Photo courtesy of NASA
Maybe you've been out looking at the stars in the night sky, searching for constellations; or maybe you've already learned your way around the constellations, and now you'd like to take a closer look -- at objects like the moon, planets or stars -- with the aid of a telescope.

A telescope is a device used to magnify distant objects. There are many types to choose from, and many price ranges to consider. How do you know which one is best for you? How can you be sure that you won't be disappointed when you take your new telescope out to see the stars? In this edition of How Stuff Works, we will examine how a telescope works, discuss the various types of telescopes and take a look at telescope mounts and accessories.

To access all of the different parts of this article, choose from the map below:

You may want to start with How They Work, to learn the basics about telescopes and the terms you'll need to know. If you are thinking about buying a telescope to use at home, or carry with you on a field trip, be sure to check out the features to learn about which ones will suit your needs.