## My First Telescope Need Advice

 Quote by turbo It's time to dial down the commercial ads and expectations, and get some expert guidance. If you bought a $700 scope without visiting some clubs and star-parties first, I can't really help you. You should have done your homework and peered through enough star-party-scopes to figure out what you wanted, and what you could afford. Best of luck in future purchases. yeah so where can i get expert guidance ?  Quote by upgrade3 Of course i wont see Hubble-like images im not completely stupid but id of thought you would be able to see things a little better than im currently seeing them. I wasn't meaning to suggest anything of the sort.  Quote by upgrade3 yeah so where can i get expert guidance ? turbo has got the best answer: you want to join a local star gazing club.  Quote by DaveC426913 While a little brusque in his response, turbo has got the best answer: you want to join a local star gazing club. just joined one that has access to a 24inch dobsonian in a huge controlled rotating building so im looking forward to using that ill try to ask them some questions on my next visit i did ask one guy but his answer blew my head off this is y id prefer to learn at my own pace so i can gain an understanding on my own.  Quote by upgrade3 just joined one that has access to a 24inch dobsonian in a huge controlled rotating building so im looking forward to using that ill try to ask them some questions on my next visit i did ask one guy but his answer blew my head off this is y id prefer to learn at my own pace so i can gain an understanding on my own. Well, I think you've encountered the pitfall of what happens when attempting to gain an understanding on your own. What did he tell you? And almost as important: what did you ask him? Sidenote: board policy requires attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling.  In the interest of conveying ideas as clearly as possible, posts are required to show reasonable attention to written English communication standards. This includes the use of proper grammatical structure, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling. SMS messaging shorthand, such as using "u" for "you", is not acceptable. http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=414380 Recognitions: Gold Member Homework Help Science Advisor  Quote by upgrade3 just joined one that has access to a 24inch dobsonian in a huge controlled rotating building so im looking forward to using that ill try to ask them some questions on my next visit i did ask one guy but his answer blew my head off this is y id prefer to learn at my own pace so i can gain an understanding on my own. I would do just what you're doing... find help online like you are getting here. You've learned that planets are small using small focal length telescopes, a 2X or 3X Barlow is your best option at this point and that you can't fully trust advertising literature. You have a very good telescope package for your first scope! It's small enough to grab and go... even if you want to get out to some dark sites, and you don't have any serious issues finding about 4000 objects if they are in your sky. Rejoice! Buy a good 2.5X Barlow and brag to your friends about all the fun you're having.  Recognitions: Gold Member For people in some locations, grab-and-go is a nice option. Decent small refractors and moderate-sized Newtonians can get you a long way. People with less-demanding storage and transportation issues can step up the aperture to a nice Dob' for less money than much smaller driven scopes cost. This morning my wife "gave" my unused Celestron Comet-Catcher (Schmidt-Newtonian) and Velbon video tripod to a co-worker. He wanted it for his daughter and wanted to pay for it, so I told her to accept$40 - no more. He's not well-off financially, and he wanted a basic instrument so that he and his daughter could learn their way around the night sky. I sure didn't want him shopping at WalMart.

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 Quote by upgrade3 For example there are videos on youtube with smaller cheaper scopes than mine where planets are viewed much bigger than im seeing them.
That isn't necessarily because your telescope is poor. The amount of magnification is the result of the focal length of the telescope divided by the focal length of the eyepiece(that number in mm on the eyepiece). If you have a very short focal length then you need a very small focal length eyepiece to get a high zoom. Using your 9mm eyepiece in your scope which has a focal length of 650mm gives you a magnification of 72x. I guarantee you that getting a 2x barlow will solve your magnification issue. This will bump your magnification up to 144x. Realize that you will NOT see the planets clearly at high magnification. Not only is your scope itself limited, but the atmosphere itself will greatly reduce the clarity of the planet. If you stare at it you will notice a "shimmering" or "wavering" of the details on the planet. If you keep staring and get some experience you can see "between" the times of bad seeing (when the wavering is bad) and for a second or two you can make out much more detail as the atmosphere is steady for a moment.

 Yeah i saw a filter and lens kit for about £150 on amazon! so i can but different branded lenses and accessories and they will fit my scope ? if so can u point me to the right place cause i don't fancy paying ridiculous amounts if i can get them cheaper thanks. How will i kno if they will fit my scope ?
I have this set of eyepieces and filters I bought and they work well enough for me: http://www.telescopes.com/telescope-...dfilterkit.cfm

Unfortunately telescope accessories are rarely cheap, and if they are they are probably not very well made. I'd recommend hitting up www.astromart.com or going to the classified section of www.cloudynights.com and trying to find a good used set for a decent price. Your telescope should fit all 1.25 inch (1.25") eyepieces, so you shouldn't have an issue if you stick to eyepieces of that size. There are several different types of eyepieces, from the standard Plossl Eyepieces that come in the set I linked, to wide-field Nagler's that cost a hundred or more for one eyepiece. A search on google can explain the different types, or you can hit up the forums at www.cloudynights.com for a wealth of information on all things related to astronomy.
 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Aside from possibly a moon filter, I wouldn't even bother with filters. Don't even consider a solar filter for an eyepiece. That is russian roulette. Owl astronomomy has a large selection of good quality, inexpensive eyepieces. They also are currently selling a Meade barlow for $10 and have higher quality ED barlows for about$20. They also do a great job explaining the various properties of oculars.

