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## Planning to buy a first telescope?

 Quote by CowedbyWisdom ..........Does anyone have any advice for spotting Andromeda Galaxy? ............ All your advice is appreciated! -Jack
as chemisttree commented ... Andromeda galaxy is huge
you need a dark sky site ... that really helps. its easily visible naked eye
using a star map of the Pegasus and Andromeda constellations area you will easily find it doing some star hopping. I suggest using even low power binoculars say 7 x 50 before using the telescope

Once you find that, then you can move a bit into the Triangulum constellation
and have a look at M33 another large spiral galaxy. This one is face on to us and has
quite a low surface brightness but again a dark site and binoculars should be enough
to initially pick it out

cheers
Dave
 I posed this question in a thread in the GD forum because I had not yet seen this thread and, wretched creature that I am, I neglected the search tool. Anyway, regarding beginner telescopes, I thought some of you might be able to provide some insight. I read that a good beginner range is a 60-80 mm refracting telescope. How far and how clearly would an 80 mm be able to see? For example, how clearly would I be able to see Saturn (assuming good atmospheric conditions) with an 80 mm? Would I be able to see Titan as well? I define the word "novice" when it comes to telescopes and any help would be much appreciated.
 Recognitions: Gold Member Homework Help Science Advisor The smallest refractor you should get is a 70mm with a focal length greater than 700mm, IMO. The 60mm scopes available nowadays have truly horrible mounts and will really frustrate you. The 80mm scopes are a real step up in quality both in optics and the mount, so that is the one I would choose in the range you suggest. A decent 80 to 90mm achromatic refractor telescope (Celestron, Meade, Orion, Skywatcher, Explore Scientific, AstroMaster, etc...) will cost you from $150 to$500 depending on quality and the mount you choose. Those scopes will let you see Saturn fairly clearly but it (Saturn) will be small and you might not be able to make out some fine details. These scopes come with low cost diagonals and eyepieces which can affect the quality of the image you see. For nearly the same money (~$300), you could get a much higher quality 6" dob that would give you much better images, IMO.  Quote by chemisttree The smallest refractor you should get is a 70mm with a focal length greater than 700mm, IMO. The 60mm scopes available nowadays have truly horrible mounts and will really frustrate you. The 80mm scopes are a real step up in quality both in optics and the mount, so that is the one I would choose in the range you suggest. A decent 80 to 90mm achromatic refractor telescope (Celestron, Meade, Orion, Skywatcher, Explore Scientific, AstroMaster, etc...) will cost you from$150 to $500 depending on quality and the mount you choose. Those scopes will let you see Saturn fairly clearly but it (Saturn) will be small and you might not be able to make out some fine details. These scopes come with low cost diagonals and eyepieces which can affect the quality of the image you see. For nearly the same money (~$300), you could get a much higher quality 6" dob that would give you much better images, IMO.
Thanks! I think you started typing your answer before I temporarily took my question down to search the thread. I got my answer, but I re-posted my question anyway to avoid confusion. My sights are currently set on the Orion XT8. There is a payment plan available for $120/month that seems like a really good deal. Again, thanks for for your help.  I've reconsidered and I think I'm going to go with binoculars to start my amateur astronomy journey. How do these look? http://www.telescope.com/Binoculars/.../72/p/9327.uts Recognitions: Gold Member  Quote by FreeMitya I've reconsidered and I think I'm going to go with binoculars to start my amateur astronomy journey. How do these look? http://www.telescope.com/Binoculars/.../72/p/9327.uts Those are good, but you're going to need a tripod to hold them, as 15x magnification is practically impossible to hold steady with just your hands. Binoculars are good for starters, as they generally have a wide field of view and don't require collimation or adjustments.  Quote by Drakkith Those are good, but you're going to need a tripod to hold them, as 15x magnification is practically impossible to hold steady with just your hands. Binoculars are good for starters, as they generally have a wide field of view and don't require collimation or adjustments. The tripod shouldn't be a problem. Recognitions: Gold Member For a beginning telescope, how does this look? http://www.telescope.com/Shop-by-Bra...tValueIds=4519  Quote by chemisttree For nearly the same money (~$300), you could get a much higher quality 6" dob that would give you much better images, IMO.
At least where I'm looking, I don't seem to be finding anything like what you're describing. Would you mind linking me somewhere?

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 Quote by AnTiFreeze3 For a beginning telescope, how does this look? http://www.telescope.com/Shop-by-Bra...tValueIds=4519
That one is alright, but I'd recommend a dobsonian to start off with. Its MUCH easier to setup and use. It is quite literally, take outside, set telescope on mount, and observe.

