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Choosing the first telescope: Heritage 130 or Virtuoso

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I ve always been fascinated by astronomy and space but i've recently decided to try being more actively involved. I realize it' s topic that has been repeatedly discussed so I hope it's not too much trouble. After much research i've decided upon three telescopes 1 . The very popular heritage, http://www.astroshop.eu/skywatcher-dobson-telescope-n-130-650-heritage-flextube-dob/p,14966

2. The virtuoso which comes with a tracking device and two different tubes



I live in the city and i will be using i there and also i will take it with me on excursions, so it needs to be portable and easy to carry. Which one do you think will have a better viewing experience? Is the tracking mechanism worth it, or is it just as easy and fun without it ? Is the difference between a 114 mm and a 130 mm aperture important? Is Saving the location of sky obects a valuable feature? Astrophotography sounds really interesting but I don't know if i would start right away with it or that i could afford it. Can you take simple planet and moon pictures with all of them? I hope i' m not being a nuisance and i will be really looking forward to your reply. Hopefully , other people will have similar dilemmas :-)

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Hi and welcome to SGL.  

It's very tough to give advice, because what suits one person may not suit another.

It sounds like you hope to purchase a first telescope, if so, you won't have any prior knowledge of what may work best for you.  I'd go for the Heritage 130p, but you do have to be prepared to learn the sky, manually find everything, and hand track to compensate for Earth's rotation.  Do you think you are up for that ?  If not, one of the others may be best for you.

A 130mm scope will pull in a bit more light than a 114mm, but there's not a huge difference.  If you can get out of town and away from light pollution, that would make a far bigger difference.

One thing you will have to sort out with any of the 3 telescopes you mention, and that is the fact that they have a table top mount - they are intended to be used on a solid table or other stable surface.

You could use a  bench or something similar, or adapt a tripod to fit.  If you don't, you will be kneeling on the ground to look into the eyepiece.  If there's no suitable place to put the scope on, you will have to take a tripod or other support to wherever you will observe from.   That's ok if you are at home or travelling by car on your excursions, but not so good if you will have to walk very far with your kit.

Not wishing to discourage you from imaging at all, but if it were me, I'd get a grounding in basic observing first.

Hope that helps, at least a bit.  Perhaps others will have more to say.

Regards, Ed.

Edited by NGC 1502
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If I were you I would stick with a manual dob - electronics are great and all, but use batterys which add weight and can also be frustrating to correctly set up.

You can get push to with a app such as sky eye which does almost the same thing

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thank you so much for your response, it has been really helpful :) I'm leaning towards the heritage, I guess trying to find your way around the sky and tracking may be part of the fun! unless  it's frustrating at times: ) Regarding the mount, it seems that for beginners a dobsonian mount is recommended, maybe it's easier to assemble and use and I think that I prefer a grab and go choice. However, I hadn't thought of what type of surface i will be using outdoors, couln't I just put it on the ground, or does it need to be a level surface ? I don't think I would mind sitting on the ground .However,  the Virtuoso mount includes a level spirit and leveling legs, would that be better for placing on the ground? And could you adapt a tripod later on for the heritage? If you have other telescope suggestion I would love to hear about them :)

Regards, Sofia

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Hello Sofia,

welcome to the lounge :-)

I also own the heritage, I bought it after purchasing a 10" as the 130p is so portable.

I just place it on the ground, take one of those little camping stools or a foam-seat pad to sit or kneel on the ground.

Alternatively you can build/buy a transport box that doubles as table out on the field. On the balcony I use a IKEA steps/table.

The virtuoso look nice at first sight, but I would not buy them. The 114/500 has an aperture ratio more critical then the Heritage, and even though it is advertises with a parabolic mirror, the heritage's history of varying mirror quality suggests that one should stay clear of f/4 entry level scopes.

Also f/4.4 would require better eyepieces and show coma on the outer field more noticably.

The small Maksutov telescope is nice too, I have a 102/1300 maksutov and use it on a camera tripod. 90mm would limit the maximum magnification and resolution, and very much limits deepsky. A Mak is a nice portable telescope though, so a 102mm or 127mm might be another solution. Maksutov have a few disadvantages such as cooling times and smaller field of view, but are nice travel telescopes for planets.

My 102mm Mak can cope with the heritage, as the heritage is more suited for deep sky and wide field viewing, but for the price the heritage is tough to beat and will show nice, small planets as well :-)

Are you already aware that a telescope will show planets and deep sky differently then space documentaries and telescope advertisement suggest?


As for deep sky, aperture is key, and the fun really starts at 8": http://clarkvision.com/visastro/m51-apert/ (under dark skies, multiple eyepieces, long observing... More the impression after a night of observing then what you instantly see through your telescope with the "untrained" eye).

