Originally posted by iggster
Am in the process of getting a telescope, don't ask just one my kids and I can see the stars thru. Want to give them a chance to learn as much about
the sky as they can because their generation is going to more involved in space exploration than ours is.
Just don't buy them one of the crappy ones from a general store that say, "8000X power!" or "See the rings of Saturn! *insert cropped Hubble
image*" on the box, because they will be utter crap and you and yours will be TOTALLY disappointed! Not to mention out the 50-120 bucks one of those
hunks of junk cost!
Now, if you want a good scope for just about ANYTHING is would suggest an
rion SkyQuest XT8 IntelliScope
. We have a couple of those at the observatory I work at and they're wonderful for viewing the Moon (buy a Lunar
filter, trust me!), binary stars, the planets, and deep sky objects (such as nebulae, galaxies, and star clusters).
They run from $479.95 (without the computer to guide you) to $599.95 (with the computer). The computer isn't neccessary at all, if you have a good
set of charts and a book teaching you how to use a scope. (A couple other things I would highly reccommend picking up, even if you go the computer
Also, don't be disappointed if what you see isn't all that great. Don't expect Hubble or photoquality images in the scope. It won't happen,
though what you will see will STILL be beautiful. Also, telescopes can take a lot of practice to get the hang of so the focus may appear to be spot on
(even though it's slightly off) and you'll end up with a poor image. Another thing that can lead to a bad image is the sky conditions. Though it may
appear to be clear, the "seeing" may in fact be poor. If you can see stars scintillate (or twinkle... I guess someone didn't like singing
"Scintillate, scintillate, little star" anymore.
) then the "seeing" isn't that great and you'll get a poor image.
We also have a couple of the
rion SkyQuest XT10 IntelliScopes
at the observatory. They're great too, but a bit more expensive that the XT8.
Also, here's a thread that may help you in your purchase:
[edit on 5/4/2006 by cmdrkeenkid]