top of page
Stars at Night
Getting Started in Astronomy

Thinking about buying your first telescope or binoculars?

We’re frequently asked about choosing a telescope suitable for beginners. There’s a huge range of equipment to consider, and also some excellent advice already available on the web — study the list below.


Before reading them, think about the following:

How much do you want to spend?  There is a huge range of astronomical equipment, much of it very expensive. Equally, if you spend too little that may be money wasted.  There are many cheap but poor telescopes on the market.

How portable must the equipment be, and how easy to set-up?  If you live in a town or city you may want easily portable equipment so you can take it into the countryside away from light pollution.  Some kinds of telescope and mounting can be quite tricky for a beginner to set-up.

Binoculars may be a better choice for your first investment in astronomy.  You can get a lot of value for your money and they will be very easy to transport and handle.

Go talk to other amateur astronomers in your local society, and get advice from a reputable retailer.  Check the listings in a UK magazine like 'Astronomy Now' or 'Sky at Night Magazine'.


Beginners Guide to Telescopes

So you’re interested in doing some fun star-gazing and you’re thinking of buying your first telescope? What are the choices and how much will you need to spend? The main difficulty with deciding what to buy is that you’re spoiled for choice. Ask 3 astronomers for suggestions and you’ll get 5 ideas!

Guide to 'Painless Astronomy'

By Martin Male.

Some ways to make an observing session more enjoyable.

Moon and Venus from Romney - Martin Male.jpeg

Telescope Facts and Figures

By Martin Male.

To get the most out of your telescope here is some information on commonly heard terms.

Finding Stuff!

By Martin Male.

Learning your way around the night sky.

M31 Andromeda Galaxy with M32 and M110 - Tej Dyal.jpg

Useful Links

Links to other useful resources

Introduction to Astronomy

A three-part series of talks, looking at:

  • The Observable Universe, Big Bang theory, and the Milky Way galaxy

  • The celestial sphere, constellations and stars, and magnitude and naming conventions

  • The Solar System, Sun-Earth-Moon, and life on Earth

bottom of page