Looking to buy your first telescope? Part 1

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jasonpply

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what am i measuring when you say aperatureI dont se a model other that the model number if it helps <br />78-6420B<br />the only other measures i see are on the scope the are as follows <br />D=76mm F=700mm<br />its definately a reflector scope long tube with mirrors on the bottom and the eyepiece near the fronti was figuring i would start on an object with the least amount of magnification and work my way up on an object i think that would be the way i would like to see the gas giants and be able to say for sure that is what thay are ie; jupiter and saturn and maybe uranusas well as maybe a few asteroids hoping anyways. is the aperature the size of the hole in the end of tube?<br />also when i was trying to line up the 2 scopes all of my images where upside down on both scopes is this the norm?<br /> ty for the grats I am sure whatever it is that i see i will pleased with my first scope as long as i see something lol but ty adrenalynn
 
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adrenalynn

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Just a quick note, then I'll come back with more in a little bit.<br /><br />That 'scope is indeed a reflector. 76mm reflector, in fact. It's made by Tasco, in the Luminova Series.<br /><br />It's specs:<br /><br />Aperture: 76mm (~3" scope)<br />Focal Length: 700mm<br />Focal Ratio: f/9<br />Altazimuth mount<br /><br />6x24 Finderscope<br /><br />More soon. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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adrenalynn

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Given the above, I would guess that its useful magnification will be in the 120 range. I would expect to see Saturn and its rings through the 12.5 with the doubler. I wouldn't expect to make out the Cassini Division unless conditions were ultimately perfect.<br /><br />I would expect to see Jupiter and the Galilean Moons, but I wouldn't expect to see much color. Maybe a few visible bands.<br /><br />Neptune and Uranus are really out of reach of that scope. I don't expect you'll see much more than a disk. Pluto is completely out of range, as are any asteroids that we shouldn't be trying to divert from hitting our planet. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />You should think about getting it out there tonight and finding Comet Holmes though! That's the perfect object for that scope. Nice and bright, you'll be really impressed and it will set a good tone for that scopes' First Light. First Light is a tradition that shouldn't be overlooked... Holmes is an excellent opportunity to christen that scope the right way.<br /><br />As an aside:<br />For ~$30 more than that scope typically sells for, I'd have bought a used Meade refractor with GoTo. If you get into astronomy, that first scope will go by the wayside quickly, so I'm not all that concerned for you. As an avid astronomer, and hanging out with a lot of other avid astronomers, I can tell you we're all modifying, trading, buying, selling, and plotting such actions constantly. In the used market, there are *always* exceptional "deals" on the next step up from that scope. And those steps are huge in what you get for very little additional money. Feel free to drop me a PM and I'll send you my contact info. I can point you at good used scope deals, and help walk you through either First Light, or starhopping around to a few things worth looking at. I'm habitual in reading all the for-sale lists and forums. Always looking for that next upgrade fix. In between major scope purchases, I spend a few hundred d <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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billslugg

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<font color="yellow">...the mirror is terrible scratched.. I can't see anything with it. Is it beyond repair?</font><br /><br />A scratch on a mirror will not affect the sharpness of an image, what it does is to scatter light and put it where it does not belong, reducing contrast. The black background will become brighter. It is a law of optics that if even the tiniest part of a lens or mirror is intact, a complete image will be produced. Although not as bright and with less resolution.<br /><br />At Kitt Peak there is a big (100"??) mirror that some guy shot at with a handgun. There are two or three golf ball size pock marks in it. All they did was paint the depressions flat black and they were back in business. <br /><br />edit: I was thinking of getting one of Meade's 20 Inch RCX400 Advanced Ritchey-Chretien's on a MAX Robotic EQ Mount/Tripod for only $49,999.99 until I found out that the battery was not included. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p> </div>
 
