Newbie at 70yo!

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Newbie at 70yo!

Postby donside » Tue May 26, 2015 9:11 am

Due to increasing infirmity I can no longer go fishing and photographing wildlife like a 40yo. I'm seriously looking to make astronomy, a lifelong interest, my new hobby. Advice seems to be towards buying a reflector scope, but what size of scope should I buy to observe the planets and close nebula? :?:
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Re: Newbie at 70yo!

Postby donside » Sun May 31, 2015 2:52 pm

After 132 views it seems that nobody can offer any advice. Have I crossed a red line somewhere? :?
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Re: Newbie at 70yo!

Postby dave.b » Sun May 31, 2015 9:41 pm

The simple answer is anything from 4” diameter and upwards. The longer answer will start with a question of budget.

Reflecting telescopes are less expensive than refracting ones. You will also need to consider the type of mount you would like to use.


Dave B.
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Re: Newbie at 70yo!

Postby donside » Sun May 31, 2015 10:19 pm

Thanks Dave.
I was thinking of a reflector scope but I'm here to have my mind changed. My budget will be around £300. I fancy a 'go-to' mount, but perhaps it's not possible with a meagre £300. I expect the scope would be around the £200+ mark, with +/- £100 for 'extras'. I'm not sure.

David. (donside)
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Re: Newbie at 70yo!

Postby dave.b » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:35 pm

There are quite a few beginner telescopes within your budget, but none as far as I know are GOTO enabled. Avoid those with equatorial mounts as they are very hard for a beginner to use and they lack the stability and mechanisation for photography. A better bet are those on alt-az pan and tilt mounts, since you just point and observed in an intuitive way.

BTW, it may be worth considering binoculars as your entry level bit of kit. A reasonable pair of 10x50 or 15x70 would be good for the moon, star fields, and clusters. But not the planets. You should mount the bino's on a decent tripod with an alt-az head.

Finally, for something like £340 you could get the Celestron 102SLT. This was my first telescope and I had a lot of fun with it. Since it's over your budget, and you're right to allow for some initial accessories, I strongly suggest you start with binoculars. Alternatively, get yourself down to your local astronomy club and try some of their kit.

You can search this forum for information too. Feel free to ask further questions.

Dave B.
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Re: Newbie at 70yo!

Postby donside » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:08 am

Your advice is much appreciated Dave. TVM. :D
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Re: Newbie at 70yo!

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:12 pm

I'm not on here much these days, as I have a new job that is much busier. I'd advise starting with binoculars, too. Also any photographic equipment you had for wildlife could be useful for astronomy.

I used to go fishing, too, but gave up due to a bad back.
How can I be one with the universe when we don't know what 96% of it is.

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Re: Newbie at 70yo!

Postby donside » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:45 pm

Thanks for the advice. I had two sets of binos but I went and bought a set of Nikon 10x50s, and they really are the 'bees knees'. I've had one or two 'nae bad' photos of the moon, and even a photo of Saturn and its rings, albeit very tiny, with my 300mm + 2x TC.
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Re: Newbie at 70yo!

Postby david48 » Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:43 pm

I agree with what has been said above. Especially when one gets to to a "certain age" in life.
When we don't want to do any original research in Astronomy, but are content to relax and simply enjoy the simple pleasure of stargazing.

For this, a pair of good quality 7 X 50 binoculars is the best instrument. The 50mm objective lenses collect a lot of light, and so provide bright views of stars clusters and nebulae.

And the 7X magnification lets you see the mountains and craters on the Moon, the disc of Jupiter with its four major moons, and the phases of Venus.

Some people may say that a 10 X 50 is better. But the higher 10X magnification makes it harder to hold the glasses steadily. And doesn't show much more . On the whole, I think 7X gives best satisfaction.
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