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About Astrid

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    Astrophysics, Astronomy, Astrophotography, Visual Observations;
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  1. I knowww how it feels (I own an 8 inch f/5 reflector on an 18kg equatorial mount), but at the same time I have my parents and my sister that help me with my huge telescope. And I live at the edge of a big city. A Maksutov (a system that uses both lens and mirrors) would be amazing (but because of the big f ratio it works best for planets, but some Mak owners would most likely say that with a focal reducer (a lens like a barlow that basically reduces your f ratio, producing a wider field) some DSOs could fit into the field of view. The refractor (a system that uses lens) would be good as well, but it has chromatic aberration (a blue halo around the object) that could be sometimes annoying. You could get an apochromat refractor (a refractor that corrects chromatic aberration) but those are expensive, and the ones within your budget have a small diameter (72, 80 mm, APO's are used mostly in astrophotography and you said you're a visual obs). (SCT/ schimdt-cassegrains are very expensive and I don't have experience with those so I can't say much). Btw, a tabletop dobson would be nice too (since you already own a dob, it'll be very convenient) So, in my opinion, get either a dob (perhaps the Heritage-130p? Since it has a flex tube design it is very very portable and nice. And with a diameter of 130 you could see some very good things, it has a great price and great optics). Or a refractor (the one with the biggest diameter that you could afford, but at the same time be careful so it is not very huge and hard to transport. the one you mentioned seemed nice), and perhaps it would be nice to work with a refractor too (not just reflectors). Or a Maksutov (127mm) (If you plan on observing the DSO's with the huge dob and use the Maksutov for planets).
  2. Oh great! That's fast though... I'm assuming you cannot really do planetary with it. By the way, what mount do you use? I have an EQ5 and I hope that it'll work with my heavy 200P...
  3. What the diameter and f of your telescope? I have an 8 inch f/5 and I cannot wait to start AP (when my Canon EOS 2000D arrives)
  4. Hi, How much for the apo refractor only? (80ed) Thanks
  5. +1 for what @jonathan said, yes the apo/newtonian thing is always subjective. You can find here both newtonian and apochromat astrophotographers. The reflector is heavier and harder to maintain, but can collect much much more light than a small 72-80 doublet apochromat. So in my opinion, if transportation is not a problem, get a newtonian (6", 8" or higher) that will allow you to capture fainter details/nebula that don't show with an apochromat. But if you live in a city and have to constantly move the scope, a doublet like the Evostar line from skywatcher would be wonderful. But the biggest downside is that mounts for Newtonians are expensive. I own the EQ5 which isn't extremely expensive, and it works good for me (usually there's little to no wind so props to that), but overall and NEQ6 or HEQ5 will be better (but those cost 1000 pounds).
  6. Hey! Here is a list I found on Reddit with all the Messier objects and their difficulty. With a 7 inch scope. Keep in mind that this chart should only be used as a guide (it depends on level of experience, Bortle, etc). M31 is pretty easy to find if you're in Bortle 1 or 4-5 skies. I recommend driving to the country side because it is definitely worth it! You can see the Orion Nebula starting from 12 or 1 AM till morning. So if waking up early is not a problem, you could take a look at M42 too! Good luck and clear skies!
  7. If you can stretch your budget, get these: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-star-adventurer/sky-watcher-38-stainless-steel-tripod.html (probably 50gbp second hand) A bit more expensive, but will definitely be waay more sturdy.
  8. What about astrophotography w/very short exposures or astrophotography with a very basic setup (without guiding scopes and other expensive equipment) so beginners can see that you don't need 10s of thousands of dollars to get some decent views of let's say M42 or M31 .
