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Question on Telescopes?

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posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 05:37 AM
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I have a thing about posting questions, huh?!


For mainly all you Brits. My dad and I are getting a telescope, going 50/50, but what's a good one under £100? I've been looking on Amazon and found a really good one for £102 (with P&P), apparantly the scoop on this one says you can see Mars clealy, Jupiter with its rings etc...

So, just wondered who has one and good plazes other than amazon.com,
ta!

Emmy




posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 06:14 AM
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I borrowed my Brothers telescope and being a total noob , I have to say that try to get one with as big a lens as possible for the money. My Bro's one's only got about a 2 inch lens and that cost him 350 quid coz it's motorised and it's enough to see the moon . Not really close though but you can see the craters and shadows. One night I was even able to spot another planet, not sure which one but I seem to remember is had 3 small spots / moons if I looked close enough, Venus maybe ?.( looked like a really bright close star with 3 small bright dots- quite nice actually).
Anyways it also pays to invest in some extra eyepieces for it, as they help magnifying the image as well as buying a bit ( like a sniper scope with crosshairs) that lets you 'target' the thing you want to look at, when I was trying to find the moon with the borrow TS I had to roughly point it in the right direction then look for the brighter area .
Also don't forget that the image is back to front I found that out whn I moved the scope to look at the other planet and had to realign it against the moon to start again

Like I tell other people try to buy big numbers for little cash, the bigger the lens the 'closer' the object.
Good luck in buying .
Not much help I know but there will be others with more clue on what to look for



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 06:50 AM
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I am not British, but I recently done a lot of research about telescopes and feel I can add. When it comes to telescopes, you really do get what you pay for. The more expensive is usually better because the larger the primary mirror, the more light you are able catch. There are numerous plans running around also on building your own...the primary mirror being the most expensive part. The other day I found a 4" Newtonian at Sams Club going for $199 (about $110 GBP). Would have been a good deal, but I am saving up for a 16" primary mirror.

Also, I do know that you can modify a cheap webcam to connect to your telescopes eyepiece very easily. I did this with the cheap-o-one I borrowed from my cousin and it was able to increase the magnification significantly.

But in all honesty, if you want to be able to see Mars and Jupiter clearly, your probably better off saving a bit more money to invest in a much larger one.



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 07:14 AM
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Go for a minimum of 3" on the end and never use more than 100X magnification. 50X is enough to see Jupiter and Saturn clearly as well as Mars.

Hope that helps? Email me for lots more beginner info!

Simon
simonnett41@yahoo.co.uk



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 07:25 AM
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Originally posted by emmy
I have a thing about posting questions, huh?!


For mainly all you Brits. My dad and I are getting a telescope, going 50/50, but what's a good one under £100? I've been looking on Amazon and found a really good one for £102 (with P&P), apparantly the scoop on this one says you can see Mars clealy, Jupiter with its rings etc...

So, just wondered who has one and good plazes other than amazon.com,
ta!

Emmy


There are a bunch of telescope websites you can look at. Meade, Orion, and Celestron are all good scopes for beginners.

Celestron has a good guide to learning the basics (what kind, how big, what you can see, what you want to see, etc.) at www.celestron.com...

The general rule is this: The bigger across the telescope is, the better you can see, and that a telescope without mirrors (refracting) will give you a sharper view than a telescope with mirrors (reflecting). (It's more complicated than that, but that will help you in general)



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 07:29 AM
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Slightly off topic but is there a telescope that can be plugged into say a laptop, so the image can be projected onto the screen?



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 07:43 AM
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Just my two US cents:

I was thinking about buying a telescope and did some research (reviews and all). Being a gear afficionado (I collect vintage electronic gear), I came to the conclusion that it's better to wait a year and save more money, rather than buying a cheap device. I made this mistake before in different situations. At 100 pounds, you'd be scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality.



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 08:44 AM
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I had no experience whatsoever but I've always wanted a telescope. I been shopping around for a bit and I finally settled on this fine piece of equipment. ( I was surprised by the actual size of it when I recieved it)Nothing fancy, just something I can share with my kids and look at the stars....so far, with the aid of a lens (additionaly purchased) I get a real nice view of Jupiter and its moons and the views of our moon

....I felt like I was almost there the first couple nights. I live in the city so my views are limited but I am lookin forward to those nights when I can get "outta here"....

www.telescope.com...=reflectors/~pcategory=telescopes/~product_id=09851

edited cuz i think the link went bad
... so heres a pic (Orion/SpaceProbe 130 EQ Reflector )




[edit on 30-9-2008 by spikedmilk]



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 10:37 AM
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OK, thanks for the input, will try convince daddio to pay out for more, might try aim for a £200 mark!

Thanks



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 05:43 PM
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Hello Emmy!


Originally posted by emmy
For mainly all you Brits.

I'm a british astronomer! I have a magnificent 8 inch Skywatcher telescope set up permenantely in my observatory here in UK.


Originally posted by emmy
My dad and I are getting a telescope, going 50/50, but what's a good one under £100? I've been looking on Amazon and found a really good one for £102 (with P&P), apparantly the scoop on this one says you can see Mars clealy, Jupiter with its rings etc...

Now I don't want to be a killjoy but great care must be taken when buying a telescope. The sad fact is that there is no decent cheap telescope on the Market. A 60mm refractor or 4inch reflector is large enough to show you the craters on the Moon, the polar ice caps of Mars, at least three belts on Jupiter nad the rings of Saturn, but you must bare inb mind that they will be nothing like the images in magazines.

Mars in particular is very small for most of the time and you need a telescope of at least 6'' to do it justice. It might be wiser to invest in a pair of binoculars first. These will also show you the moons of Jupiter and craters of the Moon, many coloured double stars and so on. If you decide you really want to make a hobby out of astronomy then you can perhaps go on to buy something larger.

