Advice From the Manager
Buying Your First Telescope
Buying your first telescope can be a big decision. Do you go for the biggest telescope you can afford? The answer, unless you are sure you are willing to spend time and muscle setting up and cleaning up, is no. Many people who buy big telescopes as their first projects find these expensive toys spend more time in storage then outside being used. You may want to consider a good pair of binoculars. These wonders are highly portable, and can be good enough to show the craters on the moon, the moons of Jupiter, and other bright astronomical wonders. But if you want more, consider a small (60mm or so) refractor. Refractors are portable, easy to set up, and sturdy. Be careful to find one that has a good, stable mount. Nothing is more disappointing than to see your telescope image jump around because of the breeze blowing on your flimsy mount.
If you find you are really dedicated, consider upgrading to a computerized GO-TO telescope. Advertisements for these can be found in popular astronomy magazines such as Astronomy or Sky and Telescope.