First scope

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First scope

Postby WatchfulOutsider » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:55 am

Hi all - first post! Having wanted a telescope for some time (but always having other things to spend money on) my wife has taken the plunge for me and bought me an Orion Spsceprobe 130ST. She did all the research herself and from what I’ve read made a good choice. I must admit reading about equatorial mounts intimidates me a bit as to how to use one so would welcome any advice. Also is there anything else I’ll need for my first viewing session beyond the standard package? Many thanks
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Re: First scope

Postby Gfamily2 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:01 am

Hi and welcome.
Lucky you.
The instruction manual for that scope seems comprehensive, so I'd not be too intimidated by the equatorial mount. Read through the instructions on assembling and balancing the mount before you start, and I'd say it'll be a good idea to do it a couple of times indoors before you try it in the dark. Of course, if you have somewhere to store it assembled, that would be ideal.

You'll need to know your approximate latitude and the direction of North for your observing point - easiest if you can see Polaris, but you don't need to be particularly precise for visual observing.

Do you have a local astronomy society ? They can be a great place to get advice and 'show how' for your scope. If they have observing sessions, take your scope along and you're likely to have people falling over themselves to help you get started. Here's a county by county list so you can see what groups are in your area.
http://www.astronomyclubs.co.uk/Clubs/Counties.aspx

As for accessories, I would suggest you get a red light head torch to use in the dark and a planisphere, which shows you how the constellations move across the sky as the evening progresses, and also how they vary from month to month. You can find patterns for DIY planispheres online, but I think a well made plastic one is worth getting - it's protected against 'dew' for one thing :)

A '2018' sky guide can be a good idea as it'll give you ideas of what to look for at different times of the year. You can often get these for Kindle or other e-readers for £1 or so.

Clear Skies
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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Re: First scope

Postby EIZO » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:49 pm

I hate and loath EQ mounts and always tell people to go AltAz

EQ mounts look nice in a warm shop, cheap ones don't have provision to fit a polar alignment scope either, but so many people get fed up with taking it out at night in the wet and cold, kneeling on wet and cold ground in the cold and dark trying to polar align it before they can use it where as an AltAz is instantly in use.

I also hate finder scopes and prefer red dot finders on all my scopes, and I agree join a club, I actually say this to people before considering buying any scopes so they can try them out.

Have fun

Sorry
Celestron Edge 8" Evolution, Esprit 120mm triplet, Sky Tee2, William Optics Binoviewers, many 2" eyepieces. Nikon D4s, D810, Nikkor 70-200 F2.8, 14-24, 70-200, Sigma 150-600 Sport, Gitzo tripods
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Re: First scope

Postby WatchfulOutsider » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:05 pm

Thanks both for the replies. Will look into astronomy clubs after Christmas. Silly question but will I need a Barlow lens?
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Re: First scope

Postby Gfamily2 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:43 pm

WatchfulOutsider wrote:Thanks both for the replies. Will look into astronomy clubs after Christmas. Silly question but will I need a Barlow lens?

You won't need a Barlow lens, but it's one of the options for a future purchase.
Some people really don't rate them, but it's a cheap and quick way of increasing the power of an eyepiece.

It looks like your scope comes with 25mm and 10mm eyepieces, and a 2x Barlow could be used with both on that scope.
You'll have noticed that the 25mm has a larger eye lens than the 10mm; so you may find that its more comfortable to use the 25mm with the Barlow rather than the 10mm alone (though it'll give you slightly less magnification).

The 10mm with the Barlow should be usable as well - with an f/5 scope like that, you should usually be able to get reasonable views with a 5mm eyepiece (it's a rule of thumb that relates the f ratio to the shortest eyepiece that usually works OK - if the skies are being kind to you, you can go shorter, but not reliably).

Since an equatorial mount is what you have, I wouldn't worry about whether other people love them or hate them. Certainly, once it's set up it means you're only having to use one slow motion cable to keep things in view.
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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Re: First scope

Postby EIZO » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:53 pm

One thing I would say is DO NOT rush out and buy more eyepieces, first learn what the good makes are and then seek out ones on ebay, ask the question "is it in perfect working undamaged order" if they say yes you are covered by ebay/paypal refund guarantee if it is not and if they don't reply you know to avoid, if they say no you know what to do.

But also, most people I know buy 2" eyepieces, I only use 1.25 in my Bino Viewer from William Optics all my scope eyepieces are 2"
Celestron Edge 8" Evolution, Esprit 120mm triplet, Sky Tee2, William Optics Binoviewers, many 2" eyepieces. Nikon D4s, D810, Nikkor 70-200 F2.8, 14-24, 70-200, Sigma 150-600 Sport, Gitzo tripods
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Re: First scope

Postby WatchfulOutsider » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:41 pm

Thanks again for the useful replies. Can’t wait to get it and obviously for my first clear night. I’ll probably have many more silly questions but always willing to learn something new

I’ve checked and there are two astronomy societies near me so will contact one and hope they’re good with beginners
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Re: First scope

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:05 pm

I would add that it's a good idea to discover some suitable targets for your telescope. I would start off with objects such as the Seven Sisters, Beehive and Orion Great Nebula. If the Moon is about, try that.

To find out where an object is just use a search engine, such as Google, and type in the name.

There are no bright planets in the evening sky at the moment but, later in the year, there will be.
How can I be one with the universe when we don't know what 96% of it is.

My website: http://www.philippughastronomer.com/

My blog: http://sungazer127mak.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/november-2015.html
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Location: Wiltshire but can be just about anywhere up to 41 000 feet


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