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I am buying a telescope and need advice?

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poodown

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I am buying a telescope but they all seem to do a pretty good job yet Im not sure which one to pick. The ones that have over about 1500mm focal length are getting pricey (i am a teenager) but I still want one that would be able to see saturns rings and crevices in the moon...can you give me any suggestion on models??
 
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votefornimitz

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The one with the biggest mirror <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <span style="color:#993366">In the event of a full scale nuclear war or NEO impact event, there are two categories of underground shelters available to the public, distinguished by depth underground: bunkers and graves...</span> </div>
 
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bbrock

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Poodown<br /><br />I would strongly suggest a Dobsonian reflector. These are good optics and very easy to use. I would suggest you buy the largest aperture telescope you can afford. Stay away from Department Store Telescopes. Stick with Orion, Meade, Celestron, Hardin etc. I know Meade has cheap telescopes in WalMart stores. So lets just add --- stay away from telescopes that use eye pieces with a diameter of 0.965 inches. If the telescope uses a starndard 1 1/4" eye piece, it will at least be the high end of the junk. A good hard rule of thumb is the maximum magnifacation of a scope it 50 x the aperture diameter in inches. ( most of the time ). A reliable maximum magnification is more like 40 or 45 x the aperture diameter in inches. So then, the department store telescope with a 60mm aperture ( 2.3") will at very best - on a good day with a bright object - give you 120 magnification, Not 600x or 700x like it says on the box. <br /><br />I suggest you look at Orion XT Dobsonian Telescopes. The XT6 ( 6" aperture ) is a very excellent scope with more magnification then you will need and an excellent focal ratio f/8 for good contrast. The price on that is $250. A small step down in aperture to the XT4.5 will still give you 225x magnification at f/8. More then enough magnification for excellent views of the planets, clusters, nebula and faint fuzzy galaxies. ( $200 ). <br /><br />You would need to purchase appropriate eye peices. In time. ( 1 1/4" diameter eye peices ) <br /><br />Clear Skies<br />Bill<br /><br /><br /><br />
 
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nevers

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The telescope I mentioned is in the "clearance" section at Orion for $41 off regular price.<br /><br />With Dobsonian telescopes you'll get a bigger mirror for the price which can certainly be a good thing and one I used to recommend. However, the more I've thought about it the more I'd suggest an Equatorial mounted Reflector: they are much more versatile. Especially if you can afford to add at least a single axis tracking motor. You'll be able to enjoy steady, higher power views and the option of Astrophotography will be open without later modifications.<br /><br />A 5 1/2" telescope is plenty of aperture to see not only the rings of Saturn (which is quickly desending towards the Western horizon) but you'll also be able to see the Cassini division as well. With a Reflector vs Refractor, you won't have false coloring and with an f/5 you'll get nice wide views if you want that.<br /><br />Anyway, that's my 2cents. If you'd like to offer a price range your looking to spend, I'm sure we'd be able to narrow a selection down a bit.<br /><br />
 
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rybanis

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Yes, for a first scope a Dob is good, though after awhile I tired of it because of the mount. A reasonable Equtorial mount will last you a long time, and can be used with other scopes (!!) should you feel like it. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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poodown

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I could probably afford $500 at maximum and I want one that will last me a long time and that have will also give me a good view of everything in the sky...mainly just to help me get started with some astronomy but thanks for all your help <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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rybanis

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500? I shall do some digging before work. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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poodown

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also what I would need to consider is that I am australian...so not all telescopes are available in australia and they are more expensive due to currency exchange and such...
 
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rybanis

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Alright. <br /><br />For 349 you can get a good Celestron 8 inch on a dobsonian mount:<br />http://www.binoculars.com/products/Celestron_Starhopper_8_Inch_Dobsonian_25831.html<br /><br />For 499 you can do the 10 inch dobby from Orion (who happens to make excelent scopes):<br />http://www.telescope.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=3988&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=4&iSubCat=9&iProductID=3988<br /><br />Though what you might want to do is get a scope that is cheaper (you'll get less inches), but you can use the money left over to buy another required item: Eyepices! So you could say, go for this:<br />http://www.telescope.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=365&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=4&iSubCat=9&iProductID=365<br /><br />There you go for now. I have to get ready for work, but that should be a good start. I would really recommend a dobsonian over anything else, especially if you're getting started. They offer great views and are pretty easy to use. <br /><br />EDIT: I didn't know you were from the old AU, but those sites are still a good start to look. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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bbrock

