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Need help finding the best telescope for the money! $130-$180!

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posted on Nov, 25 2010 @ 06:49 PM
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My girlfriend has been wondering and asking what I want for Christmas. I have told her on several occasions that i would really enjoy a telescope. Astronomy is one of my favorite subjects. She doesn't have a lot of money to spend on me she says, so I am thinking around $200 or so, and I am looking for some good input on what the best product would be for the amount of money. Right now my main interests are looking at the planets in the solar system, various moons, nearby nebulas, galaxies, etc. Pretty much what any other amateur astronomer has an interest to look at haha. I would also like to be able to take some nice photos with my digital camera...is that even possible though? Any help, whether first hand or previous research one has done would be greatly appreciated!! I will be away from my computer for the next day or so, but I am eager and excited for any helpful input!


Thank you again for the future advice!!
Forgot to add that I have never owned a decent telescope, just a toy when I was around 5, this would be my first real experience enjoying the heavens.
edit on 25-11-2010 by milkmustache because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 25 2010 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by milkmustache
 

For that price range its going to be limited
right now telescopes.com has a sale going on and this one is a nice beginner scope for the price
www.telescopes.com...

or this one with a choice of lenses and filter bundles
www.telescopes.com...

edit on 25-11-2010 by hillbilly4rent because: (no reason given)
to agree with HelionPrime about the ease of refractors over reflector scopes
edit on 25-11-2010 by hillbilly4rent because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2010 @ 06:59 PM
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Hi milkmustache

I'm pretty sure most of the astronomy fans here will tell you the same... for your money, you are better off staying clear of any budget reflecting scopes, they're just not worth the money.
Personally, I would go for a used refractor, as big an aperture as the money willl get you. For example (I got lucky!) I bought a used 80mm refractor for £25 (50 bucks or so) a couple of years ago, but you could probably get bigger if you hunt around a bit.
Either that or try & get a 90mm/100mm used pair of binoculars, which in comparison to a modest scope really will give you the WOW factor when you first use them. A tripod & mounting bracket are required for something that big though.

Hope this helps.

EDIT: oh, & magnification isn't everything either. If you see an advert that says something like "300x magnification" forget it, this is totally impractical/bogus, even if true. Try holding an object in view at anything over 100x & you'll understand why.
Also, for photographic work, a scope capable of taking a mounting adaptor & equiped with a motor drive are more or less essential (but more expensive) Also, your camera needs some way of attaching (T-mount or similar) Holding the camera to the eyepiece won't cut it.
edit on 25-11-2010 by HelionPrime because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2010 @ 07:52 PM
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reply to post by milkmustache
 


I've got something like this sitting unwanted in my garage because you can only see stars on very rare occasions in London and it was a present so I can't get rid of it.

If I was you I would buy a second hand one, you will get a lot more for your money, you just have to sacrifice the getting a new thing out of a box feeling

Edit to add.

If you really want to see things in good detail find someone in the area with an amateur observatory and ask if you can have a go, you would be surprised how many BIG telescopes people have hidden away that you don't know about and they are usually pretty excited to share their hobby
edit on 25-11-2010 by davespanners because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2010 @ 09:05 PM
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Thank all of you for the replies, I was thinking maybe something along the lines of this Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ Telescope

or this
Bushnell 788930 Discoverer Starfinder 76mm

edit to add, just found this one perhaps?
Galileo FS1202 1100X 102mm Telescope

I apologize for my ignorance on the subject of telescopes, do you think ebay would be a good place to look for a good, used telescope? I'm 24 and could care less if it came in a nice, new box haha. I do want to rip off some wrapping paper though
Forgot to mention that I live in a very dark area in the backwoods of East Texas.


edit on 25-11-2010 by milkmustache because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2010 @ 10:29 PM
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reply to post by milkmustache
 


Just to give you an idea of what you can expect to see through telescopes like these. These images were taken with the first one on your list




posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 12:25 PM
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reply to post by milkmustache
 

Ebay may be your place to get a cheep one but Im just funny about buying used optics over the net. Iv had 2 with a cracked or chipped primary mirror from Ebay.
The 114eq is a nice starter Iv got a 130eq all most the same but with a smaller focal length but it works fine..The only down side was the red dot finder scope on it, its a peace of junk I ditched it and got a real red dot on it now and she is good to go. I would actually recommend a refracting scope for the ease of use because with a reflecting one you will have to culminate the mirrors from time to time and that can be a pain.



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