Stargazers and budding astronomers: How to pick the perfect telescope

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Program Dec. 5 at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord

Ed Ting: Selecting the perfect telescope, Dec. 5 at the McAuliffe-Shepard Center in Concord.
Ed Ting: Selecting the perfect telescope, Dec. 5 at the McAuliffe-Shepard Center in Concord.

CONCORD, NH – On Friday evening, December 5, Amateur Astronomer Ed Ting will present two programs on selecting the perfect telescope at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, while his compatriots from the NH Astronomical Society set up their favorite telescopes on the Discovery Center lawn for public viewing of distant stars and planets. The Discovery Center’s galleries open at 6 p.m.; the Teen Night and Tonight’s Sky planetarium show both begin at 7 p.m., followed by Ting’s program for the general public at 8:15 p.m.

Led by Ed Ting, teens will explore how a telescope works and which telescopes best meet the needs of the Teen Night participants; the program will be followed by pizza and beverages. At 8:15 p.m., Ting presents a hands-on program for the general public, “How to Buy Your First Telescope” – a quick, hard-hitting primer that covers what one should look for, and more importantly, what pitfalls to avoid. Ting will explore various types of telescopes, accessories, and mounting devices. A well-known amateur astronomer who speaks at local schools and has written for Amateur Astronomy, Night Sky, and Sky & Telescope magazines, Ting is probably best known for his telescope review website, where he’s reviewed and rated over 100 amateur telescopes.

Night sky observation outside the Discovery Center (pending clear skies): Free. Entrance to the Discovery Center’s galleries, Teen Night, Tonight’s Sky and “How to Buy Your First Telescope” program, all inclusive: $10 adults, $9 students and seniors, $7 children 12 and under, Free for members. The Discovery Center encourages those who plan to participate in Teen Night or Tonight’s Sky to be at the Center no later than 6:30 p.m.

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center features 21st century interactive exhibits on aviation, astronomy, Earth and space sciences, a state-of-the-art planetarium and a variety of science, technology, and engineering and mathematics programs. The engaging, robust educational programs are geared towards families, teens, seniors, students, community groups and lifelong learners. For more information, visit

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