Since childhood, the theme of space has been alluring and mysterious for each of us. Many of us dreamed of becoming astronauts or spacemen to immerse ourselves into the world of the beauty of stars and planets and study them better. It doesn’t matter if you are a child or an adult- the mysteriousness of the space attracts you. Being directly in such an area and becoming a spaceman is a challenging task, but another way to get closer to this topic is to purchase a telescope. There is a wide variety of them; you only have to choose which one is right for you. There are both ordinary telescopes for adults and the younger generation – children. They differ from each other slightly by parameters and design, so this topic is worth your attention.
What is a telescope? A telescope is a device that collects electromagnetic radiation and projects the resulting image onto a lens. So, what are the main types of them that adults could acquire?
The second name of these telescopes is refractory ones.
• Lens – they are made based on biconvex lenses that collect light from objects in a specific focus. They have a reliable design, sealed tubes, little influence of temperature and humidity on them, and can be used even for terrestrial viewing.
• Specular (reflex) – for them, convex mirrors are applied, which allows a lens eyepiece at the focal point to see an image that is clear of chromatic and spherical aberrations. They have small dimensions, no chromatic distortion, they are convenient for photographing astronomical objects, and these devices are adapted for observing faint objects in deep space.
• Catadioptric – using both lenses and mirrors results in excellent high-resolution images. They have a wide field of view, they are compact and portable, and devices of this type have minimized the impact of durable air on picture quality.
It is necessary to remember one crucial detail- the larger the aperture diameter is, the more you can see. When choosing a telescope, you don’t need to rely on magnification – you can change it by applying a different eyepiece.
It is also necessary to consider the focal length and mount. It can be azimuthal, equatorial, Dobson mount, and automated. An adult can use any of them, but the azimuth is the easiest one to use.
What can be said about kids? If children begin to be interested in astronomy from an early age, then a difficult question arises for parents: how to choose a telescope for a kid? It is necessary to consider many factors in the process of buying such a device, ranging from the availability in understanding during use for a child and ending with the appearance and dimensions. The optimal age for starting observations is 8-10 years; at this age, they can master a small and not too complicated telescope, examining celestial objects on a balcony or in a courtyard.
The attention of astronomy beginners, including children, will primarily be attached to close and bright objects. They include the Moon, planets, various stars. It is unnecessary to have a very expensive and powerful telescope to view such things. A small, simple telescope will be entirely enough. Even it can delight a child, who can see craters on the Moon, Jupiter’s companions, and other beautiful things.
Like telescopes for adults, telescopes for kids are divided into refractors and reflectors. The primary reflector objective lens is the leading and auxiliary mirrors, which makes the design more complicated, and it will be necessary to adjust the device regularly. If a child is interested in galaxies far from our solar system, then it will be essential to buy a reflector telescope and gradually teach kids to tune it. Refractors benefit because of easiness in use because the lens system is more straightforward and more resistant to external factors. Refractors can also be applied for ground-based observations. They provide an inverted mirror image, and in addition, these telescopes include a reversible eyepiece or diagonal prism for direct imaging, which will be helpful for terrestrial observation. A device with a lens diameter of 40 to 90mm is perfect for kids.
What about the mount? For children, the azimuth mount is the best suited since it is easy to use, and the child can quickly learn how to move the telescope horizontally and vertically and adjust the height of the tube.
It would be wonderful if the telescope had some atlases and teaching aids and several eyepieces in the kit.
So, we can conclude that telescopes now have a wide range of diversity, which provides an excellent choice for big and small observers of the starry sky. For both cases, it is necessary to consider some parameters and characteristics of the telescope; it is easier for adults to understand the functionality and design of the device, while the kid will need your help in crucial moments of the device’s operations. In any case, the telescope is a suitable device for all people, regardless of age!