Looking to buy your first telescope? Part 1

Status
Not open for further replies.
C

CalliArcale

Guest
This is a very popular question to ask here. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" alt="" /> So in the interests of helping out budding new backyard astronomers, we've decided to create a sticky thread for the topic. Ask your questions here, and the wonderful community of backyard astronomers here will be overjoyed to help! <br /><br />And if nobody has any questions right away, perhaps some of the established backyard astronomers would be willing to share some helpful advice right off the bat. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" alt="" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
T

toothferry

Guest
once a beginning backyard astronomer actually purchases a telescope and then attempts to use it, he/she may be tempted to join this organization....<br />http://www.darkskysociety.org/<br /><img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" />
 
A

alokmohan

Guest
There is too much light pollution.No point in having a telescope.At least dont waste your time.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
That's a crazy statement, alokhoman.<br />I live in NJ and we use our telescopes all the time.<br />Yes light pollution is a serious problem, but to give in to it is foolish, IMO.<br /><br />Keep fighting it! <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>
 
T

toothferry

Guest
SVMsmiles, Do you use a broadband light pollution filter?
 
S

shydn

Guest
If you're looking to buy a telescope you shouldn't buy the one that I bought. It really sucks.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
What did you buy, and why does it absorb the ambient air? <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>
 
X

xkillswitchx

Guest
Hello all!<br />I have two questions for you. I have been looking at telescopes, and am interested in the 20 inch Ritchey-Chretien model. Would this make for a good beginner tele? I live in an area that isn't all that bright at night, not compared to Vegas or any busy city.<br /><br />Also, how is it to view galaxies first hand? I have been trying to save up for a good scope, it must be amazing and breath taking to see these images first hand.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
Welcome to SDC!<br /><br />In my opinion, a 20 incher is pretty massive for a beginner scope, also a very large investment. How big is it? Is it so big that it will be a pain to set up and use? If that's the case, then you won't use it very often, and that would be a waste. To me it seems like a very big first step to take.<br />My 8" dobsonian can be set up in 5 minutes, as long as it's temperature adapted. So, even though I'm a meteor guy, when I want to see something with the scope I can do it quick.<br />With a 20 incher, there's more setup time, more cooldown time, and depending on the mount, more alignment time. I'm not trying to change your mind, just giving you some things to think about before making such a large commitment.<br />Have you tried out some scopes, or is the first time you will ever look through one? I always recommend finding an astronomy club where you can try out different types and sizes to see where you'll get the most bang for YOUR bucks.<br /><br />However, I am no scope expert, since my focus ( <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> ) is on meteors, and my scope observing is secondary ( <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> ).<br />So see what other comments you get, and good luck with your decision!<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>
 
J

jcdenton

Guest
Dream bigger! <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
X

xkillswitchx

Guest
Doubt I will ever afford the 20" RC, but I can wish <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /><br />I have been looking at Orion scopes abit lately (I really have no idea whether they are any good or not).<br /><br />I am very inexperienced, in fact I've never had the pleasure of looking out into space, its almost sad. I have a deep fascination about space, so I am hoping to get a scope soon and learn how to use them, and learn figure out what works for me. Any suggestions?
 
B

boiod

Guest
Hi all,<br /><br />I am new in this forum and I am really interested in astronomy. I am planning to buy my first telescope before Christmas. I have search all over the web for tips and finally I am thinking of buying a Celestron NexStar 130 SLT but am not quite sure if this a good choice. <br /><br />The reasons I pick this one is because is a good compromise between price and quality, its light compared to a dobsonian so I can move it around easily, and it has GoTo mount so it help me to start learning where things are in the sky. <br /><br />If you have a completly different suggestion on a telescope please tell me because whatever I know about telescopes is from 2-3 guides (the one was from here) and a couple of reviews I have read on the internet.<br /><br />Thank you
 
T

tfwthom

Guest
To quote Ed Ting<br /><br />"Finally, avoid "paralysis-by-analysis." If you spend more than an hour a day reading telescope catalogs, you are probably in this category. Just get something; you'll feel a lot better."<br /><br />You have done the research, decided on what you wanted, asking if it's a good choice isn't really a question. What I want in a scope may not be what you want. Just go for it and upgrade later. <br /><br />No one scope does it all. <br /><br />Refractors: Refractors rule planets and the Moon. You want detail that blows you away? You invest in a top quality refractor, good eyepieces, and a stable GEM. On good seeing night the 50x per inch rule does not apply to refractors. I've had my 5" Tak up around 500x on the Moon on a good night, it's like being inside the crater. Drawback is cost.<br /><br />Reflectors: Big reflectors rule deep space. You can get more aperture and that's what's needed for deep space. Those faint galaxies are dim and the more aperture the more light. Drawback is you need a truck or van to haul the big dobs.<br /><br />Compound telescopes: (SCT, Mak, etc) Portability and accessories are their selling points. They fit in the trunk of your car. Most astrophotography is being done with compound scopes. Drawback is they are just OK scopes, you are not going to blow anyones socks off.<br /><br />Computers: I like them, some don't. Some like DSCs, some don't. I've have and use both. I've used my 8" LX90 and computer to put a Telrad on the sky so we could pick up objects with a 28" dob, saves a lot of hunting. Also use it a Messier Marathons if someone needs a hand.<br /><br />What you need to do is join an astronomy club and/or go to a star party. There you can "test drive" the scope you are thinking about.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
J

