new member, need telescope advice

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whittier97370

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What would be a good starter scope? Refractor? Reflector? I bought a Tasco telescope for my daughter and myself last Christmas and it is the biggest POS. The stand is so rickety it is damn near impossible to view ANYTHING! It gets moved by practically breathing on it! I would like to purchase a better one this christmas as we are both still interested in viewing the moon and planets.
 
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nevers

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Hi Whittier - <br /><br />Welcome to SDC! Here is the first lesson about Telescopes - the best 'scope it the 'scope that gets used the most. If you'd like some help with your current 'scope, letting us know what kind it is (besides a POS <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> ) would be helpful. A simple way to make it more stable it to attatch a weight of some sort so it hangs down in-between the middle of the tripod legs.<br /><br />The hard part about advising people about what kind of 'scope to purchase it the price - how much do you want to spend? There are many other questions too that could be answered after a price limit is set - if there's no limit, then the sky is the limit! There are many threads concerning telescopes at SDC, especially the "So you want to buy a telescope" thread.<br /><br />Up front I'll say this and it's advice I wish I would have followed before I started buying things - find a local Astronomy Club and attend one of their Star Parties. There you will see different 'scopes, eyepieces and such first hand and can ask the owners about their equipment - likes and dislikes. You don't need to join a club to go to the Star Party - many of them are free to the public (if they're worth a darn).<br /><br />But, if I were to advise somebody to buy a 'scope without knowing their cost limit and purpose, I would suggest this 'scope for starters: Orion's AstroView™ 6 EQ Reflector. Why? Because it has enough aperture to enjoy the Sun (BUY A SOLAR FILTER FIRST!), Moon, Planets and all of the 110 Messier Objects and beyond. And because other accessories are readily available that will increase your viewing pleasures once you become more f
 
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nevers

Guest
Hey, there's even one for sale at Orion's "clearance" section! By the way, I don't work for Orion - I just help pay people's salaries!
 
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harmonicaman

Guest
Too bad about the Tasco; they're basically useless, but everyone seems to get one for their "First" telescope. <br /><br />
 
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nevers

Guest
I would stay away from Refractors unless you can afford to buy an Apochromatic. I fear you will be highly disapointed if you go with an Achromatic version (no matter how large in aperture) - especially if you are interested in observing the Planets.<br /><br />An equatorially mounted 'scope (one on a tripod) will give you the option of at least manually guided slo-motion tracking. You will have the option of upgrading your 'scope with motorized tracking (not "GoTo" - stay away from that!) and later Astrophotography if you chose to go down that road. The AstroView mount is very stable, sturdy and reliable.
 
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