Glenn Chaple's Observing Basics: Teeing up to the sky
November 2010: With so many scopes on the market, selecting the one that best fits your needs can be a challenge.
September 27, 2010
Imagine playing a round of golf with just one club. A driver would work well off the tee, but it wouldn't be much help on the green. A putter is the club of choice there, but it would fare poorly on tee shots. Success on the links comes from having a full set of clubs, each serving a particular function.
A 6-inch f/8 Dobsonianmounted reflector, like this Orion SkyQuest XT6i Computerized IntelliScope, is a good all-purpose telescope for deep-sky and planetary observing.
Photo by Orion Telescopes & Binoculars
It's the same in astronomy. No single telescope does it all. At one end of the spectrum are telescopes that provide low-power, wide-field views of extended deep-sky objects like clusters and nebulae. At the other end are scopes that deliver the high magnifications needed to discern planetary detail, split close double stars, or observe compact deep-sky objects.
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