Telescopes for Children
What are telescopes?
Telescopes are optical instruments that can be used for observation. They may be used to observe the universe, map stars and planets or to view very far away objects in nature.
Benefits of telescopes for children
There are lots of benefits of telescopes for children. Telescopes for children can inspire an interest in physics and develop knowledge about astronomy. Additionally, telescopes for children can build on observation skills.
Types of telescopes
Refracting telescopes use lenses to bend light to a specific point. This magnifies the object to the person who is viewing it. The first lens (the objective lens) bends incoming light to a focal point on the telescope. The second lens (the eyepiece takes light from the focal point and spreads it across the eye allowing the distant object to be seen.
Reflecting telescopes use mirrors. The first mirror will collect the light and then reflect it onto a focal point on the telescope. The second mirror directs the light to the telescopes’ eyepiece.
What to look for when buying a telescope
Telescopes for children can be a good investment. Therefore, it is a good idea to get one with excellent technical specifications.
Aperture: Diameter of the main lens or mirror. The aperture affects how bright the image is (the light gathering ability) and how sharp the image is. The bigger the aperture of the telescope, the better.
Magnification: The degree to which the image is enlarged. The magnification should not be more than twice the size of the aperture in mm or more than 50x in inches.
Telescopes for children can be different types.
Refracting telescopes tend to be heavier and need a tripod. This means they may not be good beginner telescopes for children. They are good for children with more experience as they give high contrast, crisp images.
Reflecting telescopes are good beginner telescopes for children. This is because they produce sharp high contrast images but are still easy to manage. Additionally, the telescope doesn’t mirror the image, making it easy to follow a star map or guide.
High quality telescopes for children should be sturdy and have glass lenses.
Telescopes at Brightminds
This is an excellent telescope for children. All of the optical lenses are made of glass and the magnification ranges from 20x to 80x. The objective lens is 50mm. These specifications allow this telescope to give your child bright images of the moon and planets. Though sturdy, this telescope is lightweight, portable and easy to assemble. It comes with a tripod and information guide.
Astrolon Telescope with Tripod – £39.99
This is a good telescope for children who like to view animals in their natural habitat, spot birds or look at the stars. The objective lens is 50mm. This allows the telescope to show clear, bright images.