This by no means that the Heritage is not suited for deepsky or planets, no way, it is a good compromise, and the most portable telescope in that price region with 5" aperture.

I was not able to see the spiral structure of the galaxy m51 with it, but it did show a band connecting the two cores, even from within the "small" city I live in.

I also drag it out on the balcony for Jupiter, mars and Saturn, almost every night, as it is so light and easy to set up within a minute. Mars is a bit tricky, only seen a hint of texture (darker area, white cap) with it, but seen the Cassini division of saturn's rings and the cloud bands of Jupiter, even though not as crisp as the Mak.

You will have to purchase one or two aditional eyepieces to really make use of the Heritage in the long term, starting at 20€ each. Don't buy just any eyepieces though, but giving advice now would probably go to far (*cough* UWA with gold line, Orbinar erfle, HR Planetary TS NED, BST explorer *cough*).

You can allways "upgrade" the heritage with a goto mount. The nexstar slt mount costs 190-210€ sometimes and I bought it for video astronomy. Not a perfect combination but works well, I would think much better then the table top mounts.

GOTO is nice, but you will still have to learn about the night sky in case the automatic alignment does not work, or if the goto misses an object by a little bit.

With a good book such "turning left at orion" or the German "sternen-atlas für Kleinteleskope" (Vizi), it is easy to find objects just using your brain and eyes ;-)

Also, planning on the free http://Stellarium.org/de helps.

For Planets only I would suggest a 127mm Maksutov, it is quite more expensive though. So the heritage is the best budget telescope in the 5" range, even though mirror quality varies.

The only cheaper way involves some DIY builing.

Imaging is a whole different subject. Snapshots of the moon are easy with almost every telescope. The Heritage has an open tube that can be closed with a bit of cardboard easily, and lasts suprisingly long. Even with that is it not suited for sun filter observing.

Planets without tracking get tricky, but it is possible if your expectations are low.

IF you can afford AND transport it: A 6 or even 8" dobsonian (250€/330€) will show so much more, but you can not use it on a balcony as they are usually too narrow.

But I do not know If that is above your limit allready.

Also, I was wondering why you link to Astroshop?

Are you from Germany as well?

They have a great selection but gave me some mediocre advice a few years back, and their beginner telescope descriptions are rather questionable sometimes. It has been discussed often at the German astronomy forums.

In any case, I hope you find a nice telescope, there is so much to explore, and seeing it with your own eyes is more amazing then any Hubble image, despite the view through the telescope seems less impressive to some.

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thank so much you for the extensive and detailed reply! It's really helpful and the links are very interesting. I guess there is a lot to know and I'm happy there is a forum such as this one for guidance . I realise that the images from a telescope are not comparable to hubble images but the whole experience and process seems thrilling and I can't wait to start. I think that the heritage is the best choice for me, at least for now, and whilst i would be willing to spend more money on a bigger aperture, I don't think that the weight and size of the telescope would be convenient .. I 'm looking for something that would be easy to handle and carry and at this point maybe the heritage is the best choice. I checked a 150 mm skywatcher dobsonian and it weighs 25 kilos (http://www.astroshop.eu/skywatcher-dobson-telescope-n-150-1200-skyliner-classic-dob/p,15559#tab_bar_1_select)  so that would hinder me from using it as often as I would like. Another one I found was the 150 orion dobson


and the


but I'n not sure what their size and weight is and if they are significantly beter than the heritage.

As for astroshop, I'm not from Germany but I really liked the layout and variety of the site so I that's why I'm using it. If you have any other suggestion or advice I would be really glad to read it.

Thank you once again for your help


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the 150/750 would show a tad more, but I never seen them or read reviews. I would guess the weight would be higher and the overall thing would be more bulky. The heritage 130p is already thick and requires a larger backpack.

The Heritage 130p will be better then the 114/450 due to the more relaxed focal ratio and a bit more aperture.

The main thing is aperture, so 114mm < 130mm < 150mm.

For visual astronomy, the aperture ratio (focal length divided by aperture) is not as relevant as for photography - as the eyepiece will determine magnification and exit pupil, but at f/4 the system will show coma (long stars) at the outer field, and cheap eyepieces will only be sharp in the center of the field.

At f/5, such as the heritage, it is a bit more relaxed but still quite noticeable.

At f/6 or f/8, such as the larger 6 or 8 inch dobsonians, it gets less noticeable, cheap eyepieces work fine, but the telescopes are longer.

A 6 or 8" dobsonian can be transported in a spring suspended bike hanger (from 50€), I got one of those kids bike hangers that I can use with my bike or just use as "jogger" to get my stuff to the nearby field. Those cary 20 to 30kg.

I don't know why the 150p dobsonian is specified with 24kg, even the 8"/200p is lighter then that, http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p39_GSO-Dobson-200-1200mm---Aktionsmodell---ab-12-Jahren.html

Can you reach a fairly dark location by foot? Milky way visible, ursa minor 's stars visible?