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 Quote by Chronos Aside from possibly a moon filter, I wouldn't even bother with filters. Don't even consider a solar filter for an eyepiece. That is russian roulette. Owl astronomomy has a large selection of good quality, inexpensive eyepieces. They also are currently selling a Meade barlow for $10 and have higher quality ED barlows for about$20. They also do a great job explaining the various properties of oculars.
I admit I use my filters much less than I thought I would. But then again I am primarily using my telescope for astrophotography, not for visual work.

 Quote by DaveC426913 Well, I think you've encountered the pitfall of what happens when attempting to gain an understanding on your own. What did he tell you? And almost as important: what did you ask him? Sidenote: board policy requires attention to grammar, punctuation and spelling. http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=414380
I asked what size lens i should use to clearly see planets and instead of saying a size i got a HUGE answer which i admit puzzled me as i am new to telescopes and im learning how the different types work.

I apologize i am a 21 year old, im used to texting and sending fast messages while im at work most of my messages on here were sent from work which is why i have to try and type very fast, but ill be typing correctly from now on.

Thank you so much for all the info and sites ill check them all after work tomorrow and ill definitely be getting a barlow.

 Quote by Drakkith I admit I use my filters much less than I thought I would. But then again I am primarily using my telescope for astrophotography, not for visual work.
After i have learnt a substantial amount about telescopes i plan to do some astrophotography.
One of my friends is a photographer and i spoke with him about it, he then purchased a mount (I believe he called it a T2 Mount) for his Nikon camera and we tested it with the scope on his rooftop, problem is the way he did it there was no lens in between so im assuming it was mounted wrong? I remember thinking at the time surely you need a lens in the scope so the camera looks into it. Am i right in thinking the camera mount connects to the barlow and the barlow to the lens ?
what would be the correct procedure for my scope ?

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 Quote by upgrade3 After i have learnt a substantial amount about telescopes i plan to do some astrophotography. One of my friends is a photographer and i spoke with him about it, he then purchased a mount (I believe he called it a T2 Mount) for his Nikon camera and we tested it with the scope on his rooftop, problem is the way he did it there was no lens in between so im assuming it was mounted wrong? I remember thinking at the time surely you need a lens in the scope so the camera looks into it. Am i right in thinking the camera mount connects to the barlow and the barlow to the lens ?
Depends. I do my astrophotography at "prime focus", not with an eyepiece or lens attached. This just means that the telescope itself focuses the light onto the camera sensor. The telescope IS the lens for the camera in this setup. (In reality a camera lens IS a telescope. Both serve the exact same purpose. Light gathering and focusing.)

 what would be the correct procedure for my scope ?
This depends on your camera. You can convert a standard DSLR camera into a prime focus astrophotography camera or you can buy specialized astrophotography CCD cameras. The former is usually much cheaper but produces slightly worse pictures for the same amount of exposure times as a specialized one. (I'm sure that sentence is arguable and many would have pages of comments on the whole subject of DSLR vs CCD)

Another method is mounting a camera (with lens installed) up to an eyepiece and doing it that way. That is less common to my knowledge, but it can work pretty well. Astrophotography is a huge area with lots to learn before one can really start to produce "quality" images. (Depending on your definition of what "quality" is) I've been doing it for about 10 months and have just gotten to the point where I think I'm getting decent pictures.

Cloudynights.com will have plenty of information as will any sites you find in a google search for "astrophotography". My best advice if you want to get into it is to start small at low magnification. Everything else other than planetary requires much more expensive mounts and other items than you currently have. My newest mount costs $1400 just by itself and my camera cost$1000 used. (Boy was it used...)
 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Prime focus [using the primary mirror without any other lens in the way] is definitely the best way to start astrophotography. Eyepiece projection is difficult, even for experienced astrophotographers, and you will definitely need to upgrade your mount at that point. And by that point you will be craving more aperature. Its a viscious cycle. You will never be satisfied until you are pier mounted in your own personal observatory, and you will still be thinking about a bigger scope. It is most important to milk everything you can get out of your present scope before worrying about an upgrade. Getting a barlow should be your first priority. That is the least expensive and biggest bang for the buck right now.
 Recognitions: Gold Member My wife's co-worker looked up the Comet-Catcher on the Internet the night she gave it to him and he wanted to give it back because she didn't charge him enough money. When he got it home, his little girl hugged the tripod and wanted to go right out and use it when it got dark. He told her that she'd have to wait because he needed to order an eyepiece or two and she said "But Daddy, I hate to wait!" Good feelings! Her first telescope experience will be a decent one. No WalMart 60mm/"500X" refractors for her. I bought that CC because I wanted something grab-and-go for deep-sky stuff even though we lived in a relatively light-polluted area. Her father grew up in a densely populated region of Indiana and never saw the night sky properly until he moved here to central Maine, so the 'scope will be just as fun for him as for his little girl. The moral of the story: Hunt down some experienced amateur astronomers and indicate your willingness to buy a telescope. You might find that you get a hell of a deal, especially if the owner likes you and you have kid(s) involved. I didn't need the money, and putting a nice little 'scope on a lawn sale will get you nothing, so the nominal charge was just enough to make him feel OK about taking a 'scope and tripod initially, so his little girl could see some faint stuff from their driveway, and perhaps graduate to something better when he's got enough money saved up.