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Poodown<br /><br />Go to Orion's Web Site, telescope.com and examine the Dobsonian scopes. The equatorial mounts are great, and I have too of them. But the Dobs are the best for observation and learning the night sky. Australia is a fantastic place to take up Astronomy. You will eventually grow into the more sophisticated mounts and various equipment. Orion will work with you and give you great support. If you purchase the Orion Skyquest XT8 Classic. ( 349$ ) You will have a scope that will do everything you are wanting to do, by a company that will give you great support, and the scope will last a lifetime if you don't leave in out in the rain. The 8" aperture will give you great light gathering and can go up to 400x -- more then you will ever really need. I also suggest you buy a lazer colimator with the scope. But then again, there is a vast amount of accessories you will eventually buy, with any telescope. <br /><br />clear skies<br />Bill
 
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bonus

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Don't make the same mistake I did. Stay away fron the Meade DS-2000 series telescopes. They are junk. I am presently looking at the Orion 10" Dobsonian. Should have it fully outfitted in about six months if my wife feeds my habit.
 
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bbrock

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May I suggest the evolutionary approach. I am doing this and I am very happy with the results -- So Far. <br /><br />I purchased the Orion XT10 Dobsonian. ( Great Scope ). Then I purchased the Atlas Mount and the rings for the 10" tube. Now I can use the scope on both the Dob base or the Atlas Equatorial Mount. Which I do. About 50/50. Now, Orion has announced that there is an upgrade kit coming in September to convert the Atlas EQ to an EQ - G. ( Go -To with Auto Guide capability and communication with Starry Night Pro. ). Cost is $499. I have just placed the order. <br /><br />Now you can start with a great Dob, and build it up to a Go-To Auto Guide with progressive steps as you finances and learning curve allows. Without Purchasing additional telescopes. Just build on what you have. The other nice thing about the Atlas Mount is you can easily mount other scopes on it. I use it also for the Orion 120mm ST refractor. <br /><br />Clear Skies<br />Bill<br />
 
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petepan

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Poodown,<br /><br />If your intereted, before you lash out your money, why not try and go to the South Pacifc Star Party. <br /><br />Heres a link...<br />http://www.asnsw.com/spsp/<br /><br />"HISTORY<br />Each year since 1993, the Astronomical Society of New South Wales has hosted the now famous South Pacific Star Party (SPSP), at it's 107 acre (43 hectare) country property Wiruna near Ilford, NSW, between Lithgow and Mudgee about 3 hours west of Sydney, in the Blue Mountains. "<br /><br /><br />There will be plenty of different 'scopes there, so you can get an idea of what you want first hand. <br /><br />It's held March 31 - April 2 2006 <br /><br />Maybe i'll see you there !<br /><br />Cheers
 
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BReif

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I would suggest an Orion XT6 or XT 8 Dobsonian, but get the Intelliscope, which is a push to scope, which will help you find objects in the night sky.
 
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moondawg

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'GoTo' 'scopes are great, but there's something quite satisfying about being able to locate the object on your own without the aid of electronics. When people ask me about what telescope to get, I usually recommend that they start with binoculars and a good star chart. Learn how to 'star hop' to some of the brighter objects - this will build confidence in your ability to locate some of the dimmer celestial wonders out there. Don't get a telescope that's too big for you to handle or too complicated to set up! What good is it if it sits idle in your closet or garage?<br /><br />P.S. I observed 3/4s of the Messier Catalog (110 of the brightest galaxies, star clusters, and nebula) with a 3.50 inch catadioptric reflector. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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BReif

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I agree with that entirely. I myself have a 10" Orion Dob, without any computers at all. I also have a fair knowledge of the night sky, and am still learning. I also know that when just starting out, it can be frustrating enough to quit the hobby if you never find anything. I see a Go-To, or on the Intelliscopes, a Push-To as an aid to learning. I actually learned the sky with my ETX Go-To scope, then stepped up to the XT10 Dob without a computer. Whatever will make the hobby enjoyable for the person should be what the person gets, Go-To or not.
 
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