If it needs to be ultra portable, a smaller Mak (4") might be a solution. With a 6kg heritage 130p, star map, red light, eyepieces (...) the backpack is full ;-) But it's worth it.

To address photography again, a mak can be easily fitted to a dslr camera using a t2 adapter, and double as el-cheapo tele lens (1300mm) with manual focus.

Night time photography is a whole lot different then daytime photography.

Moon is no trouble, but planets are tiny, move quickly at high magnification, and the heritage has a short focal length.

Snapshots will most likely be blurry, hard to make, but you will be able to recognize the planets.

What kind of camera do you own?

Most of the time you will have focusing problems with newtonians as the starter telescopes are made for visual use, not for imaging. Thanks to the flextube machanism of thw heritage, it can be done, is a bit tricky as you will have to solely focus with that, due to the shaky focus ring. With cardboard tube mod it works though.

If you want to use your cellphone or compact camera, you will need a camera clamp/holder for 15-25€ or DIY and take the image through an eyepiece, as you would have to remove the xamera lens to use the telescope directly.


If imaging is a must-have, you will benefit from a tracking mount. Though the cheap ones have limits, and the equatorial/german mounts are required for long exposure images of deepsky objects.The smallest sturdy eq mount, such as the neq3, will cost as much as the heritage itself, without telescope or motor!

The nexstar slt mount have alt-az tracking only, is a bit plastick-y, but will work for short exposures such as for moon, planets and even some brighter deep sky objects. Longer exposure will show field rotation as the stars seem to rotate around polaris.

But if you look at the price of the Celestron NexStar SLT 127 or Celestron NexStar SLT 130 you will see why the manual dobsonians are so popular, and that the heritage 130p plus a 8" dobsonian would be the same price as the slt127 ;-) Okey, Amazon had it cheaper, but Goto always costs a lot compared to the telescope itself.

The Heritage will be a great budget telescope if you can cope with the little problems;

Open tube-> black cardboard+tape, will store inside the tube

f/5->Especially at the beginning cheap eyepieces are O.K., for a bit more TS NED, BST Explorer, HR Planetary will work good

Collimation-> As with any newtonian telescope, especially f/5, good collimation is key. 35mm Film canister with hole or a cheshire-sight tube tool €20

short/low telescope->Table, box, b average crate, small folding stool, seat pad on the ground, or buying/building a different mount

varying production mirror quality->It is not a "planet killer", but 130-160x magnification should work, if you are lucky, more.

Plastic screw ring focuser -> Can be ajusted with ptfe tape, but you can live with it.

Kit eyepieces and short focal length-> All telescope kit eyepieces are mediocre or worse. The 25mm is Okey-ish, the 10mm could be better. To really benefit from the heritage, you should get

-a nice wide angle overview eyepiece (depending on how dark your sky gets either 25 or 30mm).

-one with 2-3mm exit pupil for deep sky (exit pupil times aperture ratio equals 10-15mm eyepiece in this case),

-and one over 100x for planets, 200x only if the mirror is good and the seeing/air turbulences allow it


Stay clear of most zoom eyepieces, they usually have a narrow field of view on one side of the zoom.

Possible solutions sorted by price

Overview eyepiece

a) Keep the 25mm kit eyepiece

B) 30mm Plössl, 50deg, 15€ Seben/Orbinar (sells questionable quality telescopes, eyepieces are ok) a bit more field then the included 25mm kit eyepiece, unfortunately no eye cup (tinker-tip: pipe isolation), I use this one out on the field.

c) 20mm erfle eyepiece, 70 degree apparent field of view, from 22€, it's the one I use the most in the city.

d) 32mm Plössl, 52 degree apparent field of view, 30-40€ - will give you about the maximum field of view on a 1,25" focuser
e) 24-25mm 60-70deg, getting a bit more expensive, for example  25mm 58 Degree BST 50€

Note:  A 32mm eyepiece's exit pupil a bit on the large side. Under light polluted skies your  pupil will probably not open further then 5mm, most likely never over 6mm. A 32mm has  6,4mm exit pupil (32 divided by f/5). Light is being "wasted"

Deepsky eyepiece (2-3mm exit pupil, still a bright image, but the sky appears dark, giving good high contrast views for galaxies and nebulae)

a) The 10mm kit eyepiece

B) A 10 to 15mm Plössl, a tad better, the 10mm plössl have a short eye relief, getting difficult to view through

c) A 12mm seben/orbinar erfle with 70deg afov, 22€, eye relief a bit short but O.K.

d) A 9 or 15mm gold line UWA, 30€, modified plössl with nice 66 degree view, http://www.ebay.de/itm/wide-angle-eyepiece-1-25inches-66-degree-F-15mm-/140600338359?pt=UK_Telescope_Eyepieces&hash=item20bc6ee7b7

e) HR Planetary/bst/ned, even though they have less apparent field of view then the uwa, they are great eyepieces, sharp, good contrast, I love my 8mm HR Planetary

Note: do not get the eyepieces  too close together, a 15mm and a 20mm will not make too much sense with 650mm focal length and f/5, as the difference between 34x and 44x magnification will not be that great. For higher magnifications closer focal lengths are more advisable as depending on seeing conditions sometimes you can not magnify higher then 150x or 180x....

