Telescope Help

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Dec 21, 2021
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Does anyone know which is the best telescope to see the moon and planets with a real close up to be able to see craters, rings etc? I am new to this so I have no clue. I have a budget of $300. Can I get anything good for that amount?
 
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Does anyone know which is the best telescope to see the moon and planets with a real close up to be able to see craters, rings etc? I am new to this so I have no clue. I have a budget of $300. Can I get anything good for that amount?
Look at Dobsonian telescopes for the best magnification for the dollar.
 
May 14, 2021
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Stay away from the ‘Department store cheapies’, especially ones that advertise the scope is ‘so many power’.
Probably the best bang for your buck would be a Newtonian reflector. Refractors tend to get expensive for the same objective size.
Meade, Celestron, Orion make some good scopes with electronic ‘go to controls’. That way once you do a two star alignment, you just type what you want to see and it goes there, you don’t have to be a sky expert. There are many other brands of good scopes, these were just a few. Read up on alt-am versus polar mount, and Dobsonian mount. That’s for finding stuff yourself, Goto scopes know how to find stuff whatever the mount.
Read up how scopes work, what to look for and ask more questions here. We’ll be happy to help. Happy gazing.
Get the biggest objective and eyepiece selection you want to spend.
Try your binoculars, they’re great for sky gazing.
Right now, low in the Southwest close to sunset, the bright object is Venus, up and to the left is Jupiter, and in between is Saturn.
 
Oh thank you I will look in to them, do I need a specific magnification?
The most important feature, assuming equal quality, will often be considered to be aperture - the diameter of the main lens (refractors) or mirror (reflectors).

Large aperture gives both more light-gathering ability (brighter for a given mag.) and resolution. A 4" aperture has twice the resolution (detail) of a 2". As a result, reflectors can usually give you more aperture for the dollar, especially as you get larger.

When you get into the higher dollar scopes, our atmosphere can really diminish resolution, but some nights are far better than others.
 
Dec 21, 2021
10
1
15
The most important feature, assuming equal quality, will often be considered to be aperture - the diameter of the main lens (refractors) or mirror (reflectors).

Large aperture gives both more light-gathering ability (brighter for a given mag.) and resolution. A 4" aperture has twice the resolution (detail) of a 2". As a result, reflectors can usually give you more aperture for the dollar, especially as you get larger.

When you get into the higher dollar scopes, our atmosphere can really diminish resolution, but some nights are far better than others.
Oh, that’s another question I had and you just answered it. So reflectors are better because they have a larger aperture. Thank you so much for all your help, I really appreciate it.
 
Oh, that’s another question I had and you just answered it. So reflectors are better because they have a larger aperture. Thank you so much for all your help, I really appreciate it.
For you price range, I think this is correct. Refractors can be argued to be better for planetary work due to their better focal ratio, but for the most bang for the buck, get a quality Dobsonian. If you can afford it, spend a little extra for a better eyepiece. A low-cost laser collimator can be very nice, as well.
 
May 14, 2021
401
242
1,060
The advertising should give the focal length. The focal length of the objective(the main lens or mirror) divided by the focal length of the eyepiece gives you the magnification. The max practical magnification is maybe 60 times the diameter of the objective, so one might stay away from those 4 mm eyepieces which seemingly would give you hundreds in magnification. A small assortment of eyepieces say from 25 or 40 mm focal length to maybe 10 or 12 would be good. You can always add eyepieces as money is available. Try for a 2 inch eyepiece adapter, more versitile than the 1-1/4. My SCT came with 2 inch and with 2 to 1-1/4 adapter. The big numbers give you low magnification and wide view, lower numbers give narrow view and higher magnification. Low powers are good for galaxies, some nebulae, etc. Higher numbers are good for planets, double stars and the like.
 
May 14, 2021
401
242
1,060
The moon will be really bright foe all scopes, just cut a piece of cardboard to put over the front to cut down how much light comes in.
 
Aug 29, 2020
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Does anyone know which is the best telescope to see the moon and planets with a real close up to be able to see craters, rings etc? I am new to this so I have no clue. I have a budget of $300. Can I get anything good for that amount?
I built a 10" Dobsonian for ~ $300 under supervision of SideWalk Astronomers at NM Space Museum> Took days to polish 10" blank pyrex but my SECRET TRICK was in final polish used a 7.5 lb bar bell weight on top of a 4" slab of foam for a PERFECT final polish to get an accurate spherical surface out to the edges of mirror> But IF U buy a REFLECTOR U gain the advantage of NO COLOR aberations as light is reflected NOT refracted A lens behaves as an infinite series of wedges or prisms where light of different colors R bent at different angles w/a resulting error> NOT so w/a Reflector scope so even IF U have less aperture, U get precise sharp imaging> Looking at the moon to cut down on light I use an auto air filter to stop down mirror size to 8"

