Hey Space Placers!
Did Santa bring you a new telescope for Christmas? Or have you ever wondered what you can see with a small telescope? Sky and Telescope Magazine has put together a top notch guide for new telescope users - http://www.skyandtelescope.com/about/pressreleases/136384853.html.
Telescopes today are very reasonable as to price, quality and user friendliness. You can get telescopes that are easy to set up, align and control by computer. The views of the Moon, Jupiter and its four main moons, Mars when close to Earth, Saturn's rings, Venus and her phases, galaxies, star clusters, double stars, nebulae - well, the list is literally endless.
Buying a quality telescope from a reputable dealer has never been easier. I also advise shoppers to "test drive" a potential telescope before they buy it - is it easy to store, carry and set up? Can it support your ability to grow into taking pictures/videos or doing long term observing projects?
If you buy quality it will last a lifetime. My last telescope was with me for over 20 years and had travelled around the globe before I donated it to George Mason Astronomy - it is now teaching high school students!
Buy a good 'scope and learn to use it and you will be hooked on seeing the Universe with your own eyes.
Sky Guy in VA