Astronomy doesn't deserve its reputation as a tough, expensive hobby. You just need to begin with the right advice.
Ordinary binoculars are your ideal "first telescope." And they're so versatile that even seasoned stargazers find them indispensable.
Looking through a telescope introduces you to a whole new world of unexpected wonders. But telescopes come in a huge range of sizes and shapes. Here's a detailed, printable guide to the essential features that every good scope needs to have.
Sky & Telescope has reviewed innumerable telescopes, and only a handful of the ones that we've tried and liked cost less than $200. Now we're going to recommend a telescope that's selling for $20, and your response is going to be "you're kidding, right?" No, we're not!