Archive for the ‘Telescopes’ Category

PostHeaderIcon One man and his telescope

Wow my first blog post!

I spent the evening reading lots of stuff, and I mean lots. There is so much more to this astronomy lark than just walking into a store and buying a telescope. In fact just between you and me, I do not even own a pair of binoculars much less a telescope, so tonight I started to research which scope to buy.

So what did I learn from my readings? I learnt that:

– The word “astronomy” means many things to many people. However most of us amateurs want to either visually look at (called visual or observing) or photograph (called astrophotography) the sky.

– I learned that telescopes come in many varieties but that there are only really two fundamental types (excluding radio telescopes that the boffins at NASA and other space agencies might use). These being either a reflector type or a refractor type, with each doing pretty much what it says on the box, that is either reflecting light or bending it. Either way the light ends up focused on an eyepiece that you or I look into. A refractor type scope uses a lens to focus the light reflected off distant objects such as stars or planets onto the eyepiece whereas a reflector scope uses a pretty nifty arrangement of mirrors to reflect light onto the eyepiece.

– Oh yeah and I learned that astronomers have more jargon than even the geeks in the IT department where I work, so I learned that ep means eyepience, ap astrophotography and that the “M81″, despite its name is not a motorway (highway, autobahn, autoroute or snelweg)  but is in fact a spiral galaxy to be found not too far from where I live at a mere 60 000 light years away! Wow is that cool or what?

Back to my reading now.