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comeonborouk
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Hi,

I have just got into the telescoping bug, always been in awe of the stars and astro photography, Im on a restricted budget and got a Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ scope, im sure is a complete beginners scope :)

I have found the moon! :p I have also found Saturn.

Ok, my problems, point and click camera's are a pain, I point into the scope and I dont get what my eye see's. I am stood for a substantial period of time, moving the scope, pointing the camera, moving the camera all over, getting the picture only to find the picture has moved, reapeat ;) Its all very frustrating, tho' I did get a very small picture of Saturn and I was very happy with my first picture of the moon :)

To my point :) Saturn was about the size of a pin's head on my scope, I'm a little bogged down with all the technicalities on scopes, I know my scope is a beginners one, I want to be realistic, will I get bigger views of Saturn on it? If so, how, do I buy a barlow lens x2? As things are quite expensive for me and its a new hobby I dont want to be throwing my money away ;)

Also, Len's, I read a forum post saying AstroMaster's are rubbish, is it just the Len's or are the scopes also frowned upon? If its just the len's (which Im hoping it is) then what "budget" lens are recommended?

Hello to you all again, and thank you in advance for any wisdom shared with a complete beginner :)

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Welcome to SGL

I've not used the 70AZ, but if you repost your questions in one of the Beginners sections there's probably more chance that someone who has will see it. A barlow may give you a larger image, but there's a limit to what it can do. If there's not enough light gathered by the telescope in the first place then spreading that light over a larger area isn't going to help at all. I'm not sure what eyepieces you get with the telescope, but if it's a 20mm and a 10mm then barlowing the 20mm will just give you the equivalent of the 10mm you already have and barlowing the 10mm is probably going to be asking too much of the telescope. If you want to go down that route you'd probably be better off buying an 8mm or 7mm eyepiece. Any eyepiece or barlow worth having is probably going to cost in the £40 to £50 region, so if you're on a tight budget then second hand may well be your best way forward.

James

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Hi Comeonborouk and welcome to SGL, the term beginners scope is a little misleading, the person behind the eye piece may be very new to Astronomy, but the modern optical instruments in use, such as the Celestron 70AZ, is of better quality than many scopes of yesteryear, that resulted in a lot of the Astronomy knowledge that we have to-day. There is much for you to learn and as James has said posting your questions in the various sections of the forum should bring you the help you need :)

John.

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Hi and welcome to the forum. It's not so much that the scopes themselves are poor performers (...many are pretty good considering the cost) but the mounts that come with them are made to a price and their fragility can make observing at higher magnifications a bit of a pain.You don't need an expensive scope to learn the sky, to star hop and to have fun exploring the features of the moon but when it comes to imaging, the technical requirements for a good image require a stable setup and good optics that can sufficiently capture enough 'data' to help construct a final image. The Sky@Night magazine has had some good basic imaging guides in recent times which might be accessible through their archive along with a great book by Steve Richards entitled "Making Every Photon Count" which is a comprehensive guide that might help you plan any future ambitions in astrophotography.

Clear skies and hope you enjoy the forum,

James

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Welcome to SGL. A couple of things you might find useful, especially on those occasional cloudy nights, are Stellarium (a free download) and a book called "Turn left at Orion". A sky atlas such as Sky and Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas will be handy as well.

http://www.stellarium.org/

Good luck and clear skies :smiley:

Jason

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