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Celestron Astromaster 130EQ + laptop


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Hi there guys, this will be my first post so please be patient with me bow.gif


I've discovered that my partner has got me a Celestron Astromaster 130EQ for Christmas. This will be my first ever telescope and I have never used a telescope before just showed an interest in astronomy due to some fascinating documentaries out there.

Now I know this is a beginners Telescope which is great for me for now as I need to learn from the ground up and be sure my enthusiasm isn't just a flash in the pan.

I live in the UK, central London which I hear isn't great for viewing the night sky.

Well I have just a couple of questions:

1) Is it possible to connect a digital Camera, Iphone or Laptop to the Celestron Astromaster 130EQ to take pictures ?

2) Are there any must have I should make sure I purchase to compliment and achieve great results when using the telescope?

3) Are you able to punch in coordinates on this particular  telescope to pinpoint the target object ?

4) If anyone has this telescope, could you post any photo if possible to show what images the telescope is capable of taking?

Thanks

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Hi Sony007, to be honest I think your best route would be a webcam for pictures of the moon and possibly planets, but your first priority should be visual astronomy so that you can get used to using the telescope, especially in light-polluted skies.  You cannot punch in co-ordinates to this telescope, that is the reserve of GOTO type computerised telescopes, which the Astromaster 130EQ is not I am afraid.

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Hello there Brown Dwarf and thanks for the quick reply.

Yes I agree, I need to learn the basics first before jumping in the the (deeper) end so to speak.  Is it going to be alot more challenging locating targets without a 'GOTO TYPE COMPUTERISED' telescope?

As I have yet to open let alone see the telescope as yet would I be wise to concider getting another model as absolute beginner or will this be more than enough for all my beginner needs?

I've seen a Celestron Nexstar 5SE & 8SE Computerised GoTo Telescope on ebay which also has good reviews. Should I risk being called ungrateful by my partner and ask her to return the 130EQ and order maybe the Nexstar ?

I just don't want to feel I'm able to gain great results due to not having the right scope even for a beginner.

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Ahh yes I have already downloaded this piece of software but thank you.

I've just been looking in the imaging section on thie forum and seen the photos which have been uploaded - WOW. 

Would my scope be able to see similar images ?

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1) Is it possible to connect a digital Camera, Iphone or Laptop to the Celestron Astromaster 130EQ to take pictures ?

Possible, yes. Capable of good results may be another matter. You've three main options. Digiscoping, holding (with your hand or a bracket) a compact camera over the eyepiece, is suited to lunar and daytime shots. Webcam imaging, inserting an adapted webcam in place of the eyepice, is suited to planetary imaging. Prime focus DSLR imaging, attaching a DSLR body to the scope so the scope acts as a telephoto lens, is suited to deep-sky imaging, but I doubt you'll have much luck with your scope.

2) Are there any must have I should make sure I purchase to compliment and achieve great results when using the telescope?

Collimation tool. Get a Cheshire, or if you're cheapskate make a collimation cap. Don't bother with a laser, cheap lasers can be inaccurate.

 

3) Are you able to punch in coordinates on this particular  telescope to pinpoint the target object ?

Nope, gotta find things yourself. It takes practice, but take a careful step-by-step approach to 'star hopping' and you'll get the hang of it.

The scope is probably capable of decent images, possibly with modification. It's the mount and tripod it sits on that won't be up to the job for deep-sky imaging.

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Ahh yes I have already downloaded this piece of software but thank you.

I've just been looking in the imaging section on thie forum and seen the photos which have been uploaded - WOW. 

Would my scope be able to see similar images ?

NO!

no

and no again :sad:

your eyes take a picture every 1/24th of a second. Those pictures are taken using very high tech CCD large camera sensors (often larger than the retina on the back of your eye) for several HOURS!

so in effect what you are seeing in the imaging gallery is the sum of half a million 'eyeball shots' all stacked together and superimposed on to your brain at once.

your eyes see in black a white at night, so you will see grey smudges for galaxies, fuzzy balls with some discernable stars for globular clusters, faint whisps of nebula and half decent views of planets.

Planets under higher mag will be about the size of a 5p held at arms length, jupiter you may see 3 or 4 cloud bands and its 4 main moons and maybe the red spot, saturn with its rings and maybe a moon or two, etc

add in light pollution from central london, I'm afraid solar system objects are pretty much all you will get, other than some nice asterisms and maybe some of the larger/brighter deep sky stuff. I had a celestron 130, its a good starter scope and it can show you an awful lot of great stuff up there - but ideally you need to escape from the street lights to see it.

Its an easy to use telescope if you use a bit of patience initially, first couple of sessions I was swearing at it, until i worked out how to use the mount and scope properly. Then it all clicked and i had a wonderful time with it.

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Hi,

I have an astromaster 130 and have attached my DSLR and used my Nokia smartphone to take pictures and video. I will happily admit they are not that great but will give you an idea of what is possible without much practice. I have attched some pictures of the moon as this is probably the easiest target, and the first thing most people will want to see with a new telescope. You will be able to see many things visually although I suspect the light pollution from your location will make it more difficult than most.

post-27998-0-28763600-1387898395_thumb.j

Taken with my phone held up to the 10mm eyepiece (hence the slight blurriness). You can buy proper mounts to hold the phone so it is more stable but I have not got one.

post-27998-0-11323600-1387898562_thumb.j

Taken with a DSLR attached using a T-ring. I did not focus very well and only took a few pictures that night.

