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Stargazing Looking for Mid Price telescope

  1. Dec 22, 2011 #1
    So far, I've had a Orion SkyScanner 100 for about 2 months, and I love it. I go out any time the weather is clear, and blast Bob Marley while I watch the stars. Since Christmas is coming up, I plan on getting some spare cash, and have decided I would like to buy a mid priced telescope ($300-500.) I'm pretty happy with the Orion company, and have looked into the XT8. Its size isn't a problem, since I'm in enough shape to be able to haul it around, plus I have a trailer for my bike I can hook it up to. Is this a good choice? Are there any that are better, but in the same range? I don't want a computerized scope, since I enjoy aligning the scope myself.

    Thanks for any suggestions!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 22, 2011 #2


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  4. Dec 22, 2011 #3
    I read that one already (when I got my first telescope.) but thanks for the link.
  5. Dec 24, 2011 #4


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    I recommend celestron cat. They are highly portable with large aperature. The ~ 2000 model celestrons are fabulous. No goto or other fancy stuff, but, one of the best OTA's for the price. The celestron 9.25 is the biggest scope that is still reasonably portable and affordable. Trust me, portability is a big issue.
  6. Dec 24, 2011 #5


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    Better is a very relative term. For visual use the size of the aperture is of extreme importance since it determines how faint an object can be before you can no longer see it. It also improves contrast in pretty much all targets. Dobs give you the biggest aperture for your price, however they are, in my opinion, a huge pain in the *** to use. I highly recommend getting a scope that at least follows the motion of the sky, it makes observing so much easier. Are you going to enjoy getting your scope out and trying to find an object for an hour before giving up? I enjoy having the ability to hit a few buttons once I'm aligned with the sky and having the scope slew to the "Tonights Best" objects. These are the best and brightest of the sky for that night. I enjoy it far more than simply trying to find things myself that may or may not be visible with my aperture and light pollution.

    Also, it depends on how "picky" you might be. A newtonian dob will be very cheap, but will have noticeable aberrations such as Coma when you view at wider angles. If think this may bother you then you may not want to get it.

    Cats such as SCT's are good choices for compactness and image quality, but are usually much more pricier than other types.

    I'd head on over to cloudynights.com and browse the forums there. They also have a classified section if you want to save a bundle and pick up a used scope. Which I highly recommend if you want to get the biggest scope for the smallest price lol. If they aren't dropped or anything like that a telescope will last a very long time with pretty much no loss in performance.
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