If you are interested in
buying a telescope, research before you buy. A rule of thumb: if a
telescope makes claims about having "450 power!" (450X) or more, don't buy
it. There are lots of cheap instruments readily available on the market --
in local department stores or local discount stores -- that do not perform
very well for astronomical use. There are several articles and booklets in
the RCA Member Library that provide information on choosing a telescope
and appropriate accessories. Also, talk to other club members. The variety
of instruments RCA members have range from binoculars to large reflectors,
from refractors to Schmidt-Cassegrains. Each instrument has its advantages
and disadvantages, so it is important that you determine your needs in
order to match them up with the equipment that fits them the closest. The
time, money, and headaches this research can save you are endless!
- Visit the Membership/Welcome table at a
RCA general meeting. They have several pieces of reference material for
your use and can line you up with more. Bring them your questions.
- Attend an RCA star party. Remember, you
don't have to have your own equipment to have a great time at one of
- Attend an OMSI astronomy event or public
- Link up with a seasoned member -- again
check the Membership/Welcome table for assistance in finding someone.
- Read astronomy reference books. Check
out articles and books from the RCA Member Library.
- First step: become familiar with the
- View the sky with binoculars. There are
some very interesting objects that look their best when viewed through a
pair of binoculars.