I have had the scope for about a year and have only just got my head around using the motor drive as my main observing time is actually looking at objects rather than photographing them. A lot more time and practice and who knows what I may do?!

Michael

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Hello there Brown Dwarf and thanks for the quick reply.

Yes I agree, I need to learn the basics first before jumping in the the (deeper) end so to speak.  Is it going to be alot more challenging locating targets without a 'GOTO TYPE COMPUTERISED' telescope?

As I have yet to open let alone see the telescope as yet would I be wise to concider getting another model as absolute beginner or will this be more than enough for all my beginner needs?

I've seen a Celestron Nexstar 5SE & 8SE Computerised GoTo Telescope on ebay which also has good reviews. Should I risk being called ungrateful by my partner and ask her to return the 130EQ and order maybe the Nexstar ?

I just don't want to feel I'm able to gain great results due to not having the right scope even for a beginner.

I have the same astromaster scope, but the MD version,  I bought it before I discovered this forum, misunderstood what I was buying and assumed the motor drive meant it would act like what I now know is a GOTO mount, when I realised my mistake I visited a local Astro retailer, (again didn't know existed until I found SGL) and bought a skywatcher AZ goto mount for it. think I paid circa £150 for the original scope, and another £160 for the mount  could have got the total Skywatcher 130p synscan for about £40 less.

Having said that the astromaster is a great scope for a newbie to the hobby like me

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Thank you very must for posting those photos Michael, much appreciated.  Do you use then lenses that came with the scope upon purchase or did you purchase a few other accessories? 

Nebula, your skywatcher AZ goto mount sounds interesting, so would I be right in saying you can now control your scope via your phone app as well as punch in coordinated and your scope will automatically align to your target using GOTO?

I haven't open my gift as yet but I think the scope does have the motor drive for auto tracking.

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Thank you very must for posting those photos Michael, much appreciated.  Do you use then lenses that came with the scope upon purchase or did you purchase a few other accessories? 

Nebula, your skywatcher AZ goto mount sounds interesting, so would I be right in saying you can now control your scope via your phone app as well as punch in coordinated and your scope will automatically align to your target using GOTO?

I haven't open my gift as yet but I think the scope does have the motor drive for auto tracking.

HI, Its Hazegood,(or Haze)  Nebula is the rank on the site, not my username,

No, idea if it can be controlled via a phone app, however Its standard GOTO, you align the scope on the 2 or 3 brightest stars, then use the handset to locate objects.

what I am saying is the OTA, the tubes or scope itself will fit on a goto mount, but may end up costing more as in my case, so you maybe better returning it, and purchasing the full package

Sorry I cannot tell you more about different ways to control it,  someone more knowledgeable  will though

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No you've been extremely helpful so thank you hazegood. But yes that is the dilemma should consider a new mount or upset my misses and return the item! On reflection I think I'll be happy with what I currently have but as soon as I know what I'm doing I'll review my options so to speak. 

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At the moment I just have the eyepieces that came with the scope but would like to upgrade in the future. I have added a barlow to get better planetary views but a 5mm eyepiece would be an improvement.

The best thing for me was to get rid of the red dot finder and replace it with a Rigel (as it was smaller than a Telrad). I could not use the RDF and could not find anything! You may get on better with it - some people do, but it really made a big difference to me.

As was said above, take your time to get to grips with using the mount and finding where all the knobs are in the dark before thinking of upgrading. I have had lovely views of nebulae, planets and galaxies so the scope is perfectly capable as long as you can point it in the right direction.

Michael

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SONY, do not rush into anything and just make do with what you have for the immediate future. I took up this hobby just over a year since and spent far too much that I did not need to to get where I am.

that said I am happy now but I have had some luck in getting me here in terms of cash but this hobby can get very costly, very quickly. Be patient and ask lots of questions and read old material on here.

better still, go to an astro club inyour area and ask to use some of thier gear, find out how it works, the pro and cons of it all before you start making rash decision s. Trust me, I have been there.

Steve

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Hi Sony007, hope you are pleased with your telescope, as others have said, it is a very capable one and probably feels a bit strange to use at first, but stick with it and get some good viewing in to see what it is capable of.  Don't think about photography yet, see some of the wonders in the night sky first.  If you want to consider photography, first have a read of Steve Richards book, the bible for beginners here, worth every penny:  http://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/making-every-photon-count-steve-richards.html

Good luck with your viewing and enjoy your telescope!

Edited by rwilkey
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Hi sony007,

I used one of those scopes for nearly three years. To be fair, it has its good points and its bad points. But overall, it's a great beginners scope.

As for using it for photography, I would recommend a web can but only for the moon and maybe the planets. I only tried the moon with mine.

Here are the kind of results you can expect to see.

post-18718-0-57140100-1388265865.jpegpost-18718-0-68341400-1388265881.jpegpost-18718-0-98573400-1388265893.jpegpost-18718-0-72830300-1388265909.jpeg

I would stick with it. Even if it's just while you learn the ropes.

Hope you enjoy your scope.

D.C

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