What You Can See with a Beginner’s Telescope

Beginner’s Telescope pic

Beginner’s Telescope
Image: space.com

In her career in IT, Amita Vadlamudi developed expertise in mainframe and client-server systems. Amita Vadlamudi also engages in side interests, such as astronomy. A chief tool of astronomers, optical telescopes can show the sights of the solar system at a relatively low cost.

However, you should have realistic expectations about what you will see. The spectacular photos of celestial objects published on the web were taken in observatories by professionals. Even so, a so-called backyard telescope can still provide exciting views.

Because of its size and brightness, the moon is the most logical candidate for initiating yourself into astronomy. Even an inexpensive 30-power telescope will display a remarkable world, dotted with hundreds of craters and mixed with darker “seas” and mountains. In a 40-power scope, the lunar surface will fill the entire field of view.

That same telescope shows such celestial details as the phases of Mercury and Venus, as well as the reddish disk of Mars. Jupiter, its four largest moons, and Saturn and its rings are also visible. Other targets include Saturn’s moon Titan and the planets Uranus and Neptune.

Moving up to greater magnifications reveals the polar ice caps of Mars, the red spot of Jupiter, and the Cassini division in Saturn’s rings. Moving your telescope away from the bright city will enable you to see the Andromeda Galaxy, nebulae, and double stars.

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