Who am I? I designed telescope for the 1st 3 LandSAT MSS scanners which b/c the forerunner to Google Earth> Perkin Elmer who built the HST Hubble Space Telescope told me my design was the best 'scope they ever built & they made a dozen for a variety of projects> Could strike it w/a hammer & did NOT defocus
 
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Dec 25, 2021
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Does anyone know which is the best telescope to see the moon and planets with a real close up to be able to see craters, rings etc? I am new to this so I have no clue. I have a budget of $300. Can I get anything good for that amount?
The links to telescope.com are broken (seems the URLs have changed format). I've tried to get the updated URLs and post them below, if they're the wrong pages, just let me know.
Small tabletop reflector: http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Dobsonian-Telescopes/Mini-Dobsonians/Orion-SkyScanner-100mm-TableTop-Reflector-Telescope/pc/1/c/12/sc/28/p/9541.uts
Small Dobsonian: http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Dobsonian-Telescopes/Classic-Dobsonians/Orion-SkyQuest-XT6-Classic-Dobsonian-Telescope/pc/1/c/12/sc/13/p/8942.uts
Medium Dobsonian: http://www.telescope.com/Orion-SkyQuest-XT8-Classic-Dobsonian-Telescope/p/8943.uts
Intelliscope: http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Dobsonian-Telescopes/IntelliScope-Dobsonians/Orion-SkyQuest-XT8i-Computerized-IntelliScope-Telescope/pc/1/c/12/sc/27/p/27183.uts
Large plain Dobsonian: http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Dobsonian-Telescopes/Classic-Dobsonians/Orion-SkyQuest-XT10-Classic-Dobsonian-Telescope/pc/1/c/12/sc/13/p/8947.uts
 
Dec 21, 2021
10
1
15
Stay away from the ‘Department store cheapies’, especially ones that advertise the scope is ‘so many power’.
Probably the best bang for your buck would be a Newtonian reflector. Refractors tend to get expensive for the same objective size.
Meade, Celestron, Orion make some good scopes with electronic ‘go to controls’. That way once you do a two star alignment, you just type what you want to see and it goes there, you don’t have to be a sky expert. There are many other brands of good scopes, these were just a few. Read up on alt-am versus polar mount, and Dobsonian mount. That’s for finding stuff yourself, Goto scopes know how to find stuff whatever the mount
Read up how scopes work, what to look for and ask more questions here. We’ll be happy to help. Happy gazing.
Get the biggest objective and eyepiece selection you want to spend.
Try your binoculars, they’re great for sky gazing.
Right now, low in the Southwest close to sunset, the bright object is Venus, up and to the left is Jupiter, and in between is Saturn.
Thank you for your advice, yes I already went through that! I had bought one from walmart. At night I can’t see anything and if I try it in the evening I just see light but it’s all blurry I can’t see any specific object etc. It is so hard to focus, pretty much it is worthless. Do you think I will be able to find those scopes you mentioned in Amazon? I live in a small town and Walmart is the best place to go to. So I would have to order online.
oh those scopes with the electronic control would be easier for me because it would be a life saver, I have no clue where anything is also I would not know how to focus the scope.
I will definitely do some more reading, and than you for all your help I really appreciate it.
oh wow, I did not know that, that’s amazing. I will try to see them today. Thanks!
 
Dec 21, 2021
10
1
15
Yes, I noticed. I just started looking at them and I found some that were $14,000. I thought those were way to expensive but $50,000 that’s over the board. I wish I could afford something like that but my budget is way way lower. I am on the $400-$500 range. I am looking for one that is on my price range that will allow me to see the planets, the moon and stars if possible, If not at least the plantes. You are exactly right I got one from Walmart and it is just in my closet because I can’t see anything with it. It is worthless. Thank you so much for your help. I appreciate it!
 
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May 14, 2021
401
242
1,060
If you’re not used to the aiming, it can be hard to aim for a star or planet, out of focus. During the day, try focusing on a faraway object, then leave the focus there, it should then be close to infinity focus. At night look at the farthest light you can see on the ground. Then try for something bright in the sky, perhaps moon or Jupiter, then you can fine tune. If you don’t have a spotting scope on the side, just try looking down the barrel of the main scope, that could get you close.
I believe Amazon May carry some scopes. Try the websites for Meade, Celestron, Orion, Bushnell, good start, Google search will get you others.
If you can access the Sky and Telescope magazine site, you may find ads for several. Internet search should get you many ads.

