Buying A New Telescope

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Buying A New Telescope

Postby adymoore » Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:03 pm

Hi there at the moment I have a Meade ETX 80 telescope and a DSI camera and also a NEXTIMAGE camera with a selection of software. What I would like to know what is the best next telescope to go for - which will allow me to see the planets alot better with and without cams and to see maybe star clusters better and more detail of the nite sky......
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RE: Buying A New Telescope

Postby revs » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:06 am

What's your budget?
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RE: Buying A New Telescope

Postby uea74 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:20 pm

As Revs say: Budget?
Also do you want another goto, refractor, newtonian, Mak/SCT, Transportability.
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RE: Buying A New Telescope

Postby adymoore » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:46 pm

Hi my budget is around £200-£300 pounds im looking for something which will give me a better view on the planets and star clusters etc... no need to be goto due to the etx80
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RE: Buying A New Telescope

Postby adymoore » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:03 am

Hi my budget is around £200-£300 pounds im looking for something which will give me a better view on the planets and star clusters etc... no need to be goto due to the etx80
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RE: Buying A New Telescope

Postby revs » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:00 pm

So you'll want a reasonably slow 'scope. EQ or AltAz mount? Do you want auto-tracking? As much info as you can about what you're hoping to do with it please ;)

But for now I think the best to go for from what you've said and within your budget would be something like this..
http://www.telescopehouse.com/acatalog/Skywatcher_Skymax_127_SupaTrak_Telescope__1863.html

It seem most others in this price range are faster scopes.
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RE: Buying A New Telescope

Postby adymoore » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:03 pm

Hi and thankyou for your help...... Im looking to connect the scope to a PC for planet / star imaging and also astro photography i am fairly new to all this so don`t really understand refractor, newtonian, Mak/SCT or EQ or AltAz mount but the scope u said looks ideal. can it be controlled via pc? and is it easy to set up...... I was looking at getting the skyscout????? also the scope I have been looking at is a skywatcher 130m or a 1145p. its hard as they all have good reviews etc but not knowing the image qaulity its hard to decide.... look forward to your reply....

Many Thanks [:D]
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RE: Buying A New Telescope

Postby revs » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:36 pm

Don't worry bud, I'm a n00b too :p

From what you've said I'd really recommend you spend a good few week reading up. I should have done, but I kinda rushed in to it and started reading after. As it happens I'm happy with my choice of equipment, but now realise that expecting one scope to do most things is unrealistic. Saying that, I think I'd still go for the one I said if I was you. It'll be good for viewing planets, the moon and some (smaller) DSO's like star clusters, but it's not ideal larger DSO's or for taking pics with long exposures, and the tripod isn't very solid. But it is very good for the money.

Have a browse through the forum and around the web. Read up on the different types of scopes and what each is best at. Read up on mounts and the difference between AltAz and Equatorial. Also, how the 'f' number, which is the ratio between the scope's focal length and it's diameter, effects it's use as an astrophotography scope. Just be aware that more serious astrophotography setups cost in to the thousands for anything reasonable, so don't expect awesome quality pics from a scope in this price range.

EDIT: The scopes you listed are both 'fast' (low 'f' number), which means you will have to use more powerful eyepieces to get a decent view for the planets. Powerful eyepieces are a pain IMO because they have small apertures. A scope with a higher 'f' number will be more 'zoomed in' than one with a lower 'f' number with the same eyepiece.
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RE: Buying A New Telescope

Postby uea74 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:20 pm

Really points to be aware of:
If you want to control it from a PC it will probably have to be a goto.
A goto speaks to a computer all you do is change the computer, but you need something that communicates in the first place.

For astrophotography you really need an equitorial mount.
An Alt/Az will track an object, but the object being followed and photographed will appear to rotate. Not fast but it does rotate. Also not sure on how "smooth" the tracking is for photography.

As has been said serious astrophotography, and sometimes not so serious astrophotography, costs serious money.

Whatever you decide on and use then the set up will be critical. Rough polar alignment, or straight alignmet if a goto, will not be adaquate. It has to be accurate. If an object drifts a little when observing it doesn't matter, if it drifts a little as an image the whole thing is blurred.
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RE: Buying A New Telescope

Postby revs » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:53 pm

What about stacking frames from a webcam or DSLR? Will a stacking program rotate the images to align them? Obviously assuming the exposure times were kept right down and the tracking was smooth enough.

EDIT: As for the GoTo; aparently it can be done through a PC, but it looks like a lot of work. I was looking at this thread earlier.. [url=http://forum.skyatnightmagazine.com/tm.asp?m=73076&mpage=1&key=]http://forum.skyatnightmagazine.com/tm.asp?m=73076&mpage=1&key=[/url]
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