First scope, present for parents

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First scope, present for parents

Postby SkyDad420 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:13 am

Hi all,

So I've been doing a fair bit of research on what to buy my parents but still a bit bewildered by the choices..

My budget is £300, they live in the country so light pollution is not an issue and mainly like looking at planets so I think a refractor is the way to go? Guess I'm looking for a 80-120 mm refractor which is quite forgiving for beginners in terms of set-up, alignment and durability.

Am I right in thinking that computerised GoTo is probably a bad idea at this stage?

Here are some things I've been looking at:
Sky-Watcher Startravel-120 (AZ3) Achromatic Refractor Telescope
Sky-Watcher Evostar-90 (EQ3-2) Achromatic Refractor Telescope
Sky-Watcher Startravel-102 (AZ-3) Short-Tube Achromatic Refractor Telescope

Are there any essential extras which I should look at too? Red head torch, filters for moon etc?

Many thanks in advance for any help!
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Re: First scope, present for parents

Postby Gfamily2 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:52 pm

Hi and welcome.

There's a very positive review of the Startravel 120 here
and to be honest, that's the one I'd go for, as aperture is always worth it.

As for extras: yes, both of those, and as well, I'd suggest a planisphere and a good guide book. I'd suggest "An Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders" by Thompson and Thompson, which offers a comprehensive constellation by constellation overview of the 'best' targets to look for, as well as an overview of the science and practice of astronomy.

Point them in the direction of Stellarium software as well; free for PCs, cheap for phones, it gives a real-time searchable view of the sky - not ideal for use out at the telescope (the screen's likely to spoil your night vision), but you can use it to see what's worth looking out for.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak, Raffle winner of SW ST80
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
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Re: First scope, present for parents

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:08 pm

How much does a 102mm or 127mm Maksutov sell for these days? If they are interested in planets it would be better than the Startravel 'scopes.
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