Stargazing & Amateur Astronomer Equipment List for Beginners

Imagine you’re relaxing in your backyard with your family, friends, or special someone after a long day of laughter and wonderful food. You gaze up at the sky and say to yourself, “This has surely been one of those days I’ll never forget.”

Buy the Best Telescope 2023

When a day like that arrives, make the most of it by putting up a telescope and staring at the stars with the people you care about.

If you ever have a bad day, you can always head out to the backyard with your trusty scope and be quickly reminded of that incredible night…

Astronomer Equipment List for Beginners


You’re in luck whether you’re interested in stargazing, amateur astronomy, or just purchasing a telescope for your 10-year-old kid. This page is devoted to assisting you in getting started.

Copy My Equipment List:

I currently own a 10″ Orion Dobsonian telescope, a 6″ Discovery DHQ Dobsonian telescope, and a pair of Oberwerwerk 15×70 binoculars. The majority of my eyepieces are plossls, which are excellent starter eyepieces. I also have an Orion Variable Polarizing filter, which I use to limit the amount of light entering the camera in order to expose more detail.

I have a second edition Sky Atlas 2000.0, which is an excellent star chart for an amateur astronomer. I also have a planisphere, which is a must-have for every amateur astronomer. This comes with the Astro Pack, which can be purchased at most bookshops. It is an excellent starting point for beginner astronomers.

Eyepieces & Barlows

Amateur astronomers may choose from a dizzying selection of eyepieces priced from $40 (ideal for beginners) to $500. (The Nagler, Radians, and Panoptics). There are various factors to consider while looking for an eyepiece:

  • Focal length- The focal length of an eyepiece is its size, and determines the magnification power of the eyepiece. The power of the eyepiece can be determined by a simple equation: The telescope’s focal length is divided by the eyepiece’s focal length. For instance, a 1200mm focal length telescope using a 25mm eyepiece will yield a magnification of 48x.
  • AFOV- The AFOV, or Apparent Field Of View, is how large the circle you’re looking through is. If you ever purchase an expensive eyepiece, you’re most likely paying for two things: Optical quality and AFOV. While the cheaper Plossls yield an AFOV of around 50*, expensive Nagler eyepieces yield AFOVs of 82*! That kind of AFOV will make you feel like you’re there, instead of just looking a an object from far away.
  • Eye Relief- The distance where the eye is positioned from the lens at which you can see the whole field of view. As a general rule, the smaller the focal length of the eyepiece, the less eye relief. If you keep these things in mind while shopping for an eyepiece, you’ll be able to determine which eyepiece is best for your budget by yourself.

A Barlow is similar to an eyepiece in that it doubles, triples, or even quadruples the power of your eyepiece when positioned between the focuser and the eyepiece. They are quite handy since they effectively double the number of eyepieces you have. They also enable you to utilize high magnification eyepieces with little power and a wide field of vision. You’ll be staring through a peephole if you use a standard high-power eyepiece. Have you ever seen a large eyepiece with a focal length that seems to be much smaller than it is? This is due to the fact that it has a built-in Barlow. One disadvantage of using barlows is that the things seem darker since you’re viewing through more glass. That’s bad news for Deep Space Objects.

Recommended Beginner Eyepiece?

Although most telescopes come with two eyepieces, if you need more, a Plossl is the way to go. They are upper-middle-class eyepieces that are ideal for newcomers. They cost between $50 and $60.

Amateur Astronomy Books

Purchase a couple of decent books on amateur astronomy before purchasing a telescope or even a pair of binoculars. Nightwatch by Terence Dickinson and Turn Left at Orion by Consolmango and Davis are excellent starting points. Turn Left at Orion is a collection of items to view, while Nightwatch is a guide to watching.

Planisphere and Star Chart

You should also get a Planisphere and a Star Chart. Every now and again, go outdoors on a clear night and attempt to study the stars. When you’ve got enough practice, it’s time to invest in an excellent set of binoculars.


