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First telescope, which one should I get?

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posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 06:40 PM
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And seriously walmart has a large selection of all types all price ranges.


Avoid them and look toward what your local astronomy club recommends. Look around the net first. The deal may be better, but your purchase choice of quality will probably go down. Walmart has no expertise in scopes, so why go with them?




posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 06:46 PM
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I agree that an evening spent with a local astronomy club will pay great dividends in your decision.

You will get a chance to get hands on with different types of scopes and talk with people who are involverd in the hobby and whose advice from their experience you can trust (sorry internet :dn


It might help others offering advice if you can provide some basics like will you be needing to transport your scope to the viewing area (general location would be helpful as well), what you are hoping to view etc. There is a big difference in the practical portability for one person with a typical commuter automobile between an 8" Dobsonian and an 8" Schmiddt-Cassegrain.

From the sound of your post you are still a little vague on theory, I would recommend dedicating an evening or two to basic research of theory and application until you feel comfortable with both the terminology as well as the available technology and what its relative advantages and disadvantages may be.

There are considerations other than brute size which will directly effect your experience and enjoyment such as portability, mount precision and optical quality.

A 12" Dobsonian scope is worthless if you cant transport it to your viewing area or the mount is unworkable just as a properly set up 100 mm refractor can provide years of enjoyment to somebody with storage/transportation considerations.

As cost is a factor, consider buying 2nd hand off of craigs list or ebay should. I know quite a few people in the hobby who have paid pennies on the dollar for first rate kit. It is common for first time buyers with more money than experience to pay for the best only to use it once and find they are no longer interested.

Bottom line is you can get a respectable setup for $300-400 usd if you understand what you are looking for.




edit on 13-10-2011 by Drunkenparrot because: Sp



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 06:48 PM
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Cheapest best dob around are Skywatchers, infact all their range are quality. You really do want to get a well known brand, not a supermarket special. It depends what you want to do with it, an 8" will be great on planets and the moon but you'll struggle to get things like Andromeda and the Pleiades in your field of view as a whole. If you want to try imaging then you really need an EQ mount and not the alt-az type you get with dobs. It's one of those things where you need to look at the future, I always hear you want to go the best bang for your buck but it's not neccessarily true. I'd sacrifice a couple of inches arperture for a good mount any day of the week.



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 06:57 PM
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Or better yet, come over to the light side and get a Coronado PST or Lunt and you can observe the most dynamic and changing object there is in the sky.



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 06:57 PM
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Originally posted by pazcat
Cheapest best dob around are Skywatchers, infact all their range are quality. You really do want to get a well known brand, not a supermarket special. It depends what you want to do with it, an 8" will be great on planets and the moon but you'll struggle to get things like Andromeda and the Pleiades in your field of view as a whole. If you want to try imaging then you really need an EQ mount and not the alt-az type you get with dobs. It's one of those things where you need to look at the future, I always hear you want to go the best bang for your buck but it's not neccessarily true. I'd sacrifice a couple of inches arperture for a good mount any day of the week.


I was just researching the skywatcher telescopes adn I agree this is the area I need to focus on. Just for the records walmart carries meade, celestran and orions. their prices range from as little as 49.00 all the way up to 4000.00 and higher. when you get into the better brands walmart is actually having the order sent from the manufacturer itself. But I did like what I saw with the skywatcher telescopes.



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 07:01 PM
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I got my 10 year old the edu science 50mm one from toys r us, good for looking at the moon and bright stars, it's dirt cheap

the legs are very short, so I rigged up a tripod for it



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 07:11 PM
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ok how does this one look, finderscheapers.com...



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 07:19 PM
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Originally posted by lbndhr
ok how does this one look, finderscheapers.com...


Apertures too small - you'd be frustrated very quickly.

Edit to add: Small aperture and computer controlled might be ok, but if you're going down the Dob route - go bigger!
edit on 13/10/11 by Insomniac because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 07:26 PM
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As you're looking at Dobsonians, save up a bit more and go for this...

