Advice on purchase of telescope

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Advice on purchase of telescope

Postby Aliavo » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:55 pm

Please could you help, I need some advice. My 8 year old daughter wants a telescope, my issue is that although I want to encourage her to get into astronomy I am reluctant to buy anything that is too expensive that may end up being stuck in a cupboard/garage after a couple of months. Yet at the same time I don't want something that isn't going to show her clear images and help her see what she wants to see (planets, stars etc). I have found the following telescope at Smyths Toys and although it looks good I'm conscious that it may not be quite good enough. I've looked up various advice on what a good starter telescope should have as a minimum but to be honest I'm just getting confused. I would be great full if someone could let me know what you think. I apologise for the long post but I'm really new to this and don't want to get it wrong. I have listed below what the website says about it:

Fusion Science 700m Refractor Telescope

Product Description:
This 525x Refractor Telescope is both educational and fun. . The TM7060 has been designed to provide views of the moon's craters, Jupiter's major moons, and Satum's rings, in addition to dozens of galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae. As a terrestrial (land) telescope, the TM7060 delivers great views of mountains, valleys, and many other features of the world around us. You can also use the TM7060 to study animals and landscapes at a distance. With proper care and handling of your telescope, you will enjoy the pleasure of looking at nature's wondrous sights through the eye of this instrument for many years. It has a 60mm objective lens for great views of the moon, planets, constellations, and much more. High quality optical lens provide a range of magnification power from 30x to 525x and 5x24mm and an optical finder scope makes locating celestial objects simple.

Astronomical and Terrestrial viewing
60mm objective lens
High quality optical lens provide a range of magnification power from 30x to 525x and 5x24mm
Optical finder scope makes locating celestial objects simple
Assembled Dimensions: 35L x 3.5W x 110H cm
Contents: A telescope, an instruction manual and accessories
Batteries Not Required

I thank you all in advance for any help and advice you can give me.
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:38 pm

Re: Advice on purchase of telescope

Postby Aratus » Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:12 pm

While I don't want to rule out purchasing this telescope but there are several reasons for sounding the alarm bells. We can safely say that the description has not been written by someone who has ever used the telescope, or knows what they are talking about!

A 60mm lens is not capable of usable magnifications greater than 120x even in good conditions. Mentioning figures like 525x is not only practically impossible but is actually breaking advertising law. It doesn't say what eyepieces are included, but if one is designed to give a theoretical magnification of 525x it will be a waste having it. How many of the other eyepieces will be equally useless? It looks like a 0.65" eyepiece which are difficult to find if the eyepieces are wrong.
If there is an eyepiece lens to give between 50x and 100x magnification it will show the whole moon. The 4 moons of Jupiter, and the rings of Saturn. You'll be able to make out the phases of Venus. There are plenty of double stars to be seen. It will be rather limited for galaxies, clusters and nebula.

A more honest telescope of roughly the same price would be a Celestron FirstScope.
It uses standard eyepieces designed for the size of telescope, and gives the same sort of magnification, with a brighter, larger image. It will need a table in the garden to put it on, or some kind of pedestal. It is possible to observe sitting down with this telescope which is nice.
You can't use that telescope for terrestrial observing though.

If you want a similar kind of telescope to the one you mentioned then the Celestron Astromaster 70AZ is a good starting telescope. It is more expensive, but it has eyepieces designed for the size of telescope, and will give 2 magnifications of 45x and 90x. They are standard eyepieces too so additional eyepieces will be easy to come by. It is slightly bigger and can be souped up a little with an extra eyepiece to about 140x. It has all the advantages of the 'Fusion Science' one including being able to be used for terrestrial observing.

By all means come back with other questions if you wish.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, with an 80mm refractor as a guidescope. They are housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC for imaging.
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Location: East Lincolnshire

Re: Advice on purchase of telescope

Postby Gfamily2 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:24 pm

Excellent advice from Aratus there. It's also worth saying that with your daughter at age 8 you're likely to be called upon to help out at least initially. If you develop an interest yourself, a good reasonably priced starter scope that you'll both enjoy would be a 6" Dobsonian.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:38 pm

Re: Advice on purchase of telescope

Postby traysijayne » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:12 pm


I am reading this forum and am tempted to purchase the Astro Master telescope for my daughter who has been after a telescope since she could talk. I don't want anything that's too childish as she is very interested in having one so hope it will last a while but equally it will need to be fairly simple to use. We need a tripod and certainly a refractor rather than reflector one. any other suggestions for an ideal buy? I too looked at the Fusion so have been put off now and glad I found this post!

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