Planet eyepiece (and for smaller deep sky objects, of course)

Note: Planets will be tiny with 10mm = 65x at 650mm focal length

Check out  eyepiece simulation of Stellarium or  http://www.12dstring.me.uk/foveyepiece.php or http://www.sternfreunde-muenster.de/orechner.php to estimate field of view and magnification.

a) None. At 65x planets will be tiny, but you will be able to identify Saturn's rings and even Jupiter's major cloud bands.

B) 6 or 4mm Plössl for 9€. The eye relief of plössl under 10mm is VERY short. Some can tolerate the 6mm, I have a 4mm and I hate using it. Not only is it hard to concentrate, but your eye lashes smear over the lens. Not recommended. Neither the 4-6€ Cheapo eyepieces (cheaply made Ramsden, Hyugens type eyepieces).

c) 13€ ACHROMATIC barlow. It will double the magnification of any eyepiece, but lowers contrast and ads color fringe. A Apochromatic barlow could be used, but those are more expensive then getting two good eyepieces (which would be a better foundation). So a barlow would be a budget solution, I do not necessarily recommend it.

d) 6mm uwa 66deg gold line. UK 32€, China 24€. Only 108x magnification. Tinker tip 1: By increasing the distance of the top and bottom element you can increase the effective magnification. Tinker Tip 2: If you remove the front lens and screw in the 12mm erfle, you get around 180-200x.

d) hr planetary/bst/ts ned eyepiece for 40€ and up

Please note that neither Plössl nor Erfle perform excellent at f/5, but they are affordable eyepieces that perform well in the center of the field. The TS NED, HR Planetary and BST Explorer perform much better but cost 40 to 70€ each, thus three would cost as much as the telescope itself. The "gold line" where very popular in germany and have a good resale value, and the cheap plössl are a affordable upgrade that does not break the bank.

I did not mention eyepieces such as the Explore Scientific 82 degree eyepieces, as they are awesome but unfortunately cost even more.

Other then eyepieces you will need

-maps to find deepsky objects (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn are so bright you just need to know the general direction, so look them up im Stellarium). Turn left at orion contains a lot of beginner advice and tips on finding objects, else you could print free  maps for free that work, too.

Perhaps a turnable sky map/planisphere if you don't have a book/map with an overview

-Get a red dimmed light to preserve your eye's adjustment to the dark, even a dimmed cellphone or a red mode laptop will require you to re-adjust for 15 to 45 minutes again. This is  crucial when viewing deep sky objects, for planets, not so much, as they are bright.

Cheap red light: 1 dollar red bike tail light from china/ebay, either using old batteries, pressing a resistor between leas and battery, or simply darkening the plastic with permanent marker. 

-Warm clothing - even in June nights can get cold if you just stand there :-)

-http://www.ebay.de/itm/Dreibeinhocker-aus-Aluminium-faltbar-Stuhl-Falthocker-Angelhocker-Campinghocker-/171079705223?pt=DE_Garten_St%C3%BChle_Sessel&hash=item27d5252287 and http://www.ebay.de/itm/Schaumstoff-Portable-Sitzpad-Matte-Pad-Stuhlauflage-Faltbar-Wasserfest-Camping-/221272225630?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_77&hash=item3384da375e


Even with good maps and a dark spot you will have moments in which you won't find an object (especially in the beginning) and you want to throw the telescope into the nearest pond.

Binoculars have a wider field of view, even though the heritage already is considered a wide/rich field telescope.

It is much easier to find a star cluster or nebulae, then find the nearest bright star, and star-hop your way from there with the telescope.


I know that was a lot, but just trying to show the pro and cons, and what additional accessories you should consider buying.

It is not unusual to spend more on accessories then on the telescope itself, but of course you can start with the kit and add stuff later.

Good maps and eyepieces will increase the fun, and thanks to the low price of the heritage, there is more budget for a few goodies compared to the goto telescopes.

A 6mm66deg eyepiece for example will give you a nice impression of what it must have looked like to view out of the Apollo mission window... The kit eyepieces have a narrower field pf view.

The only cheaper way to enter the hobby with similar results is to buy a 114/900 telescope on shaky plastic mount for 75€ new or 50€ used and build a wooden dobsonian rockerbox for a few bucks.

