Planning to buy a first telescope?


by turbo
Tags: planning, telescope
davenn
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Jan11-12, 05:59 PM
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Quote Quote by Drakkith View Post
Davenn, have you been to cloudynights.com? It's a site dedicated to amateur astronomy with sections for discussing everything in the sky and also to post any pictures. It's a pretty nice site. PF isn't really for these things, although the Fun, Photos, and Games forum in the General section may be appropriate for any pictures you take.
cloudynights site dont think I have been there tho the name rings a bell, maybe some one else mentioned it in the dim distant past haha will check it out thanks
ok on that part in the general section :)

DaveC ... havent looked at the blogging option for PF dunno how that works will have to investigate, thanks for that idea :)

thanks guys
Dave
turbo
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Jan11-12, 06:26 PM
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Here is a nice place to check for astronomy.

http://forum.ourdarkskies.com/

There are some very advanced astrophotographers who will post their images here. Greg and Neil have posted most of their work here prior to publishing "Star Vistas". Good bunch of people.
Millacol88
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Mar13-12, 08:34 PM
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Right so I'm looking to buy my first telescope and rather than start a thread I thought I'd post here. How does this look for a beginner telescope? Keeping in mind its my first and I really only want to look at the moon, some of the closer planets, and maybe some nearby galaxies or nebulae. I am not expecting Hubble-quality images, just to get started with the hobby. Thoughts?
Drakkith
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Mar13-12, 09:17 PM
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Quote Quote by Millacol88 View Post
Right so I'm looking to buy my first telescope and rather than start a thread I thought I'd post here. How does this look for a beginner telescope? Keeping in mind its my first and I really only want to look at the moon, some of the closer planets, and maybe some nearby galaxies or nebulae. I am not expecting Hubble-quality images, just to get started with the hobby. Thoughts?
My opinion is that if you aren't going to use a computerized mount (AKA a GoTo Mount) then get a Dobsonian telescope, but after looking through 2 sites I can't seem to find one for the same price with the same aperture. This one here http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/...yCategoryId=13 comes with a barlow and some other stuff, but no eyepieces, so you may be better off getting the one you linked.

Also, if you head to astromart.com or the classified section of cloudynights.com you can probably snag a used scope that's similar for half the price.
Millacol88
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Mar13-12, 09:20 PM
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I looked at that one, but it just seems to bulky to be practical at all. Why do you recommend a dobs over a regular reflector on an eq mount? Just curious.
turbo
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Mar13-12, 09:25 PM
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Quote Quote by Millacol88 View Post
I looked at that one, but it just seems to bulky to be practical at all. Why do you recommend a dobs over a regular reflector on an eq mount? Just curious.
Dobs are simple. Newts on German Equatorial Mounts generally suffer from cost-savings on the mounts. Too light, too cheap, unable to bear the weight of the OTA properly. A decent OTA on a cheap, light mount will suffer from vibration, poor damping, etc, and generally be a pain to work with.
Drakkith
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Mar13-12, 09:29 PM
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Quote Quote by Millacol88 View Post
I looked at that one, but it just seems to bulky to be practical at all. Why do you recommend a dobs over a regular reflector on an eq mount? Just curious.
Usually you get more aperture for the price, plus dobs are REALLY easy to use. EQ mounts are kind of weird to use at first, as you can simply move the scope up and down or left and right. Plus you have to polar align them a bit to use them correctly, but that isn't much of an issue once you do it a few times. The tube length is longer, but your EQ mount is going to be almost as much of an issue to move around and store. There's nothing wrong with the EQ mounted one though, and I think you'll be satisfied with it if you purchase it. It's a little easier to keep track of objects, as you only have to move the RA axis and many times the mounts come with a slow motion knob for this purpose. (At least that's what I've heard, I've never owned a non GoTo EQ mount)

For a first telescope, NOTHING beats a Dob in my opinion. It's the "point and shoot" of telescopes.

Edit: As Turbo said above, a good EQ mount usually cost a decent amount. While this particular one would probably work ok for you, I highly suggest a Dob, as it will be much more stable and easier to use. You won't be kicking the legs around in the dark and having to worry too terribly much about a little wind.
Millacol88
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Mar13-12, 09:39 PM
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Quote Quote by turbo View Post
Dobs are simple. Newts on German Equatorial Mounts generally suffer from cost-savings on the mounts. Too light, too cheap, unable to bear the weight of the OTA properly. A decent OTA on a cheap, light mount will suffer from vibration, poor damping, etc, and generally be a pain to work with.
Honestly I probably wouldn't even notice any vibration until I got a second telescope that didn't have the same problem. :P I don't need perfection, just something a little bit cheaper and smaller than a dob.

