I was recently given a wonderful gift of a small 130mm tabletop Dobsonian collapsible telescope and I absolutely love it.
I'l list some pros and cons here but in short, and if you're into the whole tl:dr thing, if you want to buy a telescope and get into astronomy and you don't want to spend to much money, get this one. If you want a rad present for your kids, your school, your friend that has almost anything.. get this! (Cool uncles get their nieces and nephews Telescopes!)
- Apart from being very few cons (it's daggy to say that it's biggest problem is that it's too good), the telescope is not huge, but for the price, perfect!
- It does not track objects
- It can be a bit shaky
- That's about it really.
- Extremely portable, I take this thing with me everywhere!
- Perfect for seeing most interesting objects like the moon, a couple of planets (and their moons, nebulae, galaxies, binary stars, the moon, the sun)
- Easy to use
After spending even a few night out with this telescope, I have started to be able to locate stars and planets without the assistance of those brilliant iphone apps like skymap etc. I can predict where things will be at what time of night and can even start some basic navigation by the stars. It makes me feel close to science, a little bit like i'm discovering these things with the pioneers like Gallileo, Kepler and Brahe. This is really what science is, discovery and excitement.
I want more, I want to get bigger telescope, I want to make my own telescopes, I want to get these for all my friends with kids, I want to join an amateur astronomy club, I want to give one to the students I see in my job, I want to go outside right now cos the sky has cleared up and go and see if I can see the great red spot on Jupiter, or the Andromda galaxy. So I will.