The Albuquerque Astronomical Society
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Telescope Selection

There are many types of telescopes and selecting one can be daunting for the beginner. To help, We've divided our collection into categories. Below is a description of each category along with a representative photo. To see all of the scopes in any category, click on the photo.

All Scopes (40):If you want to see all loaner scopes, big and small, refractor and reflector in one place, this will take you there.
Reflectors (22):These scopes are the most popular type. They are called reflectors because they use mirrors to gather light and make the image. They range from simple manual scopes to sophisticated computer controlled. These include our largest scopes suitable for serious deep sky observing.
Refractors and Binoculars (6):These are what most people think of as a telescope. They use lenses to refract light and make an image. They have a large objective lens in front and an eyepiece at the rear. They are generally smaller than reflectors but are known for the ability to produce very sharp images. Binoculars are in this category as well.
Catadioptrics (12):These use both mirrors and lenses to make an image. They tend to have short stubby tubes, are mounted on tripods and have the eyepiece st the rear. They frequently have tracking or Go To capability
Large Scopes (12):These are our largest scopes with apertures greater than 8-inches. They are great for deep sky obseving. Some can be large and heavy so check the weight and size when making your selection. We do have a few that are surprisingly light and portable
Medium Scopes (16):These have mid-range apertures, from 5 to 8 inches. They are great for the Moon, planets, and double stars but have enough aperture for some good deep sky observing. The tend to be more portable than the large scopes.
Small Scopes (12):These are small aperture scopes, under 5 inches. They are great grab-and-go scopes suitable for the Moon, planets, and double stars. our refractors and binoculars are in this category
Manual Scopes (24):These scopes are manually operated, Using a finder and star charts you point the scope at the objects of interest. They are very easy to set up with no alignment needed. It's a great way to learn your way around the sky and many of our largest scopes are manual
Push-To Scopes (6):These scopes have sensors and computers to help you find objects. They must be aligned each time they are set up but most have fairly simple procedures to do that. The scopes are not motor controlled but the computer will tell you how to move the scope to objects of interest.
Go-To Scopes (6):These scopes are computerized and motor driven. Like the Push-To scopes, they must be aligned before use. Once aligned, you simply enter the name of an object of interest on the keypad and the scope moves to that location.
Tracking Scopes (10):These have a clock drive mount so the scope follows the sky from east to west. Once an object is located with a tracking scope, it will stay in the field of view without the need to adjust the scope position like on a manual scope.
Specialty Scopes (1):We have a single specialty scope, but it's a great one, a double stack H-alphs scope. For details, click on the photo.