As for shops, in the UK it would be FLO - first light optics, see the banner as they sponsor the forum.

Here in Germany my favorites are teleskop-Spezialisten and Teleskop-Express, both have a good reputation.

I hope I did not scare you with this long reply, I was bored and thought I add everything that is worth considering :-)

Edited by Schorhr
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thank you once again for this most informative reply! I can't begin to express my gratitude. It has raised a lot of questions and I'm not sure I have completely understood all the technicalities but I'm guessing things are going to become clearer once I start. A few notes however just to make sure before I place my order.

First of all , I have decided on the heritage 130 and maybe upgrade later or buy something else in the future. It definitely needs to be portable because clear dark skies are definitely not a walking distance, plus I will take it to my hometown from time to time , which is on an island, hence car and boat transportation will be involved so the smaller the size, the better. 

Now, on the extra accesories, after careful study of your suggestions I have some questions. 

1. Collimation: Does the telescope need to be collimated frequently (even immediately after unboxing it?). Do I need to buy the necessary equipment right away?and  i'm not sure what I should buy, something like this perhaps? http://www.astroshop.eu/collimation-eyepieces/orion-cheshire-adjusting-eyepiece-1-25-/p,4578   which is quite costly..

2. What do you mean by open tube: black cardboard + tape    ?

3. Could I use an app  like starwalk instead of maps?

4. The eyepiece info is VERY useful and I was thinking of buying along with the telescope first a planetary eyepiece, and this is what I found:

a. http://www.astroshop.eu/skywatcher-1-25-5mm-uwa-planetary-eyepiece/p,33203  (why are there three by the way, and are the mm correct for a planetary eyepiece?)

b. http://www.astroshop.eu/omegon-ultra-wide-angle-eyepiece-6mm-1-25-/p,5087     (couldn't find something cheaper)

and what do you mean by "increasing the distance between the top and bottom element?"

5. Is this ok for a red dimmed light ? http://www.astroshop.eu/lamps/omegon-astro-flashlight/p,11329

6. Do I need to bue an extra moon filter? is it dangerous without it? probably a silly question but better to ask :)

I realise that's a lot of questions so feel free to ignore me :) but just in case you have the time , let me know so that I can decide on what to order

Thanks a million :)


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yes, I can imagine that all the techno-babble and specifications raise a lot of questions. I tried to be brief but explain some of it, if something needs further explanation, just let me know.


A 8" dobsonian usually fits on the backseat of any car, so it is worth considering. At least as possible future upgrade ;-)

Also see if you have a local club, observatory or shop where you can see the telescopes before you buy them.

1. Collimation:

You can eyeball it, use a simple focuser cap (some even sell that - http://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p3675_TS-Justierkappe---preiswerte-Justierhilfe-fuer-Newton-Teleskope.html - but it can be made easily).

Better is a cheshire sighttube, they are available cheaply,



I have a long one, the short one is fine for the heritage's aperture ratio AFAIK.

Laser collimators are great for longer telescopes where you can not reach the mirror adjustment screws while viewing through the tool, but the heritage is nice and short, and cheap collimation lasers are often missaligned themselves.

The do-it-yourself-alternative is a 35mm film canister tool, instructions on how to build and use one can be found on-line.

A f/5 telescope with a flex tube mechanism should be checked frequently if the collimation is okey. The heritage does hold collimation surprisingly well though.

Especially at high magnidications it is crucial to get sharp, high contrast views, but even when not collimated well you will see something, probably still more then with a 76mm newtonian for example.

You can also collimate your telescope by adjusting it while viewing a star, but with a tool it is easier and quick. No need to buy one of the more expensive tools though.

2. black cardboard + tape    ?

Make a cardboard tube for 50 cent with tape and a hole for the focuser, it can slide into the heritage if it is not too long. This will help against street lamps, bright moon light, and generally increase contrast






Also darkening the secondary mirror with white board marker can further increase contrast and reduce internal reflections.

3. Could I use an app  like starwalk instead of maps?

Yes, you can, no you should not ;-)

Even in night mode or red mode a display emits some white light, you can see that even if you view a black image the screen will dimly glow.

This will ruin your eye's darkness adaption instantly, readjusting completely takes 15 to 40 minutes.

This is critical for deep sky objects as they are so faint, for planets you can get away with a dimmed screen.

Also maps contain more stars and info, making it easier to find your target.

For android, "astro tools" is neat.

If you insist on using a cellphone or tablet, consider buying a dark red transparency sheet (studio lighting, anaglyph glasses transparency sheet, from about 2€, let me know if you meed a cheap source)

4. The eyepiece (telescope focal length divided by eyepiece focal length equals magnification)

The Omegon Ultra Wide Angle eyepiece is similar to


so get the cheaper, perhaps even cheaper in china, or ask me for another source then astroshop, or ask the dealer for a discount for the whole package. Where are you located at? Best would be to orser locally, or if not possible, I recommend Teleskop Express.