 At least where I'm looking, I don't seem to be finding anything like what you're describing. Would you mind linking me somewhere?
http://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/...CategoryId=398
 Recognitions: Gold Member Good advice, Drakkith. Increased aperture and a parabolic (vs spherical) primary mirror,and a smooth dobsonian mount are all good things in a first scope. The mount featured in the first example is so flimsy as to be worthless. Many nights of frustration are in store for newbies that purchase scopes such as those. I hate to see people wasting money like that, because such sub-standard gear ruins their interest in observing. That is not good for any of us.
 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Another option http://www.adorama.com/CNAM130EQMD.html. It's slightly smaller [130mm vs 150mm primary], less expensive [$210 with free shipping], and is equatorial mounted [CG3]. The good: The optics are very good and at f5 will deliver a noticeably brighter and wider field of view. The equatorial mount makes it easier to find and maintain objects of interest in the field of view. The bad: The eyepieces and finder are toy-like. The tripod is less than stellar, but, mostly adequate. You will need new eyepieces[e.g, Knight Owl 20mm superwide ~$35]. The wide field of the primary makes replacing the finder scope less of an issue.
 Recognitions: Gold Member Note that the brighter views are solely the result of less magnification with the same eyepiece since the f5 scope has a shorter focal length, and magnification is the focal length of the scope divided by the focal length of the eyepiece.
 Recognitions: Gold Member Thanks for the advice, everyone! I'm probably going to go with the Dobsonian that Drakkith linked me to, and I actually found some package that they're offering that includes that telescope with a Barlow 2x eyepiece for only \$10 more. Chronos, were I spending my own money, I would probably go with the one you mentioned, but I enjoy the benefit of having religious parents who take Christmas seriously ;)
 Recognitions: Gold Member So I got the 6" dobsonian that's up in the link that Drakkith posted. I got some deal with an included Orion 2x Shorty Barlow lense, along with some "beginners accessories," but I was mainly looking for the 2x Barlow. The telescope comes with a 25mm eyepiece, and that's it. So with the Barlow, I essentially have a 25mm eyepiece, and a 12.5mm eyepiece. I'm wondering which other eyepieces would be worth investing in. I've heard that eyepieces that provide a wider view (30+mm) are beneficial, but I also see myself wanting some better viewing for planets and the moon, so something under 10mm would be nice as well. Which magnification would work best for the telescope that I'm using (this one)?
 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor I agree that is a nice dob, have fun with it! I stand firm that you need a good [and ideally inexpensive] wide field EP.
 Recognitions: Gold Member How's this look? I need to be a little cautious, now that I'm spending my own money.
 Recognitions: Gold Member I bought a pack of plossl eyepieces that came with a 32mm, 16mm, 9mm, 6mm, 2x barlow, and some filters. Now, I am by no means an expert visual observer, so I really couldn't tell you if they are "nice" or not, but I enjoy them. I think the whole pack was around 80 dollars. I think it was well worth the cost and I actually use almost every eyepiece regularly. The 6mm is about the only one that isn't used that much, but only because I'm well past my scopes resolution with it. But my scope is also F/8, so a shorter f-ratio scope may get more use out of it. I'd consider something like this before shelling out 60-100 dollars or more PER eyepiece, at least until you get a bigger scope. I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy them. Save the multi-hundred dollar eyepieces for when you are more experienced and can afford them. BUT that's just my opinion. Others here who have more visual experience may tell you to stick with the quality eyepieces. Edit: Here's a link to a kit similar to what I bought. http://www.telescope.com/Accessories.../47/p/8890.uts I must have gotten a packaged deal or something, as this pack is 150 dollars, almost twice as expensive as mine was. Although it does come with 5 eyepieces instead of the 4 mine came with. And I'm sure that 40 mm eyepiece isn't cheap. That's a lot of glass compared with my 32mm, the largest in my kit. You may get some use out of the filters. They are fun to play around with and can show you some details you may not be able to see without them, but they are by no means necessary. The moon filter can be a nice thing too, as the Moon is VERY bright and usually hurts my eyes a bit unless I use one. (And it ruins your night vision if you view the Moon when it's close to being full) All in all I'd recommend something like this just to have many different options. I'm sure the quality isn't amazing, but I've been using my kit for upwards of two years now and I have zero problems with them. Also, plossl eyepieces aren't generally "widefield" by most observers standards, so if you take Chronos's advice and decide on a wide field eyepiece you will probably need another type. Here's a list of common eyepiece types: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyepiece#Eyepiece_designs The Nagler is a popular wide-field design, but it is VERY expensive.