Do you know what the Dobsonian telescope is? Do you know how to choose the right telescope for your needs? If not, don’t worry. You’re in the right place, and this comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about purchasing your first or next Dobsonian telescope. Before we get into that though, let’s take a look at what exactly a Dobsonian telescope is, and why it might be worth your time to learn more about this particular model of telescope.

Choosing Your Scope

A telescope is a valuable investment that can last you a lifetime. When it comes time to buy your scope, there are a few considerations that will help you make an informed decision on which scope is right for you. These include aperture size, focal length, and type of telescope (Maksutov Newtonian, Maksutov Cassegrain). If you’re not sure where to start or what questions to ask during your search, consider these tips. First and foremost, determine the size of your budget. If cost is no object and size matters most, then a Maksutov Cassegrain with its large aperture will be your best bet. Conversely, if size doesn’t matter much but light-gathering ability does, then a Maksutov Newtonian with its comparatively small aperture might be better suited. For those who prefer simple elegance in their telescopes, the classic refractor would work nicely; they typically have modest-sized optics but provide ample light-gathering capability. 

Each telescope has its own set of benefits so take some time to figure out which one is right for you!

Choosing an Eyepiece

The eyepiece is what you will look through when you are using your dobsonian telescope. You have a few different types of eyepieces to choose from, but be sure you get one that is compatible with your telescope. A Maksutov-Cassegrain or a Makutov Newtonian are good choices for beginners. If you want an equatorial mount, then an Altazimuth mount might work better. Some telescopes come with both types of mounts, so make sure you read up on the telescope’s specifications before making a decision.

Main photo: Lucas Pezeta/

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