Thanks for the warm welcome, guys. I definitely do have aperture fever already. I was desperately trying to find a way to justify to myself, going for the 200. Unfortunately, I just couldn't justify that much money on a first scope. Maybe next year!
...although it's not for me Hi guys. Complete newb here. Never looked through anything other than binos and my camcorder before! (although I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw with just my camcorder's 35xoptical on a basic tripod recently, when the moon was particularly clear). I'm here because a few months ago, I learned that my mother has an interest in astronomy, and she's due for a nice present. Her interest was along the lines of a simple "I'd love a telescope", but with a heartfelt tone, so I'm hoping I'm not about to waste a load of money on something she's not actually that interested in after all....(allthough it probably won't be a waste, regardless, as I'll explain below!) After spending about half a dozen hours reading up on scopes for newcomers (almost exclusively on this forum), I think I'm settled on the basic Skywatcher Explorer 130 and intend to order it sometime over the next week. The thing is though, even if I'm wrong, and her "astro-interest" was nothing more than a whim; while looking up info on what scope to get her, I'm now convinced that I'd gladly buy her something else and keep the scope for myself! I think I might have to set it up for her and make sure it's all working ok before I hand it over! Anyway, I don't think this will be the last you'll see of me, even assuming she does love the scope.....I think I'll end up saving up for an explorer 150 for myself! lol (and maybe one day, I'll end up with something like the 7.5 foot long monster I read about on here! (did that ever end up back on ebay, btw?)) Whatever happens, I can't thank you guys enough for posting so much helpful info on here! (insanely long rant edited down!)