1. A SLR camera suitable for astrophotography
2. A good quality shutter release cable
3. A variety of lens ie. 20mm, 50-70mm, 100-150mm
4. A sturdy camera tripod for short exposures or taking pictures of star trails
5. A small equatorial mount with a clock drive or a "barn-door tracker", to prevent trailing when taking long exposures
6. A log book to record all your picture-taking parameters.
I have had numerous inquiries concerning "What would be the best "first telescope" to buy?"
My opinions and suggestions to the beginner are as follows:
1. Avoid department store telescopes if you plan to get serious with the hobby of astronomy.
2. Join an astronomy club.
3. Learn the sky and use binoculars first.
4. Use and look through various scopes at astronomy club observing sessions.
5. Decide whether you are going to use your scope for visual use only or if you will use it for visual and astrophotography use.
6. Larger aperture scopes will perform better than smaller aperture scopes. If you are serious about the hobby, get the largest aperture scope that you can afford, comfortably move, transport in your car, and set up in only a few minutes. If a scope is too difficult to move and set up, more than likely it will not be used.
7. Don't buy on impulse.
Check out these links to do your homework before making your purchase.
Information for the Beginning Astronomer
Abrams Planetarium "Skywatcher's Diary"
Heavens Above Satellite Visability
Sky View Cafe - Star Charts and Ephemeris
Your Sky Sky Map
Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan
Deep Impact - Comet Tempel 1
Genesis - Search for Origins
Mars Exploration Rover Mission
NASA Human Space Flight
SOHO - Exploring the Sun
Stardust - Comet Encounter and Sample Collection
Voyager 1 and 2 - Adventurers in Deep Space
2001 Mars Odyssey
Mars Exploration Rover-2003 Mission Participation Certificate Presented to Andrew J. Blackburn
Andy's Astronomy Humor Page
Andy's Favorite Astronomy Links
Sign My Guestbook View My Guestbook
ANDY'S ASTRONOMY PAGE / Andy Blackburn / firstname.lastname@example.org / Updated January 1, 2011