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doc3170

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Hello everyone. I’m new here. I’m very interested in buying my first Scope. I’ve read the whole thread & visited all the sites linked in it. A lot of good advice has been given here. Before I ask my questions, it might help if you know a little about me first. <br /><br />A couple of months ago, I knew next to nothing about astronomy. I saw the Lunar Eclipse this August. It was awesome! It made me curious, so I got on the web to read about it. The more I read, the more interested I became. Since then, I’ve spent most my time reading about astronomy & researching Telescopes; that is when I’m not in the back yard trying to Star hop to a new constellation. <br /><br />Since then, in an effort to educate myself I bought a few things to help. <br /><br />I bought a Planisphere, for someone who doesn’t know constellations it’s a wonderful $10 investment. <br /><br />I’ve read most of NIGHTWATCH by Terence Dickinson. I probably should have bought The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide also & I might before I buy my Scope. <br /><br />I also bought Starry Night Enthusiast, a wonderful program. <br /><br />I probably should have waited & bought a better pair, but I saw a pair of 10x50 binoculars for $20 at Walmart & couldn’t resist. They do better than I thought they would. The hardest part is holding them still…LOL<br /><br />The nearest Astronomy club is 100 miles away, they have 1 observing night a month. This month’s observing night was called due to weather…Grrr I will go to their Star Party before I make a purchase. <br /><br />Ok, I have a budget of about $500-$1000. I think a reflector is probably best for my first Scope. I had considered a SC, but considering my budget & lack of experience I think a Newtonian might be best. Most of the time when people ask about a good first scope a Dobsonian is suggested. I assume because they have the simplest mount & because you get the most aperture for your buck with th <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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tfwthom

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Why just about everyone says "Get a dob" is because they are the simplest telescopes to use. EQ mounts can be a pain to set up if you don't know what you are doing. <br /><br />Another reason to go with a dob is that you haven't spent a lot of money, if you get bored with the hobby you are not out much. (and it does happen)<br /><br />I have never owned a dob, if I want use one there are enough at star parties that I can get over aperture fever.<br /><br />Great you have Nightwatch already, that and a dob is all you are going to need. You really don't need the Backyard Astronomers Guide, nice to have at some later date but eveything you will need is in Nightwatch.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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doc3170

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Thanks for the input : ) I guess I’m afraid if I get a Dob, in 6 months I’ll wish I had one set up on an EQ. I’m also afraid if I buy a scope on an EQ right off, it could get overly complex & I’d get bogged down & never use it. <br /><br />So I guess you’re right. The XT8 is by far the best value, especially with all the goodies it comes with. If I want to try something on an EQ later, I could get a smaller set up & not have so much invested. <br /><br />The next Star Party is on 12-8 (Hoping for good weather). That’s not so far away, I can wait that long…<br /><br />Thanks <br /><br />Olie<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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votefornimitz

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Alright, My parents have set a 150$ budget limit for my Christmas present Telescope...<br />I want a Meade Telestar NGC-60TC Telescope, but those seem to have fallen off the face of the Earth(as to where they are available) and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions that would give me the best bang for my buck...<br /><br />I was thinking a reflector to compliment the retractor I already have...Either will work though...<br /><br />Much appreciated any help I get...<br /> <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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adrenalynn

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$150 is a pretty tight budget. <br /><br />I think for that money as a hard cap, I'd probably buy:<br /><br />http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/reflecting-telescopes/celestronastromaster114eqreflector.cfm<br /><br />And a couple eyepieces that are better. Probably Orion Sirius Plossl's. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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votefornimitz

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Try buying presents for 6 different kids....<br />Talk about a tight budget <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" />... <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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adrenalynn

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Believe me, I'm not questioning that! Just pointing-out the limitations in that price-range.<br /><br />Zhumell also has a refractor in your pricerange. I've read a few good things, and a few really negative things about it. I think the Celestron I pointed-out might be a good opening act.<br /><br />If you already have a decent refractor, though, I'd probably accessorize it instead. <br /><br />I have a tendency to feel that optics quality is a bit less important in a reflector than a refractor. It's a lot harder to grind that glass in a refractor than it is to polish the mirror. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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rule303

