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The Main thing telescopes are designed to do is gather light. So, when you buy your first telescope you should look for a scope that has the largest aperture you can afford, because the size of the aperture indicates how much light the telescope can gather. There are variables, such as reflecting or refracting (see above), motor drives, and many other bells and whistles that can make your stargazing more enjoyable. Before you buy your first telescope, read up on the newest technologies, subscribe to a couple of astronomy magazines, and look through some telescopes to see what you like the best.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|