Prior to propping up the telescope and putting it to use, there are several convenient accessories that the star gazer should consider purchasing to enhance their viewing pleasure. A magnificent tool used to view the night sky, the telescope functions by gathering the light from the stars, moon, etc. and refracts (if it has lenses) or reflects (if it has mirrors) the light, and then delivers the image to the retina of the eye. Used by itself, the telescope will deliver the sights beyond the atmosphere, but adding accessories can create an enhanced experience.
Starting with comfort, the observer will seriously enhance their star gazing escapade with a comfortable chair. Many people do not consider this an accessory to the telescope, but after using the telescope without a chair a few times will prove this point on its own. Discomfort while observing will eventually lead to less use of the telescope, and the overall experience will become generally unappealing.
For the beginner astronomer, a star gazing book is the perfect addition to the telescope. Books are essential tools for learning the map of the stars, but will require their own accessory. In order to read the book while examining the sky, it is necessary to procure a lighting fixture that will not affect star gazing. An adjustable light that can easily change brightness is the best bet for this job.
To preserve the delicate, and quite often costly, telescope, a storage case will embrace the parts in a convenient container. With an assortment of colors and designs padded for the comfort of the telescope’s elements, cases are an accessory that the telescope owner cannot do without. A good storage case should be able to handle minor drops and falls while keeping the telescope safe. Because the telescope is considered an investment by most people, the case can be considered a wise purchase that will protect one’s investment.
Another item that can protect the telescope is a scope cover. Weather is the worst enemy for the telescope, and anything that fights dampness and humidity will extend the overall life of a product. The natural elements like thunderstorms and dust storms can be devastating to the telescope, and the rays of the sun can be extremely harsh on your equipment over time. A scope cover protects the lenses or mirrors from the callous elements of the weather, essentially extending the life of the product and guaranteeing the clearest possible images.
The portability of the telescope will depend on whether or not there is a battery or power supply to use on electronic models. If observing the sky from a location away from home, an automobile battery charger is an essential accessory for uninterrupted viewing. If a power supply is instead used the unit should be capable of use throughout the evening without interruption.
Hundreds of other telescope accessories are available to the star gazing fanatic to make their star-hopping more comfortable, and the items listed above are only a few of the accessories to get the beginner astronomer get on their way to observing the beauty of the evening skies. As the amateur becomes more accomplished in using their new telescope; they will discover additional wants and needs to further enhance their experience, and luckily the amount of accessories are almost as endless as the universe itself.