If you're keen to get a telescope then Meade, Skywatcher, Orion I think are the most reliable telescopes so far.

When you're buying a telescope you must also consider the mount. A telescope with a flimsy mount is next to useless- one slight breeze and it will quiver and the image in the eyepiece will dabce about alarmingly! There are basically two types of mount:
(i). Azimuth which is your basic tripod. Remember that the stars in the sky are constantly moving as the Earth rotates and any image which is magnified by 100x or more will make this drift very apparent. Unfortunately that's the down side of this type of mount, although admitedly this type of mount is easy to set.

(ii) Equatorial mount. This is the best type of mount- it is aligned with the Earth's pole so that you only have to worry about one direction of rotation. Indeed many such mounts can have motors attatched to them so thaqt they can track an object in the sky- essentially the motors drive the telescope so it moves at the same rate as the Earth's rotation.

Finally, never buy a telescope which is promoted by it's magnification alone! Many small telescopes are sold with adverts promising 500x magnification, while you could get this type of power the image will be so blurred and faint you won't be able to see anything! A good rule of thumb is that the highest power a telescope will bear is twice the aperture size(mm). Thus a 50mm telescope will give 100x, 300mm gives 600x and so on.

Originally posted by emmy
So, just wondered who has one and good plazes other than amazon.com,
ta!

Emmy


A good place to go is
Stargazers Lounge
You will find pleanty of people there to help and much advice on the subject of telescope buying.

You will find astronomy the most rewarding of hobbies. Let me know how you get on.

Paul.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by buddhasystem
 


Indeed! The telescope itself will be as steady as a jelly!



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 01:54 AM
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Heya Paul, thanks for the advice. Didn't think I had to take so much into consideration! Ah, I'm sure we'll find a good beginners one!

Thanks again, much appreciated!



posted on Oct, 19 2008 @ 05:24 PM
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I have a 675x power “Reflector” telescope made by Science Tech, and last night I was aimed at our moon. I was getting a pretty good image of it, but I notice that the smallest movement of the telescope would throw off the image, however my question is how difficult would it be for me to find a planet or a star that I can line it up so i can get an image? I’ve tryed numerus times before and still have not found anything, its just a black image. So if you have any tips or suggestions that would be much appreciated.



posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 03:08 AM
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i know lots abuot telescopes
i am nto british but have ben into astornomy since i was 10.. iam 33 now.
Those rings of saturna nd belts on jupiter, yuo wil not be able too see, unless yuor reflector telescope is at least 8 inches in diamter. Anything less than that, will jsut show saturn as a yellow blob with 2 ears kinda, and 2 belts on jupiter, not the many that biger scope woudl reveal.
and as for deep sapce stuff, even the largest telescopes on earth, will not show any color at all.... thats film.. light builds up on film over atime, along witht he object being tracked acorss the sky, on an equatoral base..thast how yuo get all those colros in deep space photos.. but iwth planets, their still clsoe enough, so yuo can see alot..
aim for 8 inches or more. Refractors, give teh clearest views, to an extent, but in refractors(long skinnyt ubes) the images are uspide down.. whcih cna be correctted, with a diagonal lens. refrators only go up to 6 inches are VERY expensive..
reflectorrs are huge, but worth the money and cheaper

Get a few eyepieces too..a 7.5 mm, a 12 mm and 24 mm do nice



posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 06:00 AM
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I'm afraid I must take issue with what you have said:


Originally posted by ziggy1706
Those rings of saturna nd belts on jupiter, yuo wil not be able too see, unless yuor reflector telescope is at least 8 inches in diamter. Anything less than that, will jsut show saturn as a yellow blob with 2 ears kinda, and 2 belts on jupiter, not the many that biger scope woudl reveal.


I have seen the rings of Saturn and the belts of Jupiter very clearly with a 4.5 inch reflector, moreover these features are certainly visible in a 3 inch refractor!


Originally posted by ziggy1706
aim for 8 inches or more. Refractors, give teh clearest views, to an extent, but in refractors(long skinnyt ubes) the images are uspide down.. whcih cna be correctted, with a diagonal lens.


For people starting out 4-6 inch reflector will give spledid views of many objects. Moreover it is not just a refractor which gives an upside down image, reflectors do to! If you use a star diagonal then you also get a mirror image swap as well (i.e. following becomes proceeding etc).

[edit on 20-10-2008 by timelike]



posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 12:44 PM
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I have a celestron starhopper 6" on a dobsonian mount. The starhopper series has been discontinued but Orion telescopes has an equivalent. Its the XCT series I think. One thing to bear in mind when looking at a scope: its not the power that gives you good views, its the light gathering.

When you do finally buy a scope, take the time to learn it inside and out before you take it out in the field. Learn how to collimate it (align the lenses and mirrors). This will make a HUGE difference in what you can see. If you don't know how to use it, all the money in the world wont make your experience any better.

A brief note on the size of the scope. To the gentleman who claimed you couldn't see much with anything less than 8": I beg to differ. There are many wonderful objects that can be viewed through a smaller scope. Charles Messier himself used a scope that had the capabilities of today's 3" scopes. And his catalog of observable objects is a foundation for amateur astronomers everywhere.

Also remember that location plays a huge role in observing as well. The university in my town has a 20" compound telescope that is practically useless at its current location. There is simply to much sky glow sound the campus to make it worthwhile. A few weeks ago the astronomy club I am part of hosted a large open session and we were joined by several astrophysics students from the university. They were amazed at what I was able to do with my small primitive (no guidance systems) scope compared to all of their fancy equipment. Because they never bother to pack up their Meade LX-200s with the fancy computers and drive 10 miles out of town to get away from the light pollution.




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