Astronomers have to rely on their eyes and brain to do their work. These are basically the only tools that ancient astronomers used in identifying constellations and other heavenly bodies. With the availability of advanced technology used in making telescopes and onboard computers, you still cannot make do without your eyes and mind. Tools are just meant to enhance and aid the workings of your eyes and brain such as the telescope is for your eyes and the computer is for your brain's aid. Nothing beats yourself as the human using these tools.
Watching and Analyzing
Astronomy work is only half watching with the use of your telescope. Kids may devote more time just stargazing but if you are past that stage, you need to let your brain do its work. Once you have seen something, it still needs some analysis. This part is necessary when it comes to comparing the heavenly body that you have seen with what other astronomers might have seen now or in the past. With the use of improved technology, telescopes with an onboard computer that can determine discovered coordinates. Just remember that you have an entire universe offering you unlimited opportunities for discoveries.
But as a young kid aspiring to be a real astronomer someday, you have to rely on your parents' choice of telescope, which is usually the cheapest kind in the market. It would take sometime before you would likely need a more powerful astronomy telescope and the capacity to check and recheck before you can finally say that you have a new discovery. But the easy availability of powerful tools, amateur astronomers have done their share of new finds. They have also used their best asset - their minds - in analyzing these finds.
Cost of Telescopes
Children are into stargazing without taking notice of the price of the telescope that their parents would give them. The only important thing for you then was that you have a tool that would allow you to see the stars. Even if you know about having the lowest prices tool, they would easily throw reasons such as how you, as a kid, would easily get over things that you are fascinated about. They would even bring up how your bike or skateboard is already getting dust in the attic. Another common reason is that they want to help you a cheap telescope that requires you to do more so you can learn more.
However, buying a cheap telescope is just about saving money for your parents. As you grow up still loving astronomy, you would need more advanced telescopes, such as a handheld type that often costs around $200. You can read astronomy telescope reviews to find more telescopes that you can afford. With more features, expect an increase in their price too.
A Telescope's Computer
While the computer is often compared to the human mind, the latter is always more powerful. NASA's call for help to amateur astronomers in identifying asteroids coming towards Earth's way is a strong proof of this. Even if they have a powerful visual recognition application in their Osiris program, they are still lacking in confidence for the software. The human eyes are still the best tools that can identify a small asteroid as a threat or not to the planet.
The Value of Your Human Facilities
Telescopes and computers are just tools though efficient ones. But in the end, you still need to work yourself and use your eyes, brain and tools together to be a good astronomer.