For those starting out in astronomy binoculars will likely prove more useful than a telescope. A good 10×50 binocular or above, meaning 10 times magnification and 50mm aperture, will allow you to see the moon, planets, delicate star clusters, bright galaxies and nebula. They can, however, weigh more than 800 grams so you might want to use some stability support. Advantages Of binoculars include being relatively inexpensive, highly portable, a wide field of view to make objects easier to find, and right-side-up images which feels more natural.
Telescopes are less portable and more expensive than binoculars, but a good quality 4″ reflector or 80 mm (3.1 inches) refractor will allow for much greater levels of detail when observing night sky objects. You will be able to observe mountains and craters on the moon, Mars’ polar cap and dust storms, Saturn‘s rings, Jupiter’s Galilean moons, as well as deep space star clusters, galaxies and nebulae. However, before buying a telescope you might want to first read this article to help decide which telescope better suits your stargazing purposes.
A telescope is supported on a tripod or stand and has a finder scope to help pinpoint objects for viewing. The telescope then moves along in a curved line so as to track their motion through the sky, although this process has now become much simpler with the introduction of computerized telescopes using GPS and a motor to do most of the work. Other telescope accessories include eye-pieces, filters, dew shields, star charts and planispheres.