The one with three eyepieces shown is (similar to) the HR Planetary series.

Typical larger top and the 58degree apparent field of view.

As it is a series, often multiple are shown.

They are sharper at f/5, but the field is a bit smaller. Still larger then the kit eyepieces or plössl though.


Other cheap sources are Astroversand.com, germany, but I have both good and bad experience with them, so if you order there, try to get it via their ebay account with paypal and buyers protection.

The 2.5mm is a little cheaper,

http://www.ebay.de/itm/planetary-eyepiece-1-25-inches-58-degree-2-5-mm-/141282212767?pt=UK_Photography_Telescopes&hash=item20e5137b9f , but 260x is problematic (mirror quality, seeing conditions/atmosphere limits maximum possible magnifications)

I have both the 3.2 and 2.5mm, luckily a good mirror, but the 2.5mm can not be used when seeing limits magnidication to 200x or so. Else everything will be blurry and moving around.

"what do you mean by 'increasing the distance between the top and bottom element?'"

Many eyepieces have a lens in the bottom tube, that is similar to a barlow, increasing the effective magnification.

If you change the distance of the bottom lens, you can change the magnification to some degree.

The adapters from Astrozoom.de do just that, and if you like tinkering, you can take the inexpensive 6mm66deg eyepiece and turn it into a 4 or 5mm eyepiece, if you can find a fitting ring or whip up something else.

To be honest, I would not want to miss my 3,2mm HR Planetary, so i recommend a 4mm eyepiece, it should work if the mirror you get is not rubbish.

5. red light

You can get these




cheap at ebay or in dollar or department stores.

As they are not dim able, coloring them with a black permanent marker works. Or for my students I plan on letting them stick a resistor on paper with double sided tape and slide that in between battery contacts. Works.

If you are no stranger to soldering, get a poti into the bike light.


The first time I viewed the moon through a larger telescope, I looked back up and I was thinking:

"Oh my god, I am blind, the Internet lied to me!"

But don't worry, other then the sun that ma fry your retina instantly, the moon is not dangerous.

But the bright moon will ruin your eye's adaption to the dark so much you won't be able to see anything with that eye for a couple of seconds :-)

Cheapo moon filter will work, but the cheap ones are kind of pricey for a piece of green plastic.

Wear sun glasses or view the moon at around 130-200x with the heritage, it won't hurt your eye with smaller exit pupil at that high magnification.

" probably a silly question but better to ask :)" True, no stupid questions... Better safe then sorry.

If you hesitate from ordering at multiple shops, TS might be a tad cheaper, good service, and has a Europe price guarantee. But always favor national stores in case of warranty issues.

I know it is all a bit much at once, that is the downside of a forum, impossible to tackle every aspect at once without forgetting something.

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I bought myself a Heritage 130p a few months ago. It is a great little scope and very easy to use. Some of my experiences so far which might help you:

I bought a simple colimation cap and have used it only once. The scope did not need colimating but it seems easy to do if necessary.

I bought a 2x Barlow with the scope. I have used it with the supplied eyepieces with good effect. I would try the two supplied eyepieces for a while before you buy any more.

The focus mechanism can be a little loose. I put some PTFE tape (plumbers tape) around the focus thread and that has made it much smoother.

With the 10mm eyepiece and the Barlow it can be difficult to focus (on e.g. Jupiter). I found that by not extending the scope all the way (stopping a cm or two short) you can reach focus.

I have looked at the moon a few times without a filter and it is fine, but it can be very bright!

Good luck.


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Thanks for the replies and suggestions, I can't wait to get started  :) And it seems that many have started with the heritage 130, so I guess I'll have lots of people to share experiences with. I have finally placed my order, I am not aware of any local suppliers here ( I live in Greece) so I ordered from Teleskop Express. Along with the teleskop I bought a simple collimation cap but hopefully I won't be needing it soon because it seems quite complicated...Maybe after I have tried , it will seem simpler. I also ordered this eyepiece:  https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p4923_TS-Ultra-Wide-Angle-Eyepiece-6mm---1-25----66----better-Coating.html   based on Sub Dwarf's suggestion. Maybe in the future I'll try the barlow lenses as well. I also got a planisphere ( hopefully the right one for my latitude!) and the rest (cheshire, red light) I guess I'll order from ebay or after I have tried the telescope. I'm not sure how you have handled the problem with the focus mechanism, maybe it will be clearer when I have the telescope in front of me :) Many of your suggestions I will try in the future and I feel much more confident now , knowing all this , so I'm really REALLY grateful. I guess I will have some more questions once I get the teleskope but you have given me some really thirough advice!

