Posted: Jun 15, 2020 1:24 am
by Matt_B
I'll take the opposite line and suggest getting a good pair of binoculars. Or, if you've already got some, just get out there and use them. Unless you're a particularly avid astronomer - to the extent that you're going to start attaching instruments to it - telescopes are far more of an encumbrance than they are useful. Most of what you're going to be looking at is points of light, after all, and you can pretty much count the objects in the Messier catalogue that you can't adequately resolve with a decent pair of 10x50s on one hand. Jupiter's larger satellites can also be seen. Saturn's rings is pushing it though.

Bearing all that in mind, if you still want to get a telescope, I'd suggest starting with a modestly sized Dobsonian. They're a favourite among amateur astronomers because they're really quick to set up, you get a lot of aperture for your buck, and the minimal amount of optics in the way means they'll totally ace those last few fuzzy clusters and distant galaxies that the binocs aren't up to as well as give you a lot more detail in the others.

Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes on equatorial mounts of the sort that have been mostly discussed here are obviously far better for serious observing, and pretty much essential when you're doing imaging and spectra, but I'd suggest holding off because the greater complexity of use is going to be very off-putting until you're absolutely certain about why you need one. Other than a few projects I did at university with their equipment, I've still yet to get to that point myself.