Quote Quote by Drakkith View Post
Usually you get more aperture for the price, plus dobs are REALLY easy to use. EQ mounts are kind of weird to use at first, as you can simply move the scope up and down or left and right. Plus you have to polar align them a bit to use them correctly, but that isn't much of an issue once you do it a few times. The tube length is longer, but your EQ mount is going to be almost as much of an issue to move around and store. There's nothing wrong with the EQ mounted one though, and I think you'll be satisfied with it if you purchase it. It's a little easier to keep track of objects, as you only have to move the RA axis and many times the mounts come with a slow motion knob for this purpose. (At least that's what I've heard, I've never owned a non GoTo EQ mount)

For a first telescope, NOTHING beats a Dob in my opinion. It's the "point and shoot" of telescopes.

Edit: As Turbo said above, a good EQ mount usually cost a decent amount. While this particular one would probably work ok for you, I highly suggest a Dob, as it will be much more stable and easier to use. You won't be kicking the legs around in the dark and having to worry too terribly much about a little wind.
Right, I think I'll go with this one if you think the EQ mount would be bearable. Believe me, I gravitated towards Dobs immediately when I started looking at telescopes, but I just don't really have that much space to store it. At least the one I'm looking at has a relatively short tube and a collapsible tripod. Perhaps for my second scope a few years down the road I'll look at a 10" dob and try and make room for it. No reviews I've read on this one have mentioned any problems with the mount, just a little shaking/vibration.
DaveC426913
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Mar13-12, 09:44 PM
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Quote Quote by Millacol88 View Post
No reviews I've read on this one have mentioned any problems with the mount, just a little shaking/vibration.
"just"?

That's the primary complaint about mounts.
Millacol88
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Mar13-12, 09:46 PM
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Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
"just"?

That's the primary complaint about mounts.
Is it? As you can probably tell, I'm new at this. :P I wish I knew someone on here who owns this one so I could figure out how big of an issue it will be...

EDIT: Just curious Dave, would you recommend a dobs as well?
Drakkith
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Mar13-12, 09:58 PM
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Quote Quote by Millacol88 View Post
Is it? As you can probably tell, I'm new at this. :P I wish I knew someone on here who owns this one so I could figure out how big of an issue it will be...
Let me put it this way. Any scope will make you happy if you've never owned one before. The one on the EQ mount looks like it takes up a little less floor space and is probably a tad lighter overall, so if your really pressed for space then it will be better. However the dob will be sturdier and easier to use. It's your scope, you buy what you want. I think you will be happy with either of them.
Millacol88
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Mar13-12, 10:16 PM
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Well since it doesn't seem there are any enormous differences between the two, and I found my original one for cheaper and with better eyepieces, I think I'm going to pull the trigger on that one. Thanks everyone for your help!
DaveC426913
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Mar14-12, 08:00 AM
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Quote Quote by Millacol88 View Post
Is it? As you can probably tell, I'm new at this. :P I wish I knew someone on here who owns this one so I could figure out how big of an issue it will be...

EDIT: Just curious Dave, would you recommend a dobs as well?
It is highly dependent on what you want. Dobs gives you great bang for your buck at the cost of awkwardness. For someone like me, who likes to haul his scope down to the lake where there's darker skies, it's not the best. Dobs have no tracking controls on their mounts, so you're freely wheeling the thing around the sky by the seat of your pants.


But for light-gathering ability (which is what you want in order to see dim objects), they cannot be beat.
chemisttree
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Mar16-12, 01:39 PM
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Quote Quote by Millacol88 View Post
Well since it doesn't seem there are any enormous differences between the two, and I found my original one for cheaper and with better eyepieces, I think I'm going to pull the trigger on that one. Thanks everyone for your help!
If you find the mount vibrates too much, you might try to improve the tripod legs as was done here. I did it on my son's '102 with great results. Looks a whole lot better too!
BadBrain
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Jun24-12, 09:28 PM
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Wouldn't do me any good. I live in the middle of a major city, and, the last time I looked at the night sky at my true local astronomical midnight, it looked like God had turned out the lights.
DaveC426913
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Jun24-12, 09:37 PM
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Quote Quote by BadBrain View Post
Wouldn't do me any good. I live in the middle of a major city...
As do I. But I prefer planets to stars. And it's not too bad for planets.

I'm lucky - I live right on the lake, which is to the south, so at least half my sky is relatively dark.
Drakkith
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Jun24-12, 11:22 PM
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Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
As do I. But I prefer planets to stars. And it's not too bad for planets.

I'm lucky - I live right on the lake, which is to the south, so at least half my sky is relatively dark.
I'm attempting to do exoplanet transit light curves with two streetlights about 100 ft away in both directions. I can't even see M31 near zenith here.
DaveC426913
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Jun25-12, 08:13 AM
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Quote Quote by Drakkith View Post
I'm attempting to do exoplanet transit light curves with two streetlights about 100 ft away
You will fail. Exoplanets are very far away. Much too far to transit in front of a streetlight.

Spoiler
: biggrin :


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