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Anyone Know anything about Telescopes?

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posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 03:26 PM
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hi, how you doing? I wanted to get a telescope, I found a really good one with the brand Meade, but what I wanna do is (if possible) connect it to my laptop and watch everything on the screen..is that possible at all?




posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 04:04 PM
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Yes it is, depending on which scope you get.

First, you probably know that one of the best brand of serious amateur telescopes around is Meade. And you can use your desktop (or laptop) to watch whateveryour scope sees, depending on what you get. Indeed, if you have GOTO capabilities on your scope (and many of them do nowadays0 you can point your scope from one spot to antoerh by just sitting infront of yor laptop and typing "Mars" or "M31" or "Betelgeuse" into your 'puter.

but just because you can do this, doesn't mean you should. It's not the simplest thing in the world if you don't know what you're doing. If you're a complete amateur -- an astronomical virgin -- the first tihing i'd do is to find out about a local astronomy club and find out when they're having starparties. Go ther ans questions, and they will be glad to show you stuff.

If you have your heart set on buyng a telescope, and you want the opportunity to control your scope from a computer or if ou just want to use the "GOTO" capability (which I think is overraged, becaus you don't learn too much that way), then you ought to figure out which Meade is the best for you.

if you live in the city you won't be able to see jack, so you'd probably ant a smaller scope which you can take out in the sticks and set up and play with.

My recommendation for a smaller scope would be one of the Meade EXT models: 90 mm, 105 mm, or 127mm. remember, the larger the aperture, the brighter the field of view. These three range in price from USD700 to USD1100.

Any of these fine scopes will enable you to add the camera and computer interface necessary for remote viewing and astrophotography, if that's what you end up being interested in.

If you can afford a larger scope and don't mind schlepping it around to the dark skies, any of the Schmidt-Cassegrain scopes (I'd suggest 8") would work fine. In particular, the LHX200 8-inch is, at USD2300, all the scope you will probably ever need.

I personally believe, unless you are really a perfectionist (and a rich one at that), that you avoid either the Maksutov-Cassegrain or the Ritchey Chrétian systems; they just cost too much for what you get.



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 04:07 PM
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I should've mentioned that our esteemed colleague cmdrkeenkid is a fine and knowledgeable astronomer; I'd listen carefully to all his recommendations and commentsl.



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 09:48 AM
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I have a 12" Meade... No problems with it what-so-ever. The only thing that's annoying is that the tracking motors make it sound like a blender on puree. It's alos about 10 years old though, and since then I believe Meade has been having problems with the way that thier mirrors are made (ie they're computer made, instead of hand made now). That's just something I've heard people gripe about here and there though.

Also, you may want to check this out: Astronomy: Telescopes.

And another great beginner scope would be an Orion Intelliscope. You can pick up a 10" with a great collection of eyepieces and filters for under $1000 (compared with the $2500 you'd have to spend for a Meade). It doesn't track on its own, but I garantee you'll learn the night sky a lot faster than if you had a computerized scope. The Intelliscopes are somewhat computerized though. You align them first, then on a little palm pad you tell it what you want to look at, and it tells you how many degrees in altitude and azimuth to move the scope. The palm pads have databases with upwards of 10,000 objects, so you shouldn't ever be too bored.



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 11:09 AM
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Well if all you want to do is watch what you can see on your laptop... whats the point of the telescope there is the internet.



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 03:13 PM
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There do exist sites today that will sell you time on their remote controlled scopes for a resonable price. Not real time viewing as video cameras for real time viewing kinda suck (read not sensitive enough), and typically are fitted with an image intensifier for that lovely Baghdad war look.

The best quality is remote control with astronomical CCD to capture images. Short exposures work best and add them together in Pshop or the Gimp to reduce noise (which you will get in long exposures).

Meade - excellent, Orion - great stuff excellent OEM branded products (have some binocs from them and they rock)....

I still remember the absolute awe of my first view thru the local college 21" Celestron with a big, wide-angle eyepiece - it was a big WOW moment....




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