Skywatcher 8" Dob

If you shop around you might get it cheaper anyway.



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 07:46 PM
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thanks for the advice will keep looking. i can actually spend upward to maybe 600.00 and after reviewing all your suggestions here I think 600 is a good range? I dont wnat to play with this I want to go into another level of awe, and from just seeing one planet the way i feel I want this to be the right, I will also hook up with the local astronomers club.



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 07:47 PM
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reply to post by Frira
 


This is a good/informative post worth repeating.

I would also add that while few things compare with the awe and wonder of observing the cosmos first hand, no matter how powerful the telescope, the human eye is incapable of resolving the minute quantities of light that is required to image the Messier objects in anything close to the detail that is seen in the long exposure photos seen in books and on the web.

To give a comparison here is what you might see of M42 (Orion) under optimal viewing conditions through a good pair of binoculars...



M42 through a 100MM ( 4") refractor...



M42 through a 8" Newtonian (Dobsonian)...



M42 through a 16" Dobsonian ( This is about the limit of practicality for amateur telescopes)



Compared with a 15 minute 35mm film exposure taken from a 8" Newtonian...



The Telescope GuideBook Vol. 1: What Can You See?

Hope this helps.

edit on 13-10-2011 by Drunkenparrot because: Sp



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 08:35 PM
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Originally posted by Drunkenparrot
reply to post by Frira
 


This is a good/informative post worth repeating.

I would also add that while few things compare with the awe and wonder of observing the cosmos first hand, no matter how powerful the telescope, the human eye is incapable of resolving the minute quantities of light that is required to image the Messier objects in anything close to the detail that is seen in the long exposure photos seen in books and on the web.

To give a comparison here is what you might see of M42 (Orion) under optimal viewing conditions through a good pair of binoculars...



M42 through a 100MM ( 4") refractor...



M42 through a 8" Newtonian (Dobsonian)...



M42 through a 16" Dobsonian ( This is about the limit of practicality for amateur telescopes)



Compared with a 15 minute 35mm film exposure taken from a 8" Newtonian...



The Telescope GuideBook Vol. 1: What Can You See?

Hope this helps.

edit on 13-10-2011 by Drunkenparrot because: Sp


yes this helps shows me what I dont want, I would love the Newtonian but i have to see the price, i will probably settle for the M42 through a 16 in Dobson



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 09:47 PM
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I'm going to get some Celestron SkyMaster 25-125x80mm Zoom Binoculars they are supposed to be good enough to see Saturns rings. Be great for star gazing and recon for WTSHTF scenarios. You can get them for about $100.
edit on 13-10-2011 by Metal Head because: forgot something



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 09:49 PM
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Originally posted by Drunkenparrot
reply to post by Frira
 


This is a good/informative post worth repeating.

I would also add that while few things compare with the awe and wonder of observing the cosmos first hand, no matter how powerful the telescope, the human eye is incapable of resolving the minute quantities of light that is required to image the Messier objects in anything close to the detail that is seen in the long exposure photos seen in books and on the web.

To give a comparison here ...


Thank you for the kind words and even more for your addition of sample pics-- that is excellent.

I have a 17.5" Newtonian, on alt-az mount-- good mirror, and local carpentry. Some say they can see color (green) in the Orion Nebula using it-- but not me. I can stare at nebula and some open clusters all night-- like going to a great art museum. The rare comet has been a lot of fun-- front yard in the city, the big scope drew lots of attention.

Useful for beginners, perhaps, is a story I enjoying telling on myself:

My brother got me started in the hobby when I helped him build his 10" dobsonian. I started my Messier Certificate with that. I finished it with my 17.5". When receiving my certificate, the presenter read excerpts from my notes (which I had turned in to qualify) to the whole astronomy club.

He teased that when using the 10" mirror, my comments would be something like, "Just another open cluster." But when viewing a similar cluster with the 17.5" mirror, it would be a glowing report like, "Wow! Incredible. The core almost looks like city lights arranged for streets. Augustine's 'City of God!'" Everyone laughed and noted that "Size matters."