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<br /><br />bbk1 wrote:<br />"I have now realised the blunder but I wonder how many amateurs may go through the same highly risky experience. Since then i am very weary and hesitant to view the sun even with filters. You can say it's become like a paranoia."<br /><br /> While on an observation for class, I was also told it is not a good idea to view the Moon without a filter since the reflected light can damage your eyes.<br />What is your opinion of this? Were they speaking of physical damage or just limiting your vision at night? Either way they stuck a green filter on and the image was not as nice.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Viewing the moon through a telescope without a filter is not dangerous.<br />It's not exactly fun with a full moon, though.<br /><br />I will ruin your night vision in that eye for quite a long time.<br /><br />And I find my head tends to tilt over from the different light reponse in the two eyes <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />I have a 90% neutral density filter that I use that preserves the color, but dims it enough to make the viewing comfortable.<br /><br />Welcome to Space.com!!<br /><br />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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rule303

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Thank you for the response and the welcome:)<br /><br />I thought thats what was meant, especially since we were filling out reports for lab, but I'd thought Id find out for sure before I gave someone else some silly advice.<br /><br />And yes, I can see how uncomfortable it can be for a bit...I was viewing the Moon for a while before they stuck the filter on. Had to use the other eye when I moved to another scope for the ring nebula.<br /><br />-Steve
 
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MeteorWayne

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I should point out, that other than the 2 or 3 days on either side of the full moon, it is best observed without a filter. As the terminator (the sunrise/sunset line) moves across the surface day by day, or even hour by hour, the shadows change, what you can see changes. And you don't need the filter, since the brightness isn't that extreme.<br /><br />You can see much more detail on the surface.<br /><br />I highly recommend 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>
 
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adrenalynn

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Contrast enhancement filters, though, can make a tremendous difference for viewing the moon in the early and late phases. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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rule303

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Crazyeddie wrote:<br />"Without shadows to reveal the definitions of the topography, the moon just looks like a flat photograph. During 1st quarter or 3rd quarter is my favorite time for looking at the moon, and no filter has ever seemed necessary. "<br /><br />I agree, the best views I have had have been along the terminator, the views here are stunning. My first impressions of viewing the Moon through a telescope were.."yawn...its the Moon...lets have something interesting..." but when I could see the craters and the rebound inside of them...I was hooked! I also like turning my binoculars on it during the wanning phases when it it up in the mornings.<br /><br />I have found that Astronomy gives new meaning to the phrase, "stopping to smell the roses."
 
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bender29

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Hey everyone,<br /><br />I'm actually looking to buy my first telescope. I've been reading up on it for hours, but I have on big dilemma: I really don't want to spend more than $150. I'm a broke college student and on a very tight budget.<br /><br />I was looking into these two:<br /><br />http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/refracting-telescopes/aurora70withmotordrive.cfm#MyReviewAnchor<br /><br />http://www.telescope.com/control/product/~category_id=refractors/~pcategory=telescopes/~product_id=09882<br /><br />Any comments on either of those? And what can I expect to see from them?<br /><br />
 
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MeteorWayne

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crazyeddie's advice is very sound.<br />I concur, and STRONGLY suggest you follow it.<br />For $150, you will only get something useless that you will likely never use. <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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bender29

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I was actually thinking about a nice pair of binoculars also. I came upon these:<br /><br />http://www.binoculars.com/binoculars/astronomy-binoculars/oberwerk8x56mmbinoculars.cfm<br /><br />Any comments? Would I be able to see all of the previously mentioned things with these binoculars also? I'm really interested in seeing Saturn with it's rings, Jupiter and its bands, venus, mars, etc.<br /><br />Could anyone point me to a good used telescope on one of the previous mentioned websites that I could get for around $150. I really don't know what I'm looking for. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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bender29

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Alright, thank you. What would be a good used price for either of those?<br /><br />Also could you recommend a good refractor telescope that I should look for on the used market. I like the idea of them never really needing any maintenance and they are much smaller.
 
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MeteorWayne

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That's the problem<br />A GOOD refractor, even used, is well out of your price range.<br />A small refractor will not give you the views you desire, IMHO.<br /><br />A used 6 or 8 inch Dobsonian is probably within budget, and will let you see the things you want to. <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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bender29

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Thank you for the wealth of information crazyeddie and meteorwayne. I truly do appreciate it.
 
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