Larry Stedman wrote:
$1,000? To get started? Even to get started to appreciate the hobby?
We should start a thread called "The Budget Astronomer". or "Enjoying
Amateur Astronomy for Little Money".
Setting aside the truly inexpensive entry points... naked-eye
observations of constellations, meteor showers, conjunctions... visits
to public and free museums, planetariums, and parks. A subscription to
Sky & Telescope... a planisphere. A pair of decent but low-cost 8x40
binocs. Driving into the country to see the Milky Way...
If we go for buying a "real" telescope... then buy a StarBlast, an Orion
4.5", or a used Astroscan for $100-$200. Add Turn Left at Orion for $20
(or Nightwatch or...) and a low-end barlow for $25-30, and you'll be
well on your way to star gazing heaven. All for as little as $150
(which is still a lot of money to a lot of folks).
And don't forget that the 6" Hardins were recently on clearance for just
We have to encourage people to get involved, not discourage them with
HUGE price tag estimates of what it takes to get started well.
The person who started the thread said he was looking to bypass low end
stepping stones and get right into something at the "mid level" that he
wouldn't outgrow quickly.