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Beginners telescope?

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mattib76

Guest
Hello everyone, I'm interested in purchasing my first telescope. Any ideas on which one to buy? Please keep in mind I have no experience.<br /><br />Thanks
 
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nevers

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Hi Matti -<br /><br />Yes, we'll have lot's of ideas! First, it would be nice to know what kind of a budget you planned on. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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mattib76

Guest
Well, I guess the limit on my budget is about $300.00.<br /><br />Thanks for the help!
 
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bbrock

Guest
Matti<br /><br />You have several choices at $300. Lets ask another question. Are you a beginner to amateure astronomy, or have you studied this stuff and are just now able to buy a telescope? The reason I ask is fundamental. <br /><br />Always go with the largest aperture you can afford. However, when first introduced to astronomy, it's vitally important to first learn your way around the night sky. Otherwise a great telescope will do little good if you don't know where to point it. Many experienced amateure astronomers will recommend buying a pair of binoculars first and reference books, a subscription to "The Night Sky", planitarium software such as "Starry Night". etc etc. First learn to find basic objects like the Orion Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, a couple open or globular cluster. Once you get the hang of sky hopping and locating objects, all others are done the same way. ---- Sort of like learning to ride a bicycle. <br /><br />OK, for the scope @ $300, get the Orion XT 6 Classic Dobsonian and a good lazer collimator. Orion will give you a copy of Starry Night, free of charge. <br /><br />You could get a Low End Go-To Scope if you don't want to bother learning the night sky. Orion or Celestron.<br /><br />Clear Skies<br />Bill
 
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tplank

Guest
That XT8 2nd, which I posted about on another thread, at just over $300 is still out there. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>The Disenfranchised Curmudgeon</p><p>http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/ </p> </div>
 
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mattib76

Guest
Thanks everyone. How about this combo: SkyQuest™ XT6 Classic Dobsonian Reflector FREE Starry Night™ Software and SkyTheater DVD with Telescope Purchase , Shorty-Plus™ 2x 3-Element Barlow, and a LaserMate™ Collimator. Is this a good combo?<br /><br />Thanks again all.<br />
 
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scopenoob

Guest
An 2nd XT8, or a XT6 with nice stuff (eyepieces, better finder scope, etc.)
 
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tplank

Guest
This is unrelated to the thread, but I'm going to put it here rather than start a new one. I want one of those green laser pointers so that my Son and I can point and talk about the Stars more easily. I just can't bring myself to cough up the price of one of those things. Anybody have any ideas? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>The Disenfranchised Curmudgeon</p><p>http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/ </p> </div>
 
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tplank

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CrazyOne,<br /><br />Thanks, as usual, for your help. I actually heard such a discussion at a star party so I was aware of the etiquette issue. I'm strictly looking at it as something to help my Son learn.<br /><br />I've not tried aiming a red one up at night. I might have to try that because those are not that expensive. I was under the impression that it simply wouldn't catch enough dust...<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>The Disenfranchised Curmudgeon</p><p>http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/ </p> </div>
 
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atticus808

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i tried pointing a red dot laser pointer and i don't think i saw the dot<br />
 
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tplank

Guest
I tried this last night and I could not see the red beam. I guess I wait on the green. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>The Disenfranchised Curmudgeon</p><p>http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/ </p> </div>
 
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scopenoob

Guest
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>If not, you might want to dispense with the Lasermate and get a Cheshire eyepiece instead for collimation.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />The XT6 come with one of those<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>i tried pointing a red dot laser pointer and i don't think i saw the dot <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />It will be very hard to see. Green lasers are cheap anywhere so don't think of getting one at a very low price
 
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tplank

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Shame on you Eddy! <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /><br /><br />Actually, here in Texas at certain times of the year when the dust is blowing in from the West, the red laser would probably work just fine. Of couse, at the cost of not being able to actually see the stars at which you are wanting to point in the first place! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>The Disenfranchised Curmudgeon</p><p>http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/ </p> </div>
 
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spacehead

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I would not suggest buying a telescope right now, if your city/town has a local astronomy club then i say join them first, get af eel and try to learn from those taht have had experience already. a good starter scope would be a Dobsonian.
 
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atticus808

Guest
does the green laser actually point into the sky?<br />like could you see some long green beam form a distance?<br />i
 
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tplank

Guest
The green pointer actually works like a pointer in the board room...well, not really because you can't see the dot. But it is visible far enough out that others can see exactly what you are pointing at. Like a big line all the way out to the end of the universe. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>The Disenfranchised Curmudgeon</p><p>http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/ </p> </div>
 
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formulaterp

Guest
Yeah they're rather cool to play with. Be careful though, I seem to recall hearing about some jerk in New Jersey who got arrested because he was interfering with aircraft with his laser. Wouldn't be surprised to see them go the way of the lawn dart in a couple years.
 
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bbrock

Guest
Correct. <br /><br />The green lazers are a fantastic astronomy teaching tool. Lets treat them with respect and responsible use. I can't imagine a public star viewing without using a green lazer. They are amazing teaching aids. But powerful. <br /><br />And some idiot will use one to blind pilots and have them banned from use. -- Lets hope not. <br /><br />Clear Skies<br />Bill
 
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tplank

Guest
Yes, a great teaching tool. I was very impressed with how some folks at the Star Party were able to assist my Son with some observations using one. I'm sure it will be my next astronomy purchase as soon as I recover from the economic havoc called Christmas. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>The Disenfranchised Curmudgeon</p><p>http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/ </p> </div>
 
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tplank

Guest
As a homebrewer, I am familar with controversy! Lasers are nothing next to the devil's brew. <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /> <br /><br />I must have one. I saw that website you are talking about. I can see a green laser or two in my future. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>The Disenfranchised Curmudgeon</p><p>http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/ </p> </div>
 
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tplank

Guest
That question is way beyond my high-school physics. But the affect is as I described...it seems to go out to infinity. It is clear to the observer exactly what the laser wielder is pointing at. It is pretty incredible for something so simple. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>The Disenfranchised Curmudgeon</p><p>http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/ </p> </div>
 
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atticus808

Guest
but is it an illusion or something?<br />if it is<br />how does the laser just suddenly stop at one point?<br />cause i'm sure the laser doesn't go on for ever<br />does it?
 
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tplank

Guest
My understanding is that photons do travel forever. Of course they sometimes run into something and get absorbed. And there is the whole curvature of space thing so we aren't talking infinite straight lines. So no, it isn't technically an illusion in my view. But then I doubt you need to worry about blinding an Alpha Centaurian airplane pilot. <br /><br />Where are the astrophysicists when you need them. <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>The Disenfranchised Curmudgeon</p><p>http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/ </p> </div>
 
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