What telescope should I buy?

This is a loaded question if there ever was one. There are many things to factor in to generating an answer for you. 

  • What do you want to look at in the sky?
  • How portable does it have to be?
  • How practical does it need to be?
  • How do you plan to do your viewing (sitting, standing, on a ladder)?
  • How much do you want to spend?
  • How much room do you have to store it?
  • Do you want to learn the sky and point the scope on your own or have a computerized goto telescope that does it all for you?
  • Do you plan to do astrophotography?

A general answer is that a 6 or 8 inch DOB (Dobsonian) is a good starter telescope for most people. Most department and toy store telescopes should be avoided. They will generally cause the beginner nothing but grief and frustration. A good recommendation is to come to star party or an astronomy outreach event and look through the different types of telescopes and talk to their owners. For further information on selecting a telescope come to one of our meetings or contact us and we will be glad to assist you in your selection.


How to choose a beginning telescope?

The Orion telescope site has a 15 minute video on the different types of telescopes and mounts. It covers the basic questions of what you can see in the different types and sizes and some of the pro and cons of each.  "How to choose a beginning telescope"


What power telescope should I buy x150, x250, x500?

Who cares, the magnification power of a telescope is really not a relevant factor you should concern yourself with. Things like currents in the air, haze, light pollution, etc... will limit the amount of magnification you can use generally long before your get to the maximum theoretical magnification limit of most telescopes. The larger the telescope diameter, the more light it will capture, the further into space you will be able to see.


What is aperture fever?

This is the desire by astronomers to have a larger more powerful telescope than they currently have. You want to be able to see smaller and more distant objects with greater detail and more color. The single biggest constraint  is lack of funds. Other things like lack of portability and room to keep a monster scope figure into this equation too. Aperture fever strikes armatures and professionals alike and it bites almost everyone sooner or later.


I can't find or see anything in my telescope? -  I can't figure out how to use my telescope?

Bring your telescope to one of our meetings or outreach events and we will be glad to assist you in learning how to use it.


Can I Buy a Star?

Various businesses claim that you can have a star named after you or a friend. The names of astronomical objects are determined by the International Astronomical Union (I.A.U.). So the official short answer is NO, see this page for more information. 


Where and when does Michiana Astronomical Society meet?

Our meetings take place on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM.  Meetings take place at the Centre branch of the South Bend library located at 1150 E Kern Road South Bend, IN 46614. The meetings are open to the public and new members are always welcome.


How much are the membership fees?

Membership Fees

Associate $15.00
Student 12.00
Senior 12.00
Family 20.00

How do I join?

Fill out the attached membership form and bring it to a meeting or mail it in along with a check for your dues. MAS Application Form:

How do I contrabute or donate to MAS?

Click on any of the above e-mail links for one of the club officers and drop us an note. We are a non-profit organization.

 We are a 501c(3) non-profit organization. All contributions are tax deductible.