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I never thought something so small could give so much pleasure...

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I recently bought a second-hand Evostar 120 refractor, but just my luck, no second-hand mounts have come up for sale! So, while I save up for a brand new SkyTee 2, I thought I would be limited to my 15x70 bins.

But no. What was in the big box delivered by courier yesterday morning?

Only a Skywatcher Mercury 707 refractor (70mm aperture), complete with mount and eyepieces! The wife had got fed up of me sulking and thought she'd surprise me.

It only took a few minutes to set it up, and about 9.00pm I picked it up and plonked it down in the back garden. It may only be very basic, but the advantage of that is that you can be at the eyepiece virtually straight away.

After spending an hour just slowly sweeping the sky and getting used to it, Jupiter had come into view. I was only using the 25mm eyepiece, but could easily make out two bands across the planets surface, and all four moons. I was that enthralled I forgot to try either the 10mm or the barlow. I spent an hour just tracking Jupiter, amazed that such a small telescope could show such detail from my very light-polluted garden.

Obviously, I am looking forward to getting the Evostar 120 up and running, but this little gem has eased the pain of having to wait.

For anyone just starting out on a really tight budget, why not try one of these? It cost £84.99 inc. delivery.

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Nothing wrong with a 70mm, have used one a lot and probably gets used more then the bigger ones. Just easier to take to meetings and show people the cheaper side of astronomy.

We can put too much emphasis on size and not usability.

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  • 2 weeks later...

70mm aperture, 700mm FL, F10..........................

This scope will give you amazing views of the planets: Mars,Saturn,Jupiter

I have a 90mm,1000mm FL, F11 refractor (its an EQ mount so i dont use it often) but i have to say the times i do use it......................it gives me the best views of the planets that i have seen.

For planets, It runs rings around my 130mm, F5 scope.

The 130mm scope though runs rings around the 90mm when observing DSO.

My 70mm refrac is brilliant for wide field observing.

Different setup for different objects.

P.S.~~~~you have a very lovely wife. That was so nice of her to do that for you.

Enjoy the scope.


P.P.S~~~I REALLY must look into getting a simple Alt-Az mount for my 90mm scope. If i had a drill i could adapt the base plate of the rings to fit it onto my 8115 tripod.

Maybe thats the way to go cuz i really dont get along with EQ mounts.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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