Ive been thinking about getting some sort of telescope, as I sawan image that some guy took with his webcam through his telescope of jupiter, it was pretty detailed. Which just blew my mind.
Couple things. It takes a good bit of practice, and time to get decent pictures from a telescope.
Also, the images you see taken through a telescope show tremendously much more detail then you will see with the eye. If you are thinking you will see anything even close to those pictures of planets through just the telescope, you are greatly mistaken and while be disappointed.
Even for a good telescope, with Jupiter you will see it as a circle, you will see some indication of the "Red spot" (but it will not look red most likely) and you will see some other areas outlined.
It takes lots of pictures, or really long pictures to see that much detail.
I love astrophotography, and now that school is winding down I hope to do a lot more now that I live away from so much city light. And I love that it is inspiring lots of people to get interested in astronomy. It however makes people expectations to great when looking through a telescope, and as a result they get disappointed right away and give up.
To take Jupiter for instance, under typical seeing conditions and not hugely expensive equipment, really this is the best you should expect to see through the telescope with your eye:http://www.caithness.org/nightsky/febmarch2006/jupiter.jpg
Now, as you get better, seeing conditions and the position of it, you might get a lot better view. And as you upgrade later to better eyepieces, your image will get better.
I find, while it is harder, many beginners get better “Bang for their buck” by looking at a certain few nebula and galaxies and such through a telescope, as their expectations for planets is just high. It is however much harder for a beginner to find and focus on these, and it takes more then a $100 department store telescope to see anything substantial.
Jim could probably answer questions then me better when relating to beginners and advice, as I think he does that a lot.http://www.astronomyforbeginners.com/http://space.about.com/cs/telescopes/a/scopebasics.htmhttp://www.celestron.com/c2/esupport/index.php?_a=knowledgebase&_j=subcat&_i=4
(look through getting started their) and learn the terms and such.
Astronomy and telescopes are amazing, and I encourage everybody to join the hobby! I just do not want you to have to high of expectations, and then feel like you wasted your money on useless equipment.
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