Telescope glossary

Aperture: Diameter of the primary mirror or lens, which allows a telescope to collect light.
Field of view: Area of sky visible through the eyepiece.
Focal length: A telescope’s tube length. Short focal lengths offer a wide field of view and a small image.
Focal ratio: Also known as the telescope’s speed. Small focal ratios provide lower magnifications, wide field of view and a brighter image.
Magnification: Relationship between the telescope’s optical system and the eyepiece. 

So your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews have been bugging you for a telescope. You’re perhaps not sure which one to purchase or maybe you’re worried about selecting a top of the range instrument that your young astronomer could lose interest in within a few weeks. 

The good news is that there are telescopes that are relatively robust, require very minimal assembly and cost below $100 that tick all of the boxes for an entry-level telescope for youngsters. These instruments will allow them to see the moon closely, some of the planets as well as bright galaxies, nebulas and stars.