So , thanks :)


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Hi Sofia,

great, I hope you will receive your telescope quickly ;-)

But you know what they say... Each inch of aperture means clouds for one week...

You won't regret it, it's a nice portable telescope for a great price, but the so called "aperture fever" will hit you too, sooner or later ;-)

Even then, a secondary telescope such as the Heritage with it's wide field views is a nice to have for traveling. It's amazing what such a little telescope can show.

The collimation cap is just fine (so scratch the Cheshire for now), there is even instructions in the heritage manual, a lot of instructions on-line, and if you have questions, just ask here. Collimation looks difficult, but once you can follow the instructions step by step with the telescope, it is just a matter of one or two tries until you can do it without manual.

The 6mm eyepiece will be a nice adition for the start, and I am currently trying to put together some instructions on how to easily elongate it so it will be around 3-4mm or so.

I forgot to ask if you wear glasses, most cheap eyepieces are not well suited for people with glasses. BUT if you do not have astigmatism, you can use the telescope without glasses as you can focus to match your dioptres. Under 1mm exit pupil (eyepiece mm devided by aperture ratio) astigmatism get's less of an issue as well.

As for the future eyepieces, I still reccomend eyepieces instead of a barlow, as the good ones cost more then a decent eyepiece ;-)

I rarely use my barlow these days.

Also with the 6mm you can magnify 108x, planets will still be small, but you will be able to see details on them if the conditions are good and you practice a litte.

Red light: You should be able to get one in a dollar store. Drug store even, or hardware store. Any red led light will do, some even color white lights red with permanent markers (multiple coatings).

If you would rather like a dimmable one, I can search an inexpensive one at eBay or so.

Don't worry about the focus mechanism, it is a bit shaky, but with 108x wide field, 65x and 26x magnification it will be fine.

Also, one problem at a time, even if nothing is perfect, as long as the telescope did not get damaged and the mirrors roughly point the right way, you should be able to see something.

You will need a map of some sort to find deep sky objects. I am not aware of good English resources other then


The 25mm kit eyepiece will show about 2 degree of sky, this equals the second ring of the telrad circles on the map, so this should give you an idea on how to find stuff.

Start with the easy objects, so after planets, the ring nebula, dumbbell nebula, open star clusters h and chi persei, plejads, star clusters m3 and m13 (may look like faint blobs, under dark sky and slightly outside the center vision you should be able to see single stars), the galaxies Andromeda (bright but usually shows little detail), the pair m81 and m82 with the smaller ones nearby, one of my favorites, the spiral galaxy m51 with the two cores that collided, and perhaps m101 and others if you have good dark conditions.

If you can live with a few crude sketches,




I know, not pretty, I just have a small notepad in my pocket, but it should show what you can expect (from the edge of the city in spring).

Having a notebook helps a lot... You will pay more attention to details, you have an easier time finding stuff the next time, and depending on the conditions and practice you will perhaps see more details the next time.

One word of advice: Don't rush it. You may be a little disappointed if you can't see as much as you have hoped for, or if the conditions are bad, or if you simply fail to locate an object you had hoped to observe.

In those cases I either observe an "easy target" that is not difficult to find or, such as the moon, allways pretty, or I simply put in the low magnification eyepiece and browse the sky for random patterns and such. This is how I found the "coat hanger" star formation. See the collinder chart for more fun and interesting patterns.

Also choose a location away from roofs or windows, as the warm Air will rise and cause Seeing, limiting magnification and indireclty contrast.

My first attempt to find the ring nebula took 40 minutes and I almost gave up. But trust me, once you find it, it is awesome, and the next time I did not even need the map. You will need to see the sky for yourself, learn how far things are appart in the real sky, and after that it will get easier.

With the Heritage, the wide views this "shorty" gives, and the red dot finder, locating things will be easier, too.

By the way: The "sub dwarf" is not the username, it is one of the forum ranks by the way ;-)

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Hello Sofia,

just to let you know, I finally came around to try my idea to easily and inexpensively change the focal length of the 6mm eyepiece so you can view the planets with up to 200x.

Sadly 35mm film containers have gotten pretty rare, but you should be able to find one. You can even buy them at ebay as geocaching containers.

-Step one

Find one, remove film :-)


-Step two

Cut out the bottom, but leave a seam so the top thread of the eyepiece fits tightly


-Step three

Unscrew the 6mm UWA eyepiece and press/screw the eyepiece top in tightly


-Step four

Press in the bottom element. Done.


If you can not get into focus, don't fully extend the Heritage130p, just an inch or so.

If Magnification is too high, either cut the film canister in half or push in the bottom element further.

Note that some film canisters will fit easier into a 1.25" focuser then others.