jgfusco3

Guest
Boiod<br />There are things to consider. My first scope was a Astrophysics 127 F12 apo. Reason, If I didn't like it I could sell it. If you buy something that is hard to sell you might have a problem. Pending where you live "jet stream" will effect your viewing and the bigger apature the less good views pending location. I live in the north east and the jet stream visits often. Pending, good nights, work, ect, when I had my C14 and basicly only had 2 real good nights after setting that monster up many times. If I lived out west clear dry nights I would get the biggest mirror I could. However I don't, my 1st suggestion is a 5-6" apo and a 8-10" mak. My past 10" sct had Ok, good, great views. my latest 6" sapo good, great views. If you go with a sct I suggest a 8". The Lx200 10" thats a heavy scope to carry and takes time to cool. The things I enjoy are high power viewing and playing with eps, powermates ect. A real good apo you can do these things, but not the faint fuzzies as with a larger reflector type. I also had many other like scopes tak fsq106, that scope is very fast and being so fast it was limited on power views, but exellent on ccd work. Going with a long focal ratio scope is fine if it can stay mounted. Handling long scopes can lead to broken lamps and dented scopes. I like keeping setup to around 10 mins and the same with take down. My sessions last about 2-3 hours. When I do though I want quality views and not wasting time with poor equipment.<br />I would focus on optics first then mount. The mount as long as it has tracking and visual work is in mind a cheaper china gem mount will work. You do not need goto. The Gem mount types allows change of scopes. However I suggest like the AP,G11,Parmount, MI they cost $$$. A lower price and are good Lx650, C1700, atlas. They can handle weight and are steady. Next are the Vixen GPDX types and the G8. All these mounts are good and have great resale value. Buying good stuff allows you to move to different types of e
 
N

nexius

Guest
What if your willing to pay about 500-600 for a telescope what do you recommend the budget scopes I saw only went up to about 300.
 
F

followeratheart

Guest
I'm also looking at that too. I think it is a great telescope but I'm not sure if I should buy that because their was a acomment on a website about it saying the telescope can go no higher up than 60 degrees. I'm not sure if this is valid or not though. I'm confused. <br /><br />IS THIS A GOOD BUY?????????????????????????????
 
F

followeratheart

Guest
****I'm looking at the Celestron 130 NexStar reflector. costs about $430-520 CAN. + taxes
 
G

geoffg

Guest
The Celestron NexStar 130 SLT and its Orion cousin, the StarSeeker 130, are decent telescopes. I owned the non-goto version of this scope for a while, and its optics were pretty good. You are however paying quite a bit for the goto feature; the same money would buy you an 8-inch Dobsonian with more than twice the light-gathering ability. In my experience beginners have trouble seeing things through a telescope, and need all the help they can get: aperture is the key. The view through an 8-inch is just so much bigger and brighter than through a 5.1-inch.<br /><br />Geoff Gaherty
 
A

alarris

Guest
Hello! I am trying to purchase a telescope as a gift for an amateur. Nothing too fancy or expensive, but he has said he would like a telescope that you can connect to the computer. (To save what you see as a .jpeg? Why would you want to do this?) I am completely lost on how to even begin - especially after reading up on all the options. <br /><br />Can ANYONE point me in the right direction? I may be asking a little too late to track down one for Christmas, but that would be ideal. <br /><br />THANKS A MILLION!!
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
If you are hooking up to a computer, you're talking at least 500 bucks. And maybe as much as $2000.<br />You can see MUCH more with a dobsonian that you aim yourself, but that depends on the end user. If you want to see as much as you can with your eyes, a dobsonian is a much more inexpensive choice. However, it sounds like that's not the case.<br /><br />If photography is the goal (the saving to jpeg thing) by the time you're done I would not think $3K is out of line, depending what the expectation is. It could be $2K, but will the results meet the expectations?<br />Nothing you can buy will produce photos like that from the Hubble Space Telescope, so if that's what's expected, it's an unattainable goal.<br /><br />I suggest, before you spend bunch of money, check out the subject and find out what the person expects to get out of it.<br />Then you can consider if such a device is in your budget.<br /><br /> <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>
 
M

mtb2440

Guest
My 9 yr old and I really want to see the rings of Saturn first hand, and I can't spend a lot ($250). Is that possible? <br /><br />I'm looking at a Orion Skyquest XT4.5 Dobsonian Reflector Telescope (114mm mirror). Does this give me the horsepower to see the rings?<br /><br />64k question: The bigger the mirror size, the higher the magnification?<br /><br />Thank you - Matt
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts