Buying a telescope

Telescope shoot out
Image by Kaustav Bhattacharya via Flickr

Astronomy was my first scientific love, sadly neglected since I got my astrophysics degree a quarter of a century ago – but I am seriously considering buying a telescope – especially as they are so cheap.

I think I can get a 5″ (I don’t think in metric in these cases) Maksutov for about £400 – around the cash price my parents paid to get me a 6″ Newtonian 35 years ago. I have not done the maths but surely that means a superior/more complex design is available for perhaps 1/5th or 1/6th of the price in the 1970s: why is that? Robots making the mirrors/lenses?

I want a Maksutov or similar because setting this thing up in London is not going to be much use except for looking at the Moon – need to take it away on holiday to make the best of it.

It’s total self-indulgence, but what the hell.

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