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New telescope wanted. Any advice??


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Hi,

I'm a newbie to this forum, found it on Google and i'm hoping someone can help!

I currently have a cheap telescope, I can see the moon in great detail, saturn (a blur with rings), mars (a red blur) and jupiter (another blur!)

I'm looking at upgrading my equipment. I've been googling and decided I want a big one but thats as far as I've got. There's far too much choice and too many mixed reviews! I've found a skywatcher skyliner 250px (not flex tube) that i quite like the look of, i've read good reviews too. I know alot about space, im glued to documentaries and I have an app which tells me where things are in the sky. I often struggle aiming thanks to being practically blind in one eye but the "GOTO" device seems to add ALOT of money on making these scopes out of my price range?! Any reviews or advice on this scope or any substitution thoughts would be welcome!

By getting a bigger telescope of this sort of size are the planets much bigger or are they still a blur? I'm also interested in looking into deep space. I'd quite like to attach my camera to it too, I have a Lumix G10, does anyone know if I can connect it?

Sorry for all the questions!

Thanks :-)

Lisa x

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I'm also a newbie, but I understand that for 'proper' photography Dobsonian telescopes (like the Skyliner) are regarded as less than ideal. Even if you can track the object with the Goto, the image will rotate - making long exposures blurry, and stacking harder. At least, that's what I've read, and it makes sense.

What type of finder are you using to aim with at the moment? The Skyliner 250px comes with a finder scope, and I think you're supposed to look through them with one eye? (They're like a low power scope you use to aim the main scope with.) I think that'd be cheaper option than a GOTO drive.

And I gather that the limits of magnification are more to do with the atmosphere than the aperture of the telescope. A larger aperture will give better contrast and detail, and you'll be able to see dimmer objects (useful for deep space objects) - but that the size of the planets will be pretty much the same. I know that when I looked through a friend's 10" scope Jupiter was the same size as through my 5" - but it was crisper and more 'real' with his (though not bad with mine!)

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If I can comment on just one part of your post, a larger telescope can give a sharper image at higher power, but the main benefit is a brighter and more detailed view.

For instance, if I view Jupiter with my small refractor, it's a fine sight, but if I use my 10" Dob, I tend to not use much higher magnification than with the much smaller one, but the view is brighter and a lot more detail can be seen. But the extra detail is seen with a long and careful look, waiting for moments when the atmosphere is less turbulent.

Of course there are objects completely invisible in my small refractor that can be seen in the larger one. But the little refractor can show up to 5 degrees of sky (about 10 moon diameters) something that the 10" Dob cannot achieve.

Hope that helps a bit, Ed.

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Hi Lisa and welcome.

Can I ask what scope you currently use?

If you get the 250skyliner you'll be rightly impressed. But as said above, size is not the issue. Size of the image is a function of the focal length of the scope and eyepiece.

A bigger scope should give you more detail for the same size on planets.

Deep sky objects should then be brighter as the bigger mirror captures more photons, which then reach the mk1 eyeball.

Typed by me on my fone, using fumms... Excuse eny speling errurs.

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Hi Lisa, welcome to SGL

If you are interested in visual observation, the dobsonian is one of the best choice you can make for a given budget. However, to balance that, it's one of the worse choice for imaging. You won't be able to do much more than getting snaps of the moon with your G10.

Planets are bright, but they are tiny, so you need high magnification. Under perfect seeing, a big scope should show a brighter and more detailed image. However, under normal UK condition, atmospheric turbulence will limits your view and reducing the benefits of the larger scope.

Deep sky observation is a different matter. You need to collect as much photons as possible for DSO observation, so a larger scope almost always wins.

You can attach your G10 to your telescope using a T-micro 4/3 adapter. FLO should sell them. If you want to take picture of anything other than the moon, you need a mount that tracks. The entry level astrophotography mount is an HEQ5. It is usually used with a 3" apo refractor. Imaging telescope have a different set of requirement to visual telescope. Rather than as big as possible, imaging telescope size is limit by the mount that carries it.

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I'm looking at upgrading my equipment. I've been googling and decided I want a big one but thats as far as I've got. There's far too much choice and too many mixed reviews!

An 8" Dobsonian is simple, relatively cheap, and will teach you a lot. An 8" aperture is big enough to throw up a bright image of most common celestial objects and there's no need to purchase additional mounts or tripods. You'll be hard pressed to find a 'mixed review' for the 200p or the 250p or the quality and attention of service from First Light Optics.

Just a word of warning here. If possible, check out the sizes of these telescopes and their weight. Portability may not be an issue, but you'll be quite surprised at the size of a 10".

By getting a bigger telescope of this sort of size are the planets much bigger or are they still a blur? I'm also interested in looking into deep space. I'd quite like to attach my camera to it too, I have a Lumix G10, does anyone know if I can connect it?

I think it's safe to say that if you approach stargazing with the expectation that most celestial objects in your telescope are going to appear dim, grey and featureless blobs, you will dissipate disappointment. The excitement of visual astronomy is in part knowing and pondering both visually and mentally what those objects are.

To get some idea of what can be seen, it might be an excellent idea to check out sketches.

Hope this helps a little and welcome to SGL, Lisa :icon_salut:

Edited by Qualia
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Thanks for all the comments. I ended up with the skylines 250px and built it up tonight!! My previous scope was a celestron astromaster 70, my mum got me it as a birthday present last year and although its relatively cheap compared to most scopes I am happy with it but wanted a bigger scope to see more as I was pretty limited, but the moon was great through it and you could sort of see saturns rings (which kept my other half happy!!) I'd be happy with a clearer image rather than bigger so you can look and say "oh that's Jupiter!!" Rather than "this app says this is Jupiter" haha. Still think I might struggle aiming but lucky for me my other half is just as eager to jump on the scope so he can be my GOTO now ;-) now praying for a clear night to spy some planets!!! Thanks again you've all been really informative! And that's for letting me know the adaptor size I've wanted to know for a long time :)

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