Before You Buy A Telescope, Get Binoculars!

Before purchasing a telescope, it is recommended that you purchase a pair of astronomy binoculars. Why? Because binoculars provide a low-power, wide-field view of the sky, they help you understand the sky better.

Binoculars with Roof Prisms should not have straight barrels; instead, they should have barrels that are narrower in the rear and broader in the front (Binoculars with Porro Prisms). Because binoculars with Porro Prisms enable more light to flow through, they are more effective. Also, for improved light transmission and decreased glare, look for multi-coated or completely multi-coated binoculars.

A reasonable size of binoculars for beginners would be 7x50s or somewhat larger. They’re strong enough to provide excellent views of Deep Space Objects while being light enough to be used without a tripod. When someone claims their binoculars are “7x50s,” it indicates the magnification is 7, and the front barrel aperture is 50mm. Another crucial feature of binoculars to understand is the exit pupil or the width of the section of the eyepiece through which light enters your eye. Now for the exit students: Divide the barrel diameter by the magnification to get the size of the exit pupil of the binoculars eyepieces. The typical individual over the age of 40 has pupils that dilate to roughly 4.5 millimeters. Below 40, around 5-5.5 millimeters. Some teens and children’s pupils may dilate up to 6 millimeters! What is the significance of this? It’s critical to have binoculars with exit pupils that match the size of your pupils. You no longer need to purchase binoculars that are the precise size of your pupils; nonetheless, it is suggested that you do so. It makes it much easy for the eyes to observe.


Refractors and reflectors are the two kinds of good starter telescopes. A Refractor is preferable for seeing planets and other solar system objects if you are an astronomer. Because they provide clearer, sharper pictures, refractors are better suited for viewing planets. Another benefit of most Refractors is that they can be simply mounted on a tripod, which usually has a tracking mechanism. The telescope will electrically move to keep focused on what you’re looking at. This also allows Refractor users to do astrophotography.

A Reflector is a superior choice for an amateur who wishes to see Deep Space Objects. There are various causes for this. To begin with, a Reflector employs mirrors rather than lenses. The lens of a Refractor eliminates part of the incoming light. Furthermore, mirrors are often less expensive than lenses, thus for the same amount, you may obtain a bigger Reflector rather than a Refractor.

Reflector bases come in two varieties: Dobsonians mounts and, of course, tripods. Dobsonian-mounted reflectors are less expensive, more portable, and can accommodate bigger telescopes. Tripod-mounted Reflectors are significantly more costly and cannot support bigger telescopes, but they may be used for astrophotography if you are prepared to invest enough money. I suggest this because putting an 8″ Reflector on a sturdy tripod will cost you at least $1,000, while a Dobsonian mount would cost you about $400.

These entry-level telescopes normally cost between $300 and $400, depending on the manufacturer and the quality of the optics.

Catadioptrics are a third, less well-known telescope design. Because they utilize both lenses and mirrors, they are a cross between a Refractor and a Reflector. They resemble extremely short, stubby Reflectors, usually mounted on a tripod. Most, like Refractors, feature a tracking mechanism and may be used for astrophotography. The beauty of these telescopes is that they provide the best of both worlds, excelling in both deep space and planetary astronomy. However, because of their exorbitant pricing (starting at about $1,000) and complexity, I would not recommend them to new astronomers.

Brands of Telescopes?

There are several telescope brands available, but the most well-known are Celestron, Meade, Orion, and Discovery. When looking for a telescope, consider all brands.

Where Should I Purchase a Telescope?

Department store refractors, in my view and those of many other astronomers, are worthless. They’re always promoted in terms of magnification alone, their optics are generally subpar, and their mounts are inexpensive and unreliable. If you want to acquire a telescope, you should do it via the website of the telescope firm or a local telescope dealer.

Below are few Amazon Products that can be valuable for you.

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