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Telescope for a 10 year old?


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As I've recently re-ignited my intrest in astronomy and started myself off with a pair of bins, my 10 year old lad has been having a look as well and is showing quite an intrest.

His birthday is coming up and I thought it would be a good idea to get him a nice, easy to use 'point and look' scope to keep his intrest going (and so i can have a look as well). This won't be his 'main' present as he's already been bought a new bike (kids these days don't know how lucky they are) so my budget is probably less than £100.

My other half was looking at the ones in Toy 'R' Us today which I was a bit wary of. I can't believe a toy shop is going to sell decent telescopes.

So I've had look on the FLO site and seen the SW heritage 76 mini dob which is £48, but it seems to be recommended for 5-10 year olds and TBH I don't think it's any more powerful than my bins. The next one up is the SW heritage 130p flextube which seems to be more of a low budget adult starter scope and at £135 is a bit more than I want to spend.

Can anyone please help with any recommendations / experiences?



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I have a SW Capricorn and although its not an expensive (£100 approx) scope i think its fantastic.

I use it for putting in the back of the car.

Clearly seen jupiters moons and saturns rings with it.

and its great for moon viewing.

The mount EQ1 isnt so good, but for the money its a great bit of kit.

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anything from a toyshop will be useless...

i went for the heritage 130p-flex for my starter scope as was on a budget, and find it a great little first scope, and my kids love looking through it too..

as its a small dob its easily stored away and very portable, and I took it away on a large family holiday this summer and my parents and sisters had never looked through anything before, and were all amazed by nothing more than views of the moon through it....

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I recently bought my grandson (7) the Heritage 76 and have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by it. It isn't powerful as you say (good thing) but as well as being a 'real' telescope, it looks cool too and these things are important to youngsters! A Dobsonian mount as used on the Heritage is so simple to use as well.

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I got my son the Celestron 76 mm Firstscope (which I think is the same as the SW heritage 76?) and he loves it. It's not a bad 'scope really, and with a couple of other eyepieces (the 10mm and 26mm SW kit eyepieces from another 'scope) it's a pretty usable system.

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Thanks for the advice guys....

I've decided to go for the Celestron 76 Firstscope as recommended by Ben Ritchie. It's on offer with a few accessories at Harrison Telescopes at the moment.

Having thought about it a little more, I think the more compact nature and the easy dob mount is more important than the number of objects it can see at this stage. The moon, Jupiter, Saturn etc still impress me so I'm sure finding these targets himself and seeing them through his own scope (however small) will be enough to keep him intrested for a while. If he decides he wants to get a scope with better optics further down the line then there'll be other Birthdays and Christmasses where he can have an upgrade.

You never know, Mrs Lankywolf might let him have that 10" dob that his dad's wanted for the last 12 months. :)

Thanks again to you all for the advice and I was tempted by the SW capricorn 70.

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