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Telescope recommendations?

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Telescope recommendations?

Postby Eloise Wilson » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:13 pm

Hello everyone- would anyone be able to give me advice on which telescope to buy? I’m very interested in Astronomy and would like to save up. Any websites or articles you think could help? Thank you!
Eloise Wilson
 
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Re: Telescope recommendations?

Postby Gfamily2 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:11 pm

The most common recommendation is to go for something like an 8" Dobsonian, but we can't say whether that's best for you.
Do you have a local Astronomy Society that you could meet up with? Sometimes you can get to try out different types If they do observing sessions.
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: Telescope recommendations?

Postby Aratus » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:00 am

Eloise Wilson wrote:Hello everyone- would anyone be able to give me advice on which telescope to buy? I’m very interested in Astronomy and would like to save up. Any websites or articles you think could help? Thank you!


Here are a few things to consider. If you are thinking of spending £100 or £3000, or whatever in between makes a big difference to the recommendations. What sort of price are you thinking of? You also need to think about a few other things. such as . . .
Can I confidently find object in the sky without help?
Am I going to more interested in the bright objects that I can see with my eye, or am I going for objects that might be invisible to the eye?
Will I have to transport the telescope to another site, or will I use it in my backyard?
Do I mind spending time setting things up before I start observing, or is it essential that I be able to use the telescope as soon as I take it out?
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Re: Telescope recommendations?

Postby EIZO » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:04 am

I am sooooo pleased you are asking before buying.

All I will say is that I 100% avoid EQ mounts, they look the business until you spend ages kneeling down in the freezing cold on wet grass every time you want to use it, polar aligning it, get an AltAz mounted scope or as said, a DOB
Celestron Edge 8" Evolution, Esprit 120mm triplet, Sky Tee2, WO Binoviewers, 2" and 1.25" eyepieces, ZWO ASI 178MM camera, Neximage 5, Nikon D4s, D810, Nikkor 70-200 F2.8, Nikkor 14-24, Nikkor 70-200, Nikkor 24-120, Sigma 150-600 Sport
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Re: Telescope recommendations?

Postby dave.b » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:00 pm

EIZO wrote:I am sooooo pleased you are asking before buying.

All I will say is that I 100% avoid EQ mounts, they look the business until you spend ages kneeling down in the freezing cold on wet grass every time you want to use it, polar aligning it, get an AltAz mounted scope or as said, a DOB

That's what I use to think until long exposure photography become a significant issue with an alt-az mount. The answer being a go-to equitorial mount with a polar alignment routine that doesn't need the use of a polar scope.
Last edited by dave.b on Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Telescope recommendations?

Postby Eloise Wilson » Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:48 pm

Aratus wrote:
Eloise Wilson wrote:Hello everyone- would anyone be able to give me advice on which telescope to buy? I’m very interested in Astronomy and would like to save up. Any websites or articles you think could help? Thank you!


Here are a few things to consider. If you are thinking of spending £100 or £3000, or whatever in between makes a big difference to the recommendations. What sort of price are you thinking of? You also need to think about a few other things. such as . . .
Can I confidently find object in the sky without help?
Am I going to more interested in the bright objects that I can see with my eye, or am I going for objects that might be invisible to the eye?
Will I have to transport the telescope to another site, or will I use it in my backyard?
Do I mind spending time setting things up before I start observing, or is it essential that I be able to use the telescope as soon as I take it out?


At the moment I’m thinking about less than £500, but if it makes sense to spend more then please do say! I can confidently navigate the sky as I have taken a GCSE in Astronomy, so I’d like to see things that aren’t visible to the naked eye. I don’t mind setting things up because I’ll learn how to do it well after a few times, but I will probably have to transport it as there’s lots of light pollution in my area.
Eloise Wilson
 
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Re: Telescope recommendations?

Postby Aratus » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:20 pm

Well, let's assume that you are interested in objects generally, and that you don't mind setting up an equatorial mount, and that you are happy to locate objects in a sky which you are reasonably familiar with without computerised help. You can get something this . . .

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-200p-eq5.html

If you'd like to easily find objects that are invisible to the naked eye, then you have to put more money into a computerised mount. That means a smaller telescope tube like this . . .

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/se-series/celestron-nexstar-4se.html

or you can go the other way and forget any kind of tracking or help to find objects and put all your money into a bigger telescope like this, which can be set up in seconds . . .

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-250px-dobsonian.html

£500 will give you a lot of choice. I would look at these 3. Consider the first one, but bear in mind the last two before making a decision. There are similar telescopes to these available, and you may be able to get them cheaper elsewhere.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
Aratus
 
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Re: Telescope recommendations?

Postby EIZO » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:49 pm

To be honest I have owned, reflecting scopes, SC and Refractors and I prefer a Refractor.

Me I would get this

https://www.widescreen-centre.co.uk/ast ... scopes/sky

and this

https://www.widescreen-centre.co.uk/ast ... muth-mount

But it is out of budget, don't turn down GOOD pre owned
Celestron Edge 8" Evolution, Esprit 120mm triplet, Sky Tee2, WO Binoviewers, 2" and 1.25" eyepieces, ZWO ASI 178MM camera, Neximage 5, Nikon D4s, D810, Nikkor 70-200 F2.8, Nikkor 14-24, Nikkor 70-200, Nikkor 24-120, Sigma 150-600 Sport
EIZO
 
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Re: Telescope recommendations?

Postby Eloise Wilson » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:53 pm

Thank you so so much! I'm currently revising for my mock exams but will post an update on what I've decided to aim towards as soon as I can. Thank you! :D
Eloise Wilson
 
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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:46 pm

Re: Telescope recommendations?

Postby Gfamily2 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:25 pm

Very sensible to take your time over choosing what type of scope to get.
Aratus has given a good overview, and EIZO rightly points out that some people really don't like Equatorial mounts.

I've already suggested getting in touch with any local astronomy societies, to see if they hold observing evenings, but as you're giving yourself time to choose, it might even be worth going to a Star Party. Although these are usually based on a campsite over a long weekend, you can often get 'day' tickets if you prefer to stay elsewhere. During the day, they have talks on astronomical subjects, there's often a vendor with a range of scopes on display. If it's clear in the evenings, people are usually very happy to let you have a view through their scopes (always ask beforehand of course).
Here is a very comprehensive website that aims to keep an up-to-date list of star gazing events - both societies and star parties.
http://gostargazing.co.uk/events-map
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)
Gfamily2
 
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