It does, but so do finances. And a quality scope is a joy, and a smaller but quality instrument is better than a larger department store one.



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 10:16 PM
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reply to post by lbndhr
 


Whoa, you need to probably take some time researching.

Dobsonian is the type of mount, but it is generally accepted that a Newtonian telescope would be mounted on a Dobsonian mount, so people just shorten it to its aperture and mount by saying 8" Dobsonian.

Honestly, go for a good branded dobsonian 8". As mentioned it's nearly too big to transport but big enough to be impressed by what you can see.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 12:40 AM
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Glad I stumbled across this thread, there's some great info here. Thank you to all that are contributing. That post above with the examples of the different views from different set-ups is very informative.

My son is four and has recently expressed great interest in the night sky. We have been spending time with my 12x42 Nikon bino's and staring at the moon. He has trouble steadying them enough for Jupiter, but I can get a good look at the disc and four moons especially if I take out the tripod. I haven't sought out Saturn or Mars yet (currently too early in the morning for me!) but have seen some M type fuzzies.

I'm considering re-kindling my interest and at the same time introducing my son to the wonders of the sky. I've started shopping and was leaning towards the GOTO motorized rigs (like iOptron) but it seems the consensus is that these should be avoided. I figured for ease of use and quick acquisition, along with the ability to keep the target in view for longer periods (while tracking) this type would be a better choice for the short attention span of a four year old. When he's older and can program the unit himself, I would hope it would continue to provide enjoyment.

Looks like I need to keep researching!



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 12:47 AM
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reply to post by Drunkenparrot
 


Just thought I would add my appreciation of your excellent post



Stellarium is also a great way to test out telescopes and eyepieces through the config plug in options.

It is about 80% true to life .
On cloudy nights who needs my 8 inch friend...when ye got stella.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 01:20 AM
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The trouble with buying a cheap first scope is that you can typically out grow it in a month or less.
It is really important to start with something usable, and get some real experience under your belt before you go on a trek for something larger.

I would recommend saving $ and make your first scope a 6" Meade Schmidt Cassegrain.
The LT 6 model will cost you about $800, with Autostar.
Has a great mount, computerized, great for astrophotography which you will want to get into right away, and this scope is perfectly portable and packs away in a car easily.

Pick up a wide field lens and a doubler, so with the included eyepiece you will have 4 power options.
Meade also has camera mounts for virtually any digital camera, and there are alot of third party options as well.
Have Fun!



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 06:36 AM
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Originally posted by charlyv
The trouble with buying a cheap first scope is that you can typically out grow it in a month or less.
It is really important to start with something usable, and get some real experience under your belt before you go on a trek for something larger.

I would recommend saving $ and make your first scope a 6" Meade Schmidt Cassegrain.
The LT 6 model will cost you about $800, with Autostar.
Has a great mount, computerized, great for astrophotography which you will want to get into right away, and this scope is perfectly portable and packs away in a car easily.

Pick up a wide field lens and a doubler, so with the included eyepiece you will have 4 power options.
Meade also has camera mounts for virtually any digital camera, and there are alot of third party options as well.
Have Fun!


I deffinately know now I will not buy a cheap scope, I like what I have seen thus far and would be psszed if I bought the wrong scope. I decided to wait, sve what I have so far and add to it through xmas givings. should bring my price range upwards to $1000.00 plus.
I thought of a good pair of binoculars but you must have stable hands strong arms and a good neck. I am a few years older then the average ats`er so I haev to factor in those issues. WHen I find my local astronomy club I will ask around to see if anyone has a used telescope in good condition willing to sell at a lower price. If that dotn work then I have to wait until december to get my FIRST telescope
. I am so excited to get one. I would like to thank each and every reply the well thought out advice and your kindness to come here and help me. Good people here thanks ya`all



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 06:55 AM
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ok another telescope I found>>www.opticsplanet.net...




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