New Telescope

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New Telescope

Postby Jack101 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:52 pm

I am a beginner and for the last week or two I have been reading to try to decide which telescope to consider.

I am 74 years old and therefore not in first flush of youth. I am tending towards the Schmidt Cassegrain type of telescope from Celestron and the CPC 800 looks good but a bit expensive. I want the scope for Astrophotography, initially for sun, moon and planets, but hope to expand later. I will be using a Nikon DSLR D3200.

The GoTo facility on this scope looks impressive, but is it really necessary? I believe I should be trying to understand my way around the cosmos as much as I can rather than relying on a computer. In the process I should learn faster.

I will certainly need a substantial tripod and mount and a means of tracking accurately.

My questions are:

Will the CPC800 be too heavy for my advancing years?

Can I get something close to its performance without the need for GoTo?

Am I right about GoTo?

What mount would you suggest?

Can you get lists of areas with co-ordinates to allow a manual movement of the scope?

Are my questions daft?

I will appreciate all replies.

Thank you


Jack 101
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Re: New Telescope

Postby dave.b » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:12 pm

My questions are:

1. Will the CPC800 be too heavy for my advancing years?

2. Can I get something close to its performance without the need for GoTo?

3. Am I right about GoTo?

4. What mount would you suggest?

5. Can you get lists of areas with co-ordinates to allow a manual movement of the scope?

6. Are my questions daft?


My answers are as follows:
1. Yes, unless you are strong and plan on remaining so. The issue is that that the CPC telescope's optical tube and its alt-az forks are a single assembly.
2. If by performance you mean pointing and tracking performance then the answer is no. At least not without considerable effort to get a manual setup aligned perfectly.
3. No. Using a GOTO system is not about running blind. You have to be able to set it up with calibration stars and you have to know what you want to look at. If anything, the GOTO facility will accelerate your study of the night sky.
4. Celestron AVX.
5. You can get latitude and longitude coordinates from a lot of sources on line. If you have a smart phone then there are many apps that will give you the coordinates of your current location. Having said that, the location doesn't need to be that accurate and most GOTO systems include a database of city coordinates. Getting the date and time right is more important.
6. Nope!

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Re: New Telescope

Postby Jack101 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:52 am

Dave B,

Thanks very much, very helpful

Jack
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Re: New Telescope

Postby david48 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:56 pm

Jack101 wrote:
The GoTo facility on this scope looks impressive, but is it really necessary? I believe I should be trying to understand my way around the cosmos as much as I can rather than relying on a computer. In the process I should learn faster.

Am I right about GoTo?
Jack 101


Jack, I think your first instincts were right.

This modern "GoTo" business is just a kind of evasion of learning the way around the night-sky. It's symptomatic of modern button-pushers, who want instant gratification. They don't want to take time to really study the night-sky, and learn the patterns of the constellations. They couldn't care less about actually seeing the glorious constellations of Orion, or Cassiopeia, or Lyra in the sky.

To them, these constellations are just digital artefacts. Called up by pressing buttons, and getting a quick view of its "trending features" in the eyepiece. Then slewing away to something else "hot".

In fact I don't think such people really need to have a physical telescope. Couldn't they just view images on their Smartphones, without actually looking at the sky at all?
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Re: New Telescope

Postby Gfamily2 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:51 am

I'm with Dave.b on this - engage people first; that's what matters.

Here's a great post by someone with a GOTO scope, and how GOTO worked to engage someone with astronomy

http://www.astronomyforum.net/astronomy ... -site.html
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: New Telescope

Postby david48 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:28 pm

Thanks G for your link. It shows such enthusiasm! Which is all to be welcomed.

Especially welcoming was the news, reported by the poster you quote, that an 80mm refractor can resolve dust-lanes in the M-31 Andromeda Galaxy.

This is really startling. It shows how modern astronomy has progressed. Back in the 1920's, it took the optical power of the Mount Wilson 100-inch reflector, to resolve even individual stars, in M.31

But nowadays, an Opticron ES 80mm (ie, 3 and 1/4 inch) refractor) can apparently resolve not just the stars, but the dust-lanes in M.31! And - do it without long-exposure photography - just visually, by looking through the eyepiece!

Of course I know that back in the 19th-Century, Lord Rosse visually detected the spiral structure of galaxies, such as M.31. So he saw the dust-lanes. But he was using a 72" reflector!

Can it really be done with a 3" refractor, is that credible, do you think?
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Re: New Telescope

Postby Jack101 » Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:43 am

Hi,

Thanks for all replies, I think you have saved me from a bad choice for me.

I have looked again and there are 2 models that might be better. They are:

Skywatcher Explorer 200PDS HEQ5 Pro Newtonian Telescope. and the

Skywatcher Explorer 250PDS EQ6 Pro Newtonian Telescope.

Based on the same comments as in the first post, what is your opinions of these models?

I have read the comments on GoTo and I am relaxed about having it even if I don't always use it.

Thanks again

Jack
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Re: New Telescope

Postby david48 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:57 pm

Jack101 wrote:Hi,

Thanks for all replies, I think you have saved me from a bad choice for me.

I have looked again and there are 2 models that might be better. They are:
Skywatcher Explorer 200PDS HEQ5 Pro Newtonian Telescope. and the
Skywatcher Explorer 250PDS EQ6 Pro Newtonian Telescope.

Based on the same comments as in the first post, what is your opinions of these models?
Jack


I've never used these models, so can't offer an opinion. But they can doubtless both give excellent performance. So there's no real need to "shilly-shally" around between them. They'll both do the job.

Assuming that the "job" has anything to do with astronomy. But probably, it hasn't. It's more like:

"Who's got the best telescope?"

Isn't that what these forums are about nowadays. Not about actually observing. Only showing-off about who's got the coolest equipment?
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Re: New Telescope

Postby Jack101 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:01 pm

I am a TOTAL beginner, I haven't a clue about what is the coolest equipment and have no desire to find out. I suggest you leave your cynicism off this issue.

Jack
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Re: New Telescope

Postby Gfamily2 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:38 pm

david48 wrote:Thanks G for your link. It shows such enthusiasm! Which is all to be welcomed.

Especially welcoming was the news, reported by the poster you quote, that an 80mm refractor can resolve dust-lanes in the M-31 Andromeda Galaxy.

This is really startling. It shows how modern astronomy has progressed. Back in the 1920's, it took the optical power of the Mount Wilson 100-inch reflector, to resolve even individual stars, in M.31

But nowadays, an Opticron ES 80mm (ie, 3 and 1/4 inch) refractor) can apparently resolve not just the stars, but the dust-lanes in M.31! And - do it without long-exposure photography - just visually, by looking through the eyepiece!

Of course I know that back in the 19th-Century, Lord Rosse visually detected the spiral structure of galaxies, such as M.31. So he saw the dust-lanes. But he was using a 72" reflector!

Can it really be done with a 3" refractor, is that credible, do you think?

Unlikely, but maybe with a 12" Dobsonian using an ES 24mm 80 degree eyepiece it can be done.

His post tells us that he took his Dob (an XT12G since you're asking - it's written in his Sig). Why on earth do you think he was using an 80mm refractor?

And why do you think that dust lanes are 'hard' to see? I've seen an indication of M31's dust lanes in a 4 1/2 " Newtonian from not-great skies; with a 12" under good skies they would be even more obvious.
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.
(Not a moderator)
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