Having spoken at least briefly to about 3,000 homeschool families who have a telescope or want a telescope, the big problem does not seem to be affording one, but making it work right and finding the motivation to use it.
If you have a telescope and are not using it, put it fully ready to use in a convenient place like the porch. I am much more likely to move the scope out front for a quick look at something if it is right there and ready to go than I am if it’s in the basement or attic.
If you have a telescope and can’t get it to work right Google “Star Party” and your city name and take the scope to the gathering. You will be deluged with a 100 geeks like me who can’t wait to fix the issue and be your hero.
Actually finding objects in the sky is another challenge. The easiest way is to download a program like Stellarium for your computer. It could not be easier to use and find what is available in the sky that night. Couple that with an App like Google Sky on your smart phone which will tell you what you are looking at in the sky when you hold your phone up to an object, and you can’t go wrong. Continue Reading →