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Stargazing Buying a telescope

  1. Jan 30, 2010 #1
    Hi guys!
    I am planning to buy a telescope for a descent price. You see I'm totally amature and buying this telescope would be my first telescope itself. I sure have observed the night sky with binoculars and home made kinda simple telescopes but now I wanna switch to something better.

    So could anyone tell me in detail about buying a fairly descent priced telescope??
    Good specifications would be most welcome!!

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2010 #2
    Here is the thread from when I got mine:

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=308960

    I can tell you that a giant aperture and reflecting model is definitely the way to go. However, I absolutely hate the equatorial mount on my scope, so you may want to look into a Dobsonian model.
     
  4. Jan 30, 2010 #3
  5. Jan 30, 2010 #4

    Chronos

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    The most important considerations when shopping for a scope are:
    1. portability
    2. goto
    The 'new car smell' wears off in a hurry without these features. A modest catadioptic [5-6"] will will cost you around a grand. If you only have a few hundred bucks, try a dob. It will be fun for a few months. Shop around for a used cat first. There is a good chance you will enjoy it for years. Opitics do not wear out. Goto is a fantastic feature that should not be underestimated. Sort of like a troll motor compared to oars.
     
  6. Jan 31, 2010 #5
  7. Jan 31, 2010 #6

    turbo

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    NOOO! Do not buy that! Cheap optics on a flimsy mount, and it will sit in a closet collecting dust.

    Please attend a meeting or two of a local astronomy club, and let the members know that you are interested in getting a telescope. Often, they will have gear that they have "outgrown" or wish to upgrade from, so you can get a nice, well-tuned used telescope at a good price AND you get to try it out first. If the local club has a star party scheduled, GO. Dress warmly, arrive early, and help people set up their gear if they want a hand. This is the best way to evaluate the transport/storage requirements for various telescopes, and see if the complexity of set-up, cool-down time required, etc would be a problem for you. Plus, you get to look through all sorts of different instruments. Some people will gravitate toward big Dobsonian light-buckets, some folks will want the short-tubed "folded" catadioptric designs, and others may opt for smaller-aperture high-quality refractors (often the most expensive option, when you want world-class optics).

    I have a 6" apochromatic refractor, and my finder/guidescope is a 3" apochromatic refractor. When I got my main scope, Astro-Physics was just getting started, prices were reasonable, and wait-times from order to delivery were less than a year. I didn't start out with high-end telescopes, but worked my way there through years of owning and using newtonians and catadioptrics. Nobody should start out with high-end refractors unless they are made of money. ("Let's see, should I buy that new little Takahashi, or a new car?")
     
  8. Jan 31, 2010 #7
    The link I posted is the same price as that ebay one and only about 150 times better...
     
  9. Jan 31, 2010 #8

    russ_watters

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    That scope is *definitely not* worth $360. Here's a better one of the same style for $90 less:
    http://www.telescope.com/control/te...spaceprobe-130-equatorial-reflector-telescope

    What's better about the orion::
    -Higher quality mount
    -Bigger telescope

    Or you could get this one for $8 more and get a computerized scope: http://www.telescope.com/control/te...r-130mm-computerized-goto-reflector-telescope

    Those have a drawback, though, of not having a Barlow lens, but you can one separate for $45: http://www.telescope.com/control/accessories/barlow-lenses/1*25-inch-2x-orion-shorty-barlow-lens .
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  10. Jan 31, 2010 #9

    DaveC426913

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    You should really do this. It is too easy to get the wrong scope and be disappointed with your multi-hundred dollar purchase that sits in the closet because it doesn't do what you'd hoped.
     
  11. Jan 31, 2010 #10

    Too bad that we dont have any astronomy club in my town!
    But thanks for the advice!!!

    And yea
    I did like your recommendation of the Orion telescope russ_waters.
    Thanks to you too!! I would consider that one worth buying.
    I got a query
    Can i transfer the images on my scope to my comp or laptop??
     
  12. Jan 31, 2010 #11

    russ_watters

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    Well, a telescope doesn't come with a camera. Taking picutres with a telescope is an entirely different animal than just looking through one.
     
  13. Jan 31, 2010 #12

    turbo

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    Legend you have got to find a regional astronomy club and go to a star-party. Most newbies have radically optimistic ideas of what they might see through an EP and you have to actually try some 'scopes to tame that. The pretty pictures in the ads and on boxes of department store 'scopes are the worst form of hype.
     
  14. Jan 31, 2010 #13
    It sounds like you would really benefit from a night with an astronomy club. Also definitely consider taking some books out of the library or buying a book on amateur astronomy. This is the book that got me started with telescopes, I read it cover to cover it tells you almost everything you need to know (and trust me there is a lot you need to know): https://www.amazon.com/Backyard-Ast...=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264970642&sr=8-5
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  15. Jan 31, 2010 #14

    turbo

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    Ken Fulton's book "The Light-Hearted Astronomer" is also a good read for newbies.
     
  16. Jan 31, 2010 #15

    DaveC426913

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    It is quite normal for clubs to spread themselves across more than one town. i.e. yeah, it's not unexpected that you'll have to go a little far afield. I live in a Megacity, and I have to go 10-20km to the nearest club.

    It's still worth it.
     
  17. Jan 31, 2010 #16

    Chronos

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    Unless you live in the country with a great view from your backyard, you will be wasting your money on a big, clumsy scope. Save up for a better built portable scope that has good optics, is quick and easy to set up, and camera friendly. The mount should at least be sturdy enough to accomodate a digital camera. Yes, it will be pricey - probably 2k+ - but, if you are serious about astronomy, you will enjoy it much more than an elephant that lives in your closet.
     
  18. Feb 1, 2010 #17
    If its really worth it then i am on my way finding one!!!
     
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