  9. A warm welcome to Stargazers lounge! Luckily there are lots of good telescopes within 200 dollars. The best choice would be a Dobson. This design is basically a newtonian (a design that uses mirrors) on a (wooden) mount that moves up and down (Alt-Az, Altitude-Azimuth). https://www.firstlightoptics.com/heritage/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html here is a very good telescope, from FLO (First light optics), this forum's official sponsor. I never bought from them (I am not from the UK) but lots of people here have bought their telescopes from FLO and I heard that they have very good costumer service (other members can tell you more about FLO than me). The Skywatcher 130p basically has a diameter of 130mm and a focal distance (the distance at which light is being focused) of 650mm. Pros: Very sharp images Good for both planets and deep sky objects (nebulae, galaxies etc). Portable Cons: requires collimation (to realign the mirrors, but if she's experienced with astronomy, after a couple of youtube videos it'll be easy. You just need a few screwdrivers and patience. has an open mirror (it doesn't have lenses), so you need to clean the mirrors, but online you can find lots of tutorials. it has a tabletop mount (so you need a table). Here I linked some reviews: !!! don't expect Hubble quality images. Most images are taken using long exposures and expensive DSLR cameras (astrophotography). You can get good views using just a telescope, don't worry. But you'll need to buy different eyepieces than the ones that come with the telescope after a few months or one year, because those are not of the best quality (but pretty good too, don't worry) and she'll need different magnifications. If you can stretch your budget, you could get the 150p (https://www.firstlightoptics.com/heritage/sky-watcher-heritage-150p-flextube-dobsonian-telescope.html) It is the exact same thing, the only difference being that it has a bigger diameter, and a bigger diameter means better views (more light). But even if it is bigger, it has a flex tube design that can become smaller and thus easier to transport. Another design is the Starquest (Newtonian and Maksutov). The Maksutov is a design that is made mostly for observing the planets (if you want to see deep sky objects, because of the large focal ratio you'll need a focal reducer). And because it is not an open design, you need to clean it or collimate it only after a few years (but if properly transported, the collimation should last a lifetime). https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-starquest/sky-watcher-starquest-102mc-f127-maksutov-cassegrain-telescope.html You can notice that the mount is different. This is called an Equatorial Mount and it is a bit harder to use (it requires it to be aligned with Polaris, the north star. But after a few youtube videos she'll be fine). And here is a newtonian design (the same optical tube (OTA) as the Heritage 130p, but on an Equatorial Mount, the same mount as the Maksutov). The equatorial mount is a bit hard to use at first and harder to transport, but it allows you to track objects all night (by rotating only one knob, called the Right Ascension). But it needs to be properly aligned with Polaris before that. Another design is the refractor, but it has chromatic aberration (a blue halo) around the planets, and she'll probably grow out of it in a few months. It is made more for little children that don't have that much experience with astronomy, so it is not worth it (in my opinion, but some may argue). ---- In my opinion, get a Dobsonian https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html If transportation is not a problem, don't get a flextube/heritage model (it has a tabletop mount and the mirror can get scratched easily (dust, wind, etc) because it is that open). If you can stretch, get the Skyliner 150p https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html If not, then get either the heritage 130p (with that very open design that is easier to transport), or the starquest 130p (equatorial mount) or the maksutov (on either an equatorial or tabletop mount) (but the maksutov isn't really that versatile and before the focal reducer you are pretty limited to only planets and the moon. it solely depends on what she wants to see with it). You can search on the flo website and find other models that fit your budget though, but always read reviews online, because it can tell you if the telescope is good or not. Now, in order to get the best of the scope, don't forget to let it cool outside (20-30 minutes) so that it has the same temperature as the air) and observe in non-light polluted skies. I know this might seem like a lot of information at first, but choosing a telescope is never easy (I personally spent 2 months researching for one last summer but in the end I got one that is amazing and I'm very pleased with it :). ) Clear skies and good luck!
  10. No problem! I'm sure that with the right eyepieces you will get stunning views that are waay better than the small 70. (you can always check reviews online for both visual obs and imaging/astrophotography, it helps a lot!).
  11. I'm assuming that either the gears have worn out (so a little bit of grease, oil or WD-40 could help) or the mount gears are too tight. Probably silly question, but from my knowledge the RA and DEC motors should only work when the RA/DEC clutches are tightened (you shouldn't be able to manually move the axis). Are those tightened? (I have an EQ5 and it was very stiff too, so I unscrewed the clutches and it now works so much better. But your case is weird, since the DEC axis works very well...)
  12. Of course! Usually national geographic scopes are entry level and don't have the best optics quality. Plus, the bigger the aperture (diameter), the better. So the 114mm will collect much more light than the 70 (almost double). A bigger diameter will allow you to see much fainter objects and a lot more detail. You know, the job of a telescope is to collect light, and that depends mostly on the diameter of the scope.
  13. Almost any webcams would do a great job, and those are absolutely within your budget (ASI cameras are usually pretty expensive...). Here is a great article: https://www.planetguide.net/astrophotography-webcam/
  14. Edit: Just used my EQ5 mount and I noticed that the slow motion knobs (especially the DEC one), don't really work, they work only sometimes and when the clutches are tightened, it works but midway stops, etc etc, etc. Do you guys have any idea or tip? I checked and those knobs seem to fit perfectly (so I don't think it is that I didn't put them ok or something). I was thinking about tightening the screw on the RA/DEC clutch. Should I return the mount and get a replacement though? Or do you guys have any advice? Thanks
  15. Thanks to everyone! I managed to finally put the control knobs. They apparently only have 1 way to get it in and daaamn those are secure af. As for the clutch thing, I called the retailer from whom I purchased the telescope and he said that the clutch orientation doesn't matter and that the SW EQ5 mount is fine and that's how they work. I did play a bit with the clutch. Didn't manage to put it where I wanted, but I untightened them a bit and it works amazing. I really love the EQ5 and I cannot wait to buy the RA/DEC motors. But until then, I gotta get my DSLR
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