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Best telescope for amateurs

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  1. May 10, 2014 #1
    This question may have been there on PF, but I didn't find it. I am already in love with physics and find looking at the cosmos quite inspirational(like something which gives you chills). I was thinking of buying a little telescope. I eventually found a DIY kit called the Galileoscope(http://galileoscope.org/)

    I also had a look at Orion A70 and Celestron Powerseeker etc.

    Now I am quite confused about which one to buy. Can anyone help?
     
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  3. May 10, 2014 #2

    davenn

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    hi ya

    you have given no indication of your budget capabilities

    you would get sick of that galileoscope really fast and would be looking for something better

    the other 2 would be great starting scopes. But you may find that in a year or so you would be looking for something bigger.

    My suggestion would be just to start with something a bit bigger and better initially else you are just going to end up with a collection of no longer used scopes and wasted money getting to where you really want to be

    the range of US$400 - 700 would get you a great 8" f5 Newtonian scope on a Dobsonian mount that would keep you out of trouble for years till you may decide to go to a much more expensive computer controlled GOTO type scope

    these were commented on in another thread just a few days or so ago

    you can see my Newtonian and GOTO scopes

    EDIT: I must add one other thing .... If possible, before you buy anything, get to and join a local astronomical club/society and find out what other people are using. Hopefully you have one nearby.
    You may even find some one who has a scope for sale that's in good condition and save you lots over buying the same or similar in a shop.
    My first 3 scopes were shop bought small refractors 20mm, 40mm, 60mm. I outgrew them all very quickly.
    My first decent scope was a home built 8" f5 Newtonian that I bought off a astronomy club member. That scope lasted me for more than 15 years before I did an upgrade!! Today ... some 40 years later, I still have the optics for that scope. ( maybe a retirement rebuild project :smile: )


    cheers
    Dave
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  4. May 11, 2014 #3

    Chronos

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    The astronomy club thing is a good idea. You not only need to weigh the views, but, the effort required to obtain those views. A good starter scope would be around 80mm for a refractor, or 120mm for a reflector or cat system. A reflector in the 5" range [~130mm] is an excellent beginner scope. There are some good ones available for little more than a couple hundred bucks. That's less than the price for a decent TV.
     
  5. May 11, 2014 #4
    Unfortunately, I have no astronomy club nearby as far as I know. I mean it exists online has a phone number and an address at skyandtelescope.com but actually no such number exists. :cry:

    I thought the same about the Galileoscope because one can observe only the moon, planets and a few stars. My budget is not very high. I think $200 max. Is that too low for a good telescope?
     
  6. May 11, 2014 #5
  7. May 11, 2014 #6

    davenn

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    it looks good, but what the optics are like ... ie. how sharp, no serious colour etc abortions, who knows without actually trying it out.

    do some googling and see if you can find any online reviews for it

    cheers
    Dave
     
  8. May 11, 2014 #7
    Didn't find any reviews online. What about the Orion A70 or Celestron powerseeker? They are better than the galileoscope, right?
     
  9. May 11, 2014 #8
    Her is a real nice top ten list with fairly detailed reviews
    http://telescopes.toptenreviews.com/telescopes-for-beginners-review/ [Broken]
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  10. May 11, 2014 #9

    davenn

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    as I commented in post #2, yes, good starting scopes

    Yashbhatt ....
    a serious recommendation .... don't buy anything under $200, you are likely to be quite disappointed with the results.
    $200 to ~ 300 not so bad but you will still yearning for something better
    $400 - 500+ will get you a scope that will give you many years of enjoyment till you want a scope with much bigger mirror etc

    If you really only have a ~ $200 budget at the moment. consider saving a bit longer and getting that up to the ~ $300 - 400 mark

    The reason I'm trying to guide you this way is because many people spend a small amount on a scope and because of its combination of low quality ( particularly optics) and its low light gathering power they end up being seriously disappointed in what they can see with it and often the scope will just sit doing nothing and the person will loose interest in astronomy
    You, instead, want to get a scope that will encourage you to learn and cause your astro interest to grow :smile:


    Greg .... that's brilliant, a great starting place for scope buyers :smile:

    Dave
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  11. May 11, 2014 #10

    Chronos

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  12. May 11, 2014 #11
    Thanks davenn. I get what you are saying. But won't these heavy scopes be a trouble to handle for me?(I have never handled any telescope).
     
  13. May 11, 2014 #12

    davenn

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    the ones indicated ... look at the $250 - ~ $450 scopes in that review list link that Greg posted
    They are not overly heavy ... say compared to my 9.25" GOTO Celestron

    There is a huge advantage with a heavier scope and stand tho ..... They are so much more stable to use
    they don't vibrate around all over the place for ages with the slightest bump.
    With the light scopes and tripods, guys will often have a bag of sand that they will suspend from under the centre of the tripod to try and cut down the vibrations

    And therein lies the huge reason to be able to get to an astronomy club so you can see scopes of all types in use and handle them :)

    Where are you ? you said you had no clubs locally ? ... just wanted to check that for you

    Dave
     
  14. May 12, 2014 #13
    I'm in Jamnagar, Gujarat, India. Its a small city.(Home of the RELIANCE Industries).
     
  15. May 12, 2014 #14

    davenn

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    Hi Yashbhatt

    ahhh ok I found your city on google earth :smile:

    yup may be a little difficult for you to find a club in easy travel distance :frown: a little unfortunate
    If I was you I would start asking around and see if you can find other individuals that have a common astro interest and start arranging some get-togethers

    Are you still at school ? ... primary? high school? university ?

    Save up and buy the best quality scope you can afford :)
    keep in touch on the forums and others and myself can continue to guide you

    If you haven't already, download and install Stellarium

    its an awesome program for looking around the skies on your computer

    cheers
    Dave
     
  16. May 12, 2014 #15
    I thought exactly the same thing. I have a few friends who are interested in astronomy. Maybe we can buy a telescope in group and arrange out of the city trips for star gazing.

    I am at the pre-university level. Just passed out high school. And what do you say about the celstron 114eq powerseeker, the one which Chronos mentioned. I also had a look at the Orion Funscope. It's not very huge but online reviews say that one can see some deep-sky objects using it.
     
  17. May 12, 2014 #16

    davenn

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    Chronos linked to the 127eq powerseeker, a little bigger than the 114 ( unless that was a typo on your part ?)

    That's a 5 inch diameter mirror, looks a respectable scope :smile:
    have a look and see what else they have on Amazon in the 6 - 8 inch mirror size

    Dave
     
  18. May 12, 2014 #17
  19. May 13, 2014 #18

    davenn

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    I think you would be seriously disappointed
    I have a scope about that size, it was thrown in as a freebee when I bought a big scope
    good for looking at the moon only ... its optics were pretty poor
    keep away from anything new under $100

    try and aim for a scope with a mirror of at least 5 or 6 inches diameter


    Dave
     
  20. May 13, 2014 #19
    Ok. By the way, can I get your email id in case I want to ask you something about telescopes? I think posting a personal question every time at PF won't be a nice idea.
     
  21. May 13, 2014 #20

    davenn

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    just send me a PM in those instances :smile:

    .... to do that, click on my user name and select the second option

    but for most stuff, keep posting in this thread you are already using
    that way you may get input to a question that I cant answer but someone else may be able to :smile:

    cheers
    Dave
     
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