I am looking to buy a telescope.

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screebs

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I am looking at buying a telescope. I am not an astronomer or anything I would just like a telescope so I can look at the different stars, planets, and moons. I am looking to spend something like $100 to $200, can you recomend a telescope in that price range? Thanks
 
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harmonicaman

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Avoid Trashco; I mean Tasco (and similar worthless clones...).<br /><br />Member <b>TFWThom</b> is our resident expert in these matters, and if you "Search" his name you will find several helpful topics which address your question. <br /><br />Here's something.
 
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Saiph

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I can't give you a specific model but I can give you some general advice:<br /><br />first, determine if you want to really know the sky, or just look at it.<br /><br />If the first, go straight for a "dobsonian" reflecting telescope. If the second, it may not be a bad idea to get something with a "Goto" computerized mount (it finds things for you).<br /><br />Second: Learn the sky a bit anyway, as you'll need to do so in order to set up any computerized mount (they need to be aligned to the sky every time they're used).<br /><br />buying tips:<br /><br />1) The most important feature: Portability. this must be balanced with other things, as tip #2 usually decreases portability. If you don't like to move the scope around, you will not use it.<br /><br />2) Aperture is the next important feature. A wider mirror collects more light, and provides a better picture.<br /> Bigger is generally better (and this is the number people refer to when they say an "8 inch scope or a 16 inch scope".<br /><br />3) You get what you pay for. $100 will get you something usable...but in my experience, not so satisfying. for $200 you start getting into decent scopes (though you'll still have to buy a decent eye-piece or two)<br /><br /><br />here's a general selection routine to point you towards scopes I just found:<br />http://www.telescope.com/shopping/decisionwizard/decisionwizardmain.jsp?iMainCat=0&KickerID=38&KICKER <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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nevers

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My standard advise is to find an Astronomy Club in your local area and attend one of their Star Parties. That was you can see different types of 'scopes in one place and make a comparison as to which kind you like best - then buy. But don't forget about us afterwards! <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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tfwthom

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One other thing.....<br /><br />If you can't find something for under $200 (and it's hard to find something that you will like) think about just getting binoculars. I have a couple sets. I don't spend much on them because I would rather spend the money on top quality scopes and accessories. But for just scanning the night sky they work.<br /><br />Brent Archinal (observing buddy, author, friend) http://astrogeology.usgs.gov/About/People/BrentArchinal/ has completed the Messier Marathon with just a set of binoculars so don't discount them. Then again with a PhD in astrogeology he might be a little better at this then most but it is just a matter of knowing your way around the sky. (Minor Planet no. 11941 named Archinal by International Astronomical Union, 2000 November)<br /><br /><br /><br />Added later.....<br /><br />I should finish the story on Brent....<br /><br />The only reason he did the Messier Marathon with binoculars was when he was packing his gear, he left the struts for his dob at home and that was all he had. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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