Thinking of getting a telescope or trying to understand what you already have? To help avoid the frustration that often accompanies such an undertaking, join SJAA for an hour to learn about telescopes, including how telescopes work, their critical components, the types of telescopes that are available, and additionally useful accessories.
The night sky, especially at a truly dark place, offers beautiful sights even to the naked eye. But of course when we think of astronomy, the image of a telescope is one that comes to mind. Telescopes were a great invention in the 17th century and have opened the door to a process of discovery that’s still going on today. While professional astronomers keep building larger and fancier telescopes to unlock further secrets of universe, amateur astronomers have myriad choices for portable telescopes that allow us to see what’s in our galactic neighborhood and marvel at light that’s been traveling from other galaxies for tens of millions of years. These commercially available and affordable telescopes offer performance that early astronomers could only dream of, but choosing and learning to operate such an instrument is frequently a daunting and bewildering experience. Too often, newly purchased telescopes produce more frustration than joy, only to end up collecting dust somewhere in the back of a closet. But we can do better! Don’t let your first telescope kick your butt.
Note that there is no single, best telescope -- that applies to beginners and to those with experience -- and we’re not going to recommend any particular make or model. You’ll still have to make your own choices, but you’ll be better informed to do so. And we'll have a couple of telescopes set up for show-and-tell and tangible discussion.
Also note that this presentation is focusing on telescopes for visual observing; it only addresses astrophotography in passing. While telescopes for visual use versus astrophotography share a lot of attributes, an introduction to photography could easily occupy a separate hour. Please refer to SJAA’s Imaging SIG for further resources in this area.
It's all happening at Houge Park in San Jose. Park your car in the lot near the tennis courts (at the north end of the park off Twilight Drive) and then head towards the building adjacent to the lot (Bldg. 1).
Hope to see you there!
Many of SJAA’s events, like this one, are public and free to attend, but if you’re enjoying what SJAA has to offer, consider becoming a paid member for only $20 per year: https://www.sjaa.net/membership/benefits-of-membership-2/