I’m getting either a Meade NG 90 or ETX 90. Are these suitable for beginners?

BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Scope Doctor Steve Richards solves your astronomy ailments.

Meade ETX 90 Observer telescope

I’m thinking of getting either a Meade NG 90 or ETX 90. Are these suitable for a beginner and how upgradable are they?

Steve says: “The two telescopes you mention are suitable for beginners but some of your cash will be paying for the electronics in the Go-To mount at the expense of the optics.

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Although these two are reasonably good telescopes, they are rather limited by their relatively small apertures and long focal lengths of around 1,250mm.

As such, they are more suitable for lunar and planetary observations than for more general use.

Larger apertures, which give a much more flexible instrument suitable for a wider range of observations, can be found in the Dobsonian telescope design.

You have to point them manually, but they are very simple and intuitive to operate.

However, the big advantage here is that all your money will go into the optics which, at the end of the day, is what allows you to observe celestial objects at their best.

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Email Steve your astronomy queries to contactus@skyatnightmagazine.com and they could be answered in a future issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.