The list author says: "Getting into astronomy can be an exciting yet confusing affair! I offer some product ideas--some that I wish that I had when starting out and some that were tried and true for me when I jumped into the cosmos with both feet! :) These items are appropriate for astro newbies ages 9 to 99! (Although please note: children will required adult guidance and supervision with certain astro products and equipment.) The following items will appeal to new star fans and to casual star gazers. Folks with bigger space / science appetites will need to explorer meatier products beyond the scope of this list! ;-)
Regarding telescope purchases: do plenty of research before laying down any money; a problematic or bad scope can be a discouragement, especially for young people. I've found that Sky & Telescope Magazine, Astronomy Magazine, and Orion Telescopes websites offer some excellent information for folks who are considering telescope purchases. Please visit those sites and their help sections for great advice on astro equipment! Also check out Slooh.com! It's great fun and informative: audio shows, chats, live viewing, galleries, and more. Binoculars make a great first step into amateur astronomy because, for many people, binoculars are easy to use and more forgiving than telescopes. NOTE: Eyeglass wearers, read up on "eye relief" because this will be important to your personal comfort for certain types of viewing equipment.
"Great as a beginning scope for young people or for families with young people. Adults new to stargazing probably should probably go for the Orion SkyQuest XT6. Investigate all scopes though before making a selection!"
"My school uses these for astronomy labs! Great product! See the Moon as you've never seen it; Messier Objects; some planets; nebula; and other amazing sky stuff. (Great view of Saturn--with the right eye piece, even some moons!) This is a great scope for beginner's and for folks who get frustrated with refractors and tripods/mounts."
"Great views from this little scope! I have one! Grabbed some great views of the moon, star clusters, Saturn, Orion Nebula, Taurus, etc. Tiny little Mars, the Red Planet, shows as a penny-like disk--with the right eye piece."