Start up astronomer seeks guidance

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Start up astronomer seeks guidance

Postby braddito » Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:40 pm

I've been interested in stars and planets for years but only since 'Sky At Night' magazine came on the shelves have I a/ been able to learn more about astronomy without needing a degree and b/ given serious thought to purchasing a telescope so that I can take a proper look at what's out there.

With a start-up budget of £200 or less if possible, what would more experienced astronomers recommend as a first decent telescope ? I have a permanent back injury, so weight is a consideration and I live in a town, so portability and quick set up are required.
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RE: Start up astronomer seeks guidance

Postby sky » Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:56 pm

A skywatcher 130M isnt a bad bet, i picked one up for 140 quid on line that leaves you a bit to get some eyepieces and a better finder scope.

If you have a back problem the weight might be an issue, the eq2 mount weighs a fair bit..
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RE: Start up astronomer seeks guidance

Postby phil siviter » Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:56 pm

The answer is quite simple - binoculars; a decent pair of 10x50's shouldn't set you back more than 60 GBP (and it's possible to get them for less)

I hope this helps.

Clear skies.

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RE: Start up astronomer seeks guidance

Postby jester » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:13 pm

I have the Skywatcher Explorer 150 which comes at a little over your budget of £200. I have been very happy with it. If this is anything to go by, I'm sure the 130 would be a good buy.
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RE: Start up astronomer seeks guidance

Postby iainmoore » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:13 pm

I would agree, get a decent pair of binos. If you cant wait, my first scope was a second hand skywatcher explorer 200 newtonian with an EQ5 mount.

Fantastic view.

Iain
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RE: Start up astronomer seeks guidance

Postby keithmorris » Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:53 pm

Hi Braddito, I can empathise with your back problems, having impacted lumbar vertebrae with very little to no discs left in that region of my back. I must therefore say to you DO NOT BUY A REFRACTER! The constant stooping over (unless you are looking low in the sky or have a chair to hand) is a right pain in the back (pun intended). I would recommend a reflector because you are more or less standing upright nearly all the time. Even if your eyepiece ends up under the tube you can loosen the tube rings and rotate the scope round.[&:]
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RE: Start up astronomer seeks guidance

Postby sonia » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:43 pm

My first decent scope *blushes* was the celestron 675 powerseeker from argos *blushes again* for £199 4.5" and isnt too bad. Until i upgraded in spring this year to a meade.

Once you start with telescopes, theres always something else you want to get, so make sure you know what you want, before you buy.
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RE: Start up astronomer seeks guidance

Postby Chanctonbury » Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:23 pm

Braddito,

Sorry to hear about your back problem, I know where you are coming from!

Unfortunately, any telescope/mount combination worth it's salt should of necessity have some weight behind it for stability. However, an equatorially mounted reflector would probably suit your requirements well and there is a temptation to suggest one of the 4.5" 'relay lens' short length tube instruments but I feel that you may be dissappointed with the quality of the view. I would aim for a standard length 4.5" Reflector. This will give you a lot of pleasure and will hopefully not be too much of an effort to cart out and set up. A reflector will not make you have to crouch down too far with that back of yours!
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RE: Start up astronomer seeks guidance

Postby andyrawlins » Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:40 pm

I think Mr. M42 hit the nail there. Your best bet may be a dob. They offer a lot of apature for little money, are simple to setup and use, and the eyepiece is in an ideal possition for your back problem.
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Thanks to all for your comments

Postby braddito » Mon Dec 12, 2005 12:10 pm

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to give me the benefit of your experience. I've made notes of various points I hadn't considered (notably refractor issues that hadn't occurred to me). The Skywatcher 130M had been recommended to me by a retailer who seemed trustworthy, but it's helpful to get 'end user' confirmation that it really is worth considering. I also take on board the notes re binoculars - I believe Patrick Moore has made the same suggestion in SAN magazine. I've never really got on with them as I need spectacles, but I do have a pair somewhere that I should dig out and try one evening.
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