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Skywatcher explorer 130m?

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I'm new to astronomy and looking to buy my first telescope...excited!! I'm always looking at sky, moon & stars and can't wait to see the planets. I'm looking for advice to what anybody thinks of the skywatcher explorer 130m? As I've not had a telescope before nor have I used a telescope before I'm really stuggling to understand what would be the best telescope for me. Something easy to use, be able to see planets and if I would need to buy extras to go with a telescope. Any advice would be so helpful and much appreciated :)



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Try the skywatcher heritage 130p . It's the same mirror but on a simple left / right / up and down mount . It's a perfect beginners scope . Many here recomend . Some experienced observers like them as grab and go set ups .

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Try the skywatcher heritage 130p . It's the same mirror but on a simple left / right / up and down mount . It's a perfect beginners scope . Many here recomend . Some experienced observers like them as grab and go set ups .

I think the 130p would have a parabolic mirror whereas the 130m doesn't. The parabolic mirror would be better.

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Well I'd go with the heritage 130p personally , leaves some money spare incase you want an extra eyepiece or star atlas ect.

But for £200 you might also consider the Skyliner 150p dob. Gives you 6" aperture which is a good dollop of light grasp and it's on a dob mount which is intuitive to use.

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Hi Jade,

I have the Skywatcher 130, which is the same as the one you mentioned except the mount doesn't have a motor.

The telescope itself is a nice little performer, I've gotten excellent detail on the moon, and good views of Jupiter, the Orion Nebula and spotted all few other things, all in only a few weeks. I'm already looking at upgrading the eyepieces, as the 10mm one that comes with it is a little Rubbish. The 25mm is much better in comparison. Budget for an eyepiece within a few months, trust me you'll be wondering what better views you can eke out of your scope.

You should read up on the differences between a Dobsonian mount and the EQ mount, each has advantages and disadvantages. The EQ2mount that comes with the 130 is fairly light and does tend to wobble easily. A sack of sand on the accessory tray does improve things a bit though. However, once you learn how to polar align it, it makes tracking objects at high magnification so easy - manually anyway!

People so far have mentioned parabolic mirrors, they are better than the flat one that comes with the 130m.

The 130/150 mentioned so far refers to the size of the mirror/aperture... Bigger is better!

I'd recommend finding a local astronomy club and going to an open evening if you can. You'll be able to take a look through their telescopes and get a better idea of what it is you want to get from whatever scope you do buy.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I have the 130M, overall I am happy with it and most people here have gone over the main points.

I agree that the mount can be a bit wobbly, but if properly aligned etc then the motor will keep things in view for a good length of time which has been handy for us when we've been trying a little bit of webcam astrophotography!

As with the post above, jupiter, moon, saturn, orions nebula, ring nebula, andromeda...all things I've been able to see with it. Stock eyepieces are ok, though the 25mm is definitely better than the 10mm and the barlow isn't great. Good enough to get you started though, but an upgrade will be required once you've started learning your way around. Although I have no experience with a parabolic mirror, I am of the opinion that I could probably get better pictures if I had one.

Astronomy is a funny old hobby though, no matter what you buy before long you'll be wanting to add something to it, or just upgrade all together! If you want something that's going to give you a little bit of tracking help then the 130M is a good compromise. I think FLO sell the motor alone for a Skywatcher EQ2 mount for about 60 quid, so if you go for the 130P you could add this in a later date.

Just had  a look on the FLO website and they have the celestron 130 EQ2MD (similar mount with a motor drive, same aperture size) for £149 which would be cheaper than the skywatcher. Not entirely sure on the differences between the two, but I think the celstron may have  a parabolic mirror? So optics may be a little better, the mount may be a little more flimsy, I'm not sure. Someone may be able to advise though and that should leave enough in the budget to get a collimation cap as well and perhaps one or two other extras.

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Thank you all so much your advice has being great help. I'm going to do a bit more reading up before I finally decided which scope to get :)

Thanks again

If you are any where near Wakefield try Wakefield and District AS - we'd be happy to discuss scopes or try some on an observing session.

Edited by Sammyb
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