you might have to consider that, if you choose a cheap setup at the beginning, you might lose that money and be unable to spend it on a higher quality alternative later on.
If you want to look at Saturn’s rings, all you need to have is a small telescope that comes with a 25x magnification setting. Saturn’s moons can be seen with a 2-inch scope, but you might have a bit of trouble with this type of product if, for example, you’d also want to take a peek at Jupiter. There are many ways of telling the difference between one telescope and the next, but one of the factors that you should consider is the power rating. Anything that goes beyond 100 power is great for seeing both Jupiter’s cloud structure and Saturn’s rings.
A 3-inch scope with a 50x magnification can, in fact, let you glance at the rings in a very individual manner, which is to say that you’ll be able to make the difference between the planet per se and its rings. Medium-priced telescopes will usually let you look at planets like Venus and Mercury, but Neptune and Uranus are a whole different thing as you’ll need a high-end alternative to see them.
Last but not least, I’d like to add that if you’re not focused on seeing Saturn’s rings, you can even use a regular pair of binoculars to check out the sky and look at the planet. I hope that this post helped you somehow.