Making the Right Equipment Choices
Before you go any further, you will need to make some informed decisions. If your time is limited, what do you really need, after all, to take part effectively in your hobby? Out of the veritable universe of popularly promoted products, what will take you most directly to where you really want to go? What do you not need to buy in order to fulfill your objectives? More important still, do you really know what you want and expect, other than to try your hand at astronomy? These are all good questions; it is all too easy to get caught up in buying something that looks magnificent but is not necessarily able to deliver what you might have only vaguely had in mind. Such a course of action has been responsible for many a telescope ending up in the darkness of a closet instead of pointed at the night sky, along with many an astronomical dream. However, if you already know what you want and listen to your instincts, you will not allow yourself to be easily swayed from your own aspirations.
Certain fundamentals would seem to be constant. Once bitten by the astronomy bug, who among us has not been entranced by the alluring appearance of an astronomical telescope? A telescope seems to exude the highest expression of scientific adventure! How many of us have spent time early on imagining all of the adventures in the universe we might experience via a backyard telescope? Such dreams always conjure up all kinds of fanciful rigs, and the telescope itself may have often figured nearly as large as the activity it was intended for. There is nothing wrong with enjoying these astronomical tools just for themselves, for all that they represent, beyond being merely a means to an end, including the wealth of astronomical history and personalities associated with them. Their mystique always seems intrinsically wrapped up in all of this.