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ultraQuiche

Hello from Alberta

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Hello everyone,

I am an engineering student based in Fort McMurray, AB. I am new to astronomy, but am keen on taking up some backyard astronomy at the conclusion of this very intense academic year.

My other interests include writing/recording/listening to music, collecting fountain and dip pens, and calligraphy etc. Interestingly enough, I have definitely found myself a home in Engineering.

So I expect to buy a telescope this summer, and I have what seems to me to be a pretty solid plan: get a non-computerized Orion Sirius mount (because I can get it bundled with a wide range of Orion telescopes), with something on it. That is where I am a little confused. I am thinking of either a bigger [8''?] Newtonian for the BFB factor, or a good small doublet APO. Smaller SCTs are not out of the question as they seem to be a nice compromise between aperture and portability. I have done tons of research, and my lead prof is an astronomy PhD. Maybe this is not the right subforum for telescope selection, if so, please do move this thread.

I live in one extremity of my small city. Most of the people in my neigbourhood turn their lights off at night, and I have a very open view of the night sky. There is a streetlight at the front of my house (not visible from my potential viewing location), and some straight ahead in the distance. I wouldn't have to drive too far to get to a really dark site, but I want to just work from my backyard in the beginning.

Back to the plan - get a stripped-down, telescope-and mount rig, get a feel and appreciation for visual observing, then start thinking about AP. That is the ultimate goal, but I want to first have my fun with observing.

I would appreciate everybody's input, especially about the telescope. 

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Welcome to SGL

James

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Hi and a warm welcome to SGL. You seem as if you have a  nice dark site there and that's always a plus.

Regarding your choice of kit, I can only advise on AP as I don't really do much observation. I do know though that if you want to do AP at some point you will need an equatorial mount.  For long shutter speeds (imaging DSO) you will also need a goto mount which can track objects without star trails. For Planetary work you can manage with a much faster shutter speed so it's not necessary to go to the expense of a computerised mount.  

The problem is you really need to decide what you want to achieve and, if possible, future proof it so you don't have to replace kit within a relatively short space of time. The cost of AP set up can be much more expensive, so again it depends on your budget.  The best advice I can give is to take some time and look a different setups and see what will suit you most.

Good luck and Happy Stargazing.

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Humble thanks, everyone.

Sundancer10, the Sirius is an equatorial mount, and is compatible with future upgrades including goto and drives. Thanks for advising - sure you're right in that I shouldn't hardwire my rig in light of what I think will be optimal right now.

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Humble thanks, everyone.

Sundancer10, the Sirius is an equatorial mount, and is compatible with future upgrades including goto and drives. Thanks for advising - sure you're right in that I shouldn't hardwire my rig in light of what I think will be optimal right now.

Yes, you will be surprised just how quickly you can out grow some kit so keeping an eye on where you want your hobby to take you in 6 or 12 months is important.

I bought my setup listed in my signature 7 months ago after doing a lot of research on what I needed for AP. At first I selected Alt Az mount and fortunately realised in time it would not be useful for my needs (as I am interested in DSO's) and thankfully I didn't go ahead with my purchase.  

It's good that you can upgrade the Sirius later - I didn't realise it was a Goto.

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Hi and welcome to SGL - As an imager, all I can say is that you should get THE very best mount that you can afford. It may sound counter productive, but DSO AP is all about the mount. Get an insufficient one and you'll spend a lot of time and money repenting that decision.

Generally what is good for visual is not good for imaging, so perhaps a nice dob for visual and an 80ED refractor for imaging further down the line. Many people cut their imaging teeth with such a scope and with good reason.

Look forward to seeing you around :smiley:

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Hi There,

Warm welcome to EMS, you are  almost in the Northern Territories! Must have dark skies and frequent Aurora.

Echo comments above the mount is crucial. If you are starting out before parting with hard cash try a book alled 'making every photon count' this will save you money and heartache!.

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​Hi & Welcome to SGL. I too was veering towards a Alt Az mount until I joined SGL & was given advice etc. Still haven't purchased a scope but getting there.  Good luck with your purchase.

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Hi and welcome to the forum, You might want to consider posting your scope question over on the beginners equipment section as you are likely to get more responses there.  :smiley:

Clear skies

James

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Hi and welcome to the lounge

the mount is most important, whether it's for visual observing

or for A P, the better the mount is the less frustration with movement.

Good Luck and Clear Sky's

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Greetings from Tiree .  You have come to the right place!  I hope you enjoy this site as much as I do.

Richard

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Thank you all for your replies. I hope that I will contribute to the forum as much as I benefit from it.

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Hi UltraQuiche and welcome to SGL :)

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