It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Backyard Explorer

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 07:08 PM
link   
For most of my life I have wanted a \" good \" telescope . I have decided that the time has come for me to finally pick one up .
To better help me decide what exactly makes a backyard telescope a good backyard telescope , I am hoping that some of you may share some of your personal experiences and enlighten some of less knowledgeable enthusiast\'s as to ,

What one can expect to see ?

What are the important spec\'s to take notice of when comparing telescope\'s ?

Are there any filters that can help block light pollution ?

But most importantly , if you could just share some of your own personal experiences as a amateur astronomer .

Thanks




posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 08:17 PM
link   
Lots of info in this ATS thread... check it out.

What to buy? (Telescope)



posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 05:40 AM
link   
Hi Max_TO!!

I've been an amature astronomer of 15 years now and it gives me great satisfaction indeed. What started at a look at Mars when I was 8 turned into a career and a lifelong obsession!

Right to answer your questions:

1. The best telescope firms on the market in my oppinion is Meade, Celestron and Skywatcher (my own observatory houses a 8" skywatcher reflector)


Originally posted by Max_TO
What one can expect to see ?


What a telescope can see all depends on the size of the telescope. Aperture is all important. While it is true that binoculars or a small telescope will show you many objects like the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter, to undertake serious observing you will need at least a 3 inch refractor or a 6 inch reflector. A telescope of this size will show significant detail on Jupiter (the equatorial bands and perhaps three or four others) the Cassini division in Saturns rings, many star clusters, galaxies and nebulae will be within your reach.




What are the important spec\'s to take notice of when comparing telescope\'s ?


This depends on what type of astronomy you want to do. A word of warning:

always check the optics to make sure they are good. Try and find as many reviews about the telescope and it's firm before purchasing. Never buy a telescope which is sold on magnification alone. While it is true that many small telescopes can achieve a magnification power od 300x or so, the image will be so dim and fuzzy that to all intent and purposes it will be useless!!

Now, if you want to specialise in deep sky stuff (galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, variable stars etc) you will need a short focal length telescope (i.e. f/5 or less). If like me your a lunar and planetary astronomer, you will want a longer focal length tube.




Are there any filters that can help block light pollution ?


There certainly are light pollution filterss, but whether you need them or not depends on two things:
1. Where you live,
2. What type opf astronomy you wish to do.

If you're into the deep sky stuff and live in a city, you will need a filter as the faint light and structure in galaxies and star clusters will probably be lost. In the case of lunar and planetary astronomy, it is not so much of an issue because planets and the moon are very bright. Solar astronomy of ocurse is done in the day and again a filter will be unecessary.



posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 05:44 AM
link   
Hi Max_TO!!

I've been an amateur astronomer of 15 years now and it gives me great satisfaction indeed. What started at a look at Mars when I was 8 turned into a career and a lifelong obsession!

Right to answer your questions:

1. The best telescope firms on the market in my oppinion is Meade, Celestron and Skywatcher (my own observatory houses a 8" skywatcher reflector)


Originally posted by Max_TO
What one can expect to see ?


What a telescope can see all depends on the size of the telescope. Aperture is all important. While it is true that binoculars or a small telescope will show you many objects like the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter, to undertake serious observing you will need at least a 3 inch refractor or a 6 inch reflector. A telescope of this size will show significant detail on Jupiter (the equatorial bands and perhaps three or four others) the Cassini division in Saturn's rings, many star clusters, galaxies and nebulae will be within your reach.




What are the important spec\'s to take notice of when comparing telescope\'s ?


This depends on what type of astronomy you want to do. A word of warning:

always check the optics to make sure they are good. Try and find as many reviews about the telescope and it's firm before purchasing. Never buy a telescope which is sold on magnification alone. While it is true that many small telescopes can achieve a magnification power od 300x or so, the image will be so dim and fuzzy that to all intent and purposes it will be useless!!

Now, if you want to specialise in deep sky stuff (galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, variable stars etc) you will need a short focal length telescope (i.e. f/5 or less). If like me your a lunar and planetary astronomer, you will want a longer focal length tube.




Are there any filters that can help block light pollution ?


There certainly are light pollution filters, but whether you need them or not depends on two things:
1. Where you live,
2. What type opf astronomy you wish to do.

If you're into the deep sky stuff and live in a city, you will need a filter as the faint light and structure in galaxies and star clusters will probably be lost. In the case of lunar and planetary astronomy, it is not so much of an issue because planets and the moon are very bright. Solar astronomy of ocurse is done in the day and again a filter will be unecessary.




But most importantly , if you could just share some of your own personal experiences as a amateur astronomer .



Oh I have many stories, to many to tell. I'm montitoring Mars at the moment which is a bright orange object in Gemini. Through my telescope at 400x, the view is stunning- polar ice caps, frosts in the deep Martian vallies, evening clouds and so on.

If you have any futher questions, please don't hesitate to ask. You will find astronomy a very rewarding hobby.

Let me know how you get on.

-Paul.




[edit on 21-11-2007 by timelike]



posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 05:47 AM
link   
Mods can you delete my first post, I didn't mean for it to go up! Sorry about that! (can't we have a delete option for posts we put there by accident
)

[edit on 21-11-2007 by timelike]



posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 11:37 AM
link   
timelike, good post answering our OPs questions. I was sure he would get some good advice on this, as there are a lot of very knowledgeable people in this forum.

While I cannot add to your discussion on equipment, I would put in a word or two on location. A place away from a lot of light is paramount in obtaining good results. If you live in a city area, this might mean that for the times you skywatch, you'll need to travel.

Take this into consideration when purchasing your telescope. You may want something that can be "cased up" for protection while traveling. And you don't want something that you need a moving van and a forklift to load and unload for a night's watching.

Great job guys, and an interesting topic.



posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 11:55 AM
link   
Yes. this is a good point NGC2736

This is only really essential though if your going to do deep sky work. I have a friend who does excellent lunar work from Birmingham suberbs (Birmingham UK chaps!)). IF you're going to do do lunar and planetary work then some light pollution won't interfere to much. Of course if you have a car and want to drive out into the countryside then NGC2736 is right- choose a telescope you can pack away and unpack fairly easy.

Remember though, anything larger than a 4 inch refractor or a 6inch reflector will be a large affair indeed. My 8" reflector is too large to be moved about, so I had to set it up permenantly in an observatory!

Also, telescopes and eyepieces must always be treated with the upmost respect. Working in the dark countryside with a large telescope could be troublesome- dropping something down the telescope tube will do incredible damage in less than a second!



posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 10:22 AM
link   
Well it looks like you got the information on what kinds of telescopes to use. Nice information posters.

Now all he needs is sotfware to know what he's looking at.

Here's a free Stellarium version you can download and set your location of where you are. It's in real time and shows you the constellations, stars, planets etc.. Stellarium

There's also Starry Night you can buy that is an awesome tool to have.
Starry Night

Also Deepsky Deepsky

Hope you enjoy your telescope when you get it, happy hunting.



new topics

top topics



 
0

log in

join