Telescopes make nice spotting scopes, but, the image is upside down and backward. I sometimes spot birds or high airplanes with mine.
 
Dec 21, 2021
10
1
15
The advertising should give the focal length. The focal length of the objective(the main lens or mirror) divided by the focal length of the eyepiece gives you the magnification. The max practical magnification is maybe 60 times the diameter of the objective, so one might stay away from those 4 mm eyepieces which seemingly would give you hundreds in magnification. A small assortment of eyepieces say from 25 or 40 mm focal length to maybe 10 or 12 would be good. You can always add eyepieces as money is available. Try for a 2 inch eyepiece adapter, more versitile than the 1-1/4. My SCT came with 2 inch and with 2 to 1-1/4 adapter. The big numbers give you low magnification and wide view, lower numbers give narrow view and higher magnification. Low powers are good for galaxies, some nebulae, etc. Higher numbers are good for planets, double stars and the like.
i had to read your post a few times to understand. All of this is new to me. Ok so let me see if I got this right. So for the eyepiece the lower the number the more magnification and the bigger the number the less magnification.
so to se the planets and stars a 25mm or 40mm would be a good eyepiece?
 
Dec 21, 2021
10
1
15
The moon will be really bright foe all scopes, just cut a piece of cardboard to put over the front to cut down how much light comes in.
So no matter what scope I have I won’t be able to see it?
nice tip thank you, I will keep it in mind.
 
Dec 21, 2021
10
1
15
If you’re not used to the aiming, it can be hard to aim for a star or planet, out of focus. During the day, try focusing on a faraway object, then leave the focus there, it should then be close to infinity focus. At night look at the farthest light you can see on the ground. Then try for something bright in the sky, perhaps moon or Jupiter, then you can fine tune. If you don’t have a spotting scope on the side, just try looking down the barrel of the main scope, that could get you close I believe Amazon May carry some scopes. Try the websites for Meade, Celestron, Orion, Bushnell, good start, Google search will get you others.
If you can access the Sky and Telescope magazine site, you may find ads for several. Internet search should get you many ads.

Telescopes make nice spotting scopes, but, the image is upside down and backward. I sometimes spot birds or high airplanes with mine.
I am definitely not used to aiming, this is my first time trying to use a scope. I will try to focus it on a far object today. What eyepiece should I use the 25mm or the 40mm? The scope does have a scope on the side but I do not know how to use it.
i will go to those sites and see what I can find in my price range. I’m really excited to actually be able to see something. I will try to focus this scope during the day and hopefully I’ll be able to see something tonight.
 
May 14, 2021
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242
1,060
Start with the highest number eyepiece, center your object, then you can switch to lower numbers, they should be close to center. You may have to adjust your spotting scope after you center your object with any eyepiece in the main scope, it should be held with screws around the outside, check this each time you get it out.
Let’s say you have a scope with a focal length of 1000 mm, should be printed on the scope somewhere. 1000 div by 40 = 25, that’s your magnification with that eyepiece. 1000 div by 12= 80, etc.

Jupiter and Saturn will be neat in your 40, but the higher mags will be even better, especially to show Saturn’s ring gaps. Higher powers will find some of the moons better.

The thing about the moon s that it is so bright, features will tend to be washed out, too much light, the cardboard cutout reduces the incoming light. Several cardboards with different size holes may be best. At full moon, it’s so bright and no shadows, most don’t observe then, better when more than 2 or 3 days away from full. Best observations are near the day/night terminator where mountain shadows are bigger. Just remember that the scope turns images upside down and backward. If you have a right angle adapter, it’ll be right side up, but left/right reversed, in case you’re using a map or sky chart.
 
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May 14, 2021
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If you find yourself standing, never hold the eyepiece as most novices do, you’ll jiggle right off your target. My 10” SCT has handles on the yoke to hold onto. But, better yet, hold a broom with the handle both hands next to your cheek, that will steady you and the scope is hands-off.
 
Feb 9, 2022
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10
Does anyone know which is the best telescope to see the moon and planets with a real close up to be able to see craters, rings etc? I am new to this so I have no clue. I have a budget of $300. Can I get anything good for that amount?
I have around $200 to spend on a telescope. I already own this Celestron StarSense Explorer 22452 here.
I'm able to view the rings of Saturn, Jupiter's red spot, mars' ice caps, etc.
 
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Jan 15, 2022
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10
Does anyone know which is the best telescope to see the moon and planets with a real close up to be able to see craters, rings etc? I am new to this so I have no clue. I have a budget of $300. Can I get anything good for that amount?
Use Binoculars unless you are going for more intensive viewing or photography.
 
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