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Stargazing Recommend a telescope for a beginner?

  1. May 18, 2006 #1
    Slightly off topic, but could any of you recommend a telescope for a beginner? I would love to make this a hobby. I don't want anything too fancy (within a hundred dollars?), just something to inspire me. I have free time this summer.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2006 #2
    Before you go buy a cheap scope you should find an astronomy club in your area and go to one of their star parties. At a star party you will be able to look through several scopes and talk to people about their experiences with cheap scopes. You may want to save up for a better scope instead.
  4. May 20, 2006 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Both celestron and Orion make similar beginner's reflectors for about $130: http://www.telescope.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=5135&itemType=PRODUCT&RS=1&keyword=

    You'll also want a 2x Barlow lens to double the magnification for planetary viewing.

    Jupiter is only up for about another two months and Saturn one month before going behind the sun - then you'll need to wait until winter to see either. You will, of course, be able to view the moon with it, and there are a number of clusters and nebulae that are viewable with it.
  5. Jun 6, 2006 #4

    I would recommend a six (or larger possibly, depending on your budget, but not smaller) inch, dobsonian mounted newtonian reflector, from either Meade or Orion. Its about as inexpensive as you'll get for what is still a very good scope (in large part because of the mount). About $300 or so.
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