I have met many people over the years, who bought an expensive telescope and then regretted it.
They NEVER used it properly. And now, it just clutters their under stairs cupboard or spare room, as an expensive source of annoyance.
Most often, they found it too hard to use (particularly if it’s some computerised “go-to” telescope control system).
Or, it’s too awkward and heavy to move outside to the backyard.
Or, they just don’t know what to look at (because they don’t know their way about the night sky, nor what the telescope is best at).
And there are also quite a few people who then realise they don’t really like astronomy that much, even though buying a fancy telescope seemed SUCH a good idea at the time.
After all, astronomy is done in the dark (the darker the better) and it’s usually quite cold…
I suppose it’s just our nature nowadays, to be seduced by the marketing and buy stuff we wanted at the time, but don’t really need at all.
Of course, it’s absolutely fine if people want to spend their money, no problem. That’s how the World works.
But I do find it sad that so many advanced, lovely, modern, wonderfully capable astronomical instruments are being wasted, rather than used to fascinate and educate their owners and their friends.
So here’s what I always say to astronomy newbies, before they spend significant money on equipment..
1. Find out what star patterns are visible in the sky, for your location and time of year. Get a book, a planisphere (movable printed circular map of the sky), look it up on an internet website or grab a download guide.
2. Go outside for a few evenings when it’s dark. Try to recognise the star patterns in the sky, matching them to your guidebook or internet resource. Start to find your way around the sky.
And most importantly, is it fun? Do you like it?
3. Get some inexpensive binoculars (say $30 or less). There are so many lovely sights in the night sky to see with binoculars (in fact, the larger objects to observe like star clusters, are BEST through binoculars).
Can you find any of them? And do you like searching?
4. Is there a local astronomy group nearby? Make contact and go along to some meetings. Find a local group that holds observing evenings and try using some telescopes etc. Ask plenty of questions.
My local society for example, has over 10 different telescopes and binoculars of several different types. Visitors are more than welcome to give them all a try and see what’s interesting.
After a few weeks of this fun (and it should be), you will have a MUCH better idea whether you find astronomy interesting or not.
You will also understand what it involves in practice and be forming a view on what sort of astronomy you want to do.
And therefore, what sort of instrument (maybe a telescope) will give you the most fun.
THEN (if you are still keen), buy that fancy telescope or other astronomy gadget.
Actually use it and enjoy