First telescopes for no more than $75.

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gobucks

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I want to find a telescope for my 8 year old that will allow him to do the basics (Moon, Jupiter, Rings of Saturn)<br />from our suburban backyard and keep it around $75. If there are no specific telescopes you can recommend,<br /> please recommend a manufacturer. Also I am looking for recommendations on sky map books that will help<br /> him locate stuff while using the telescope. Thanks!
 
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MeteorWayne

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DO NOT BUY A $75 DOLLAR TELESCOPE!!!<br /><br />It will be worthless, and only discourage him.<br />You could very likely ruin his or her interest in astronomy forever.<br /><br />Trust me.<br />You would be much better off saving the $75 in a savings account to add to over the next few years until you can afford a decent scope (~ $300-$400)<br />or<br />Buying a $100 pair of binoculars<br />or subscribing to an astronomy magazine for youngsters such as link to Night Sky <br /><br />I work with kids a lot at my astro club, and it's sad to see kids ruined by tools that are worthless. I'm sure you'll get other similar comments.<br />While your goal is wonderful, implementing it that way will be fruitless, or damaging.<br /><br />This summer find a nearby astronomy club and take him for some visits to observe the sky.<br />That will be much more valuable<br /><br />Meteor Wayne <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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gobucks

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Ok, I understand that you get what you pay for and that for a child to look at a blurry image of the moon or Saturn would turn off their curiosity. But I am also realistic about the many interests my son currently has and not wanting to "break the bank" while my son decides if this is a 5 minute versus lifetime interest. Are you saying that the low end telescopes made by Orion or Meade are not worth their weight? Are they blurry, continually need focusing, or is their some other reason? Why are binoculars acceptable? Can you see the rings of Saturn with them? I don't mean to sound ungrateful, just trying to get answers to questions my WIFE will be asking me!<br />Thanks.
 
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MeteorWayne

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I understand <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />I don't think you'll find a $75 scope by Orion or Meade, maybe I'm wrong. I dismissed things in that price range from consideration decades ago based on my own experience.<br />In general a scope at that price, if it came with a mount would be wobbly, and give lousy images. Trying to point it at an object would be horrible frustrating, and the view wouldn't be worth it. Unless there's been some great advances in the last few years. Perhaps others can comment on that.<br />If you buy a good scope, worst case you can sell it if the interest turns out not to be there.<br /><br />That's one reason I suggested the magazine subscription. Then you can see if that little spark grows or goes out without breaking the bank. Also a visit to a local club. Most of us love to share the sky with kids. Another good spark test. If he or she comes home from that fired up, then you can sense it will be worth it next year.<br />I know it's tough to wait, but in the long run, if he or she is really interested you'll know by these things whether its worth the money.<br /><br />Binocs allow you to do a lot of things, although not great with the planets until you get to a pricier range.<br />Jupiter's moons, yes. Saturns rings, barely. Venus as a crescent.<br />On the other hand you could do great with the moon, globular clusters, and spend hours just perusing the milky way. Also useful for comets should one appear.<br />At least you can see a clear view of a planet, even if detail is limited.<br /><br />Well, I've gone on enough. Wait for some other comments, these are just my opinions.<br />Also, read the thread at the top of this page about first telescopes. I think you'll find much of what I've said in there.<br /><br />Good luck, and feel free to ask more questions, but you know my views by now <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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six_strings

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100% agree with MW... I would suggest also to start with binoculars... 10x50's are great (for me) but depending on your youngster you may need a tripod for that magnification (a camera tripod can even work for this) It may be difficult for a child to hold stable without support... Maybe 8x50 or 8x40?? Shop around for a sale. Multi-coated lenses (fully multi-coated is better) if possible, reduces internal glares, absorbs more light, etc.. Ideally a 7-8mm exit pupil, with one eyepiece having a seperate focus... A little research will payoff <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <br /><br />If you buy some dept. store telescope you both will be disappointed *shrug* You will also be wise to learn the night sky (using the binoculars) while saving up for a good scope <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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