Don't leave the eyepiece element out too far/to loose so it does not fall and break. Perhaps secure it with a bit of tape.

If using permanently, consider painting the inner film container matte black or tape it with black velours foil.

Edited by Schorhr

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i'm still laughing with the Sub dwarf blunder. So, it was like calling you a sergeant, or a lieutenant!! :) hilarious, sorry about that. So , from what i understand the lowest rank is vacuum, sub dwarf should be a high rank since you are an advanced member ( i'm guessing it comes from white dwarfs ) , so what is the highest rank ??? Thanks for the extra info regarding the 6 mm eyepiece. I would be a bit hesitant to mess with the eyepiece, although the way you describe it I wouldn't be tampering with it and I could still use it as a regular 6mm eyepiece. Nice tip though, so i might try it since it seems pretty straightforward! Thanks once again, also for the suggestions on what objects to look for in the beginning! I m afraid that in my light polluted area , i wouldn 't be able to see anything other than the planets or the moon, but it will do for now.

Thank you once again :-)

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Hehe :-)

It has not been the first time I have been adressed with my rank :-) It is bit confusing. I just looked, there is a thread with a rank list.


Yeah, the modification is non-inversive and not permanently, so you can definitely try before buying more eyepieces :-)

But do it on a clean surface, as dust specs on the bottom element are very visible. 

Oh, regarding cleaning optics:

Never blow or rub dirt off, use a camera blower or drug store ear cleaner.

Dust on the mirror will look bad but as it is less then a percent of the actual surface, leave it there, cleaning can hurt more then dust.

Wiping or rubing off dust can cause micro scratches.

Search for telescope cleaning instructions if it really gets necessary (pollen, bugs,...).

After a cold night with dew let the telescope dry openly for a bit.

I have no clue how dark it gets there, do you know a dark spot where the milky-way is visible?

The heritage is portable enough, so I hope you can find a dark location :-)

Some objects such as star clusters will be visible from within the city as well, I am sure you can find a few things to observe :-)

With the 6mm you can see for yourself if the kit eyepieces are good enough for you, and eventually upgrade them for 10-20?€ eyepieces later.

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Quick update:

I just tried the eyepiece mod, Jupiter seems much larger then with the original 6mm, comparing to my 3,2mm eyepiece I would guess 180x or so.

Works MUCH better then with the cheap barlow, even without using black matte paint inside the tube.

Easy mod to get the more out of your telescope before investing $€£ in more eyepieces.

The mod is removed within seconds.

Focus is only being reached if you do not extend the heritage 100%, but that's no big deal, as it is only a few millimeters.

Also you could make a shorter tube that may solve that issue, I have yet to experiment a bit, but seeing is horrible at the moment, and clouds everywhere.

I also had the idea to fit the eyepiece parts to film can lids, and create different length film canister tubes, so you can quickly swap tubes/magnifications, perhaps 150, 180, 220x.


Rough sketch.

Edited by Schorhr

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Hey, really interesting info, i m guessing you re some sort of professional in astronomy?? Anyhow, I ll try the modification, once i learn the basics first! I can't wait for unboxing day!!unfortunately, i" ll have to make a short trip to see the milky way, but i might also ask a local amateur astronomy club if there are areas for stargazing nearby. Anyway, thanks for the tips, I ll let you know when I have my first experience with the telescope!


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if there is a local club, that's always a good starting point as they can give more extensive advice then on forums, and it's not such a wall of text when talking to others in person :-)

I am not a professional astronomer and I have only been with the hobby for a couple of years, but got really into it, and now I am volunteering at a local school, astronomy being one of many topics, thus always interested in easy budget solutions.

Yes, it's a good idea to use what you got, and even from within the city, some brighter star clusters will be visible.

Just keep that film can handy, doesn't hurt ;-)

Keep us posted, TS is usually quick, of course I don't know how long the parcel will take due to holidays...

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Last night I viewed the Ring nebula with the Heriage130p (from my belcony) and the El-cheapo eyepiece mod, nice little smoke ring. It was pretty obvious in the 6mm at 108x, but with approximately 180x much more noticably under light pollution :-)

It does prove how important a good location is, though.

Just 500 meter from here the ring nebula looked a lot better (higher contrast, darker sky, even the slightly irregular ring thickness was visible).

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i' m expecting the heritage in two days!! I' m sure the location is critical, so I' m going to do some research to find the right spots nearby! We'll see what it can do with some light pollution :-)

May the skies be always clear!

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Don't worry, moon and planets will be awesome anyway - finding deepsky objects can be a bit tricky, so start with the easy ones :-)

Check those out in Stellarium, here's your homework ;-)

M44 Nice open star cluster for low magnification, the darker the sky, the more beautiull it gets.

A little low already, perhaps a bit after sunrise.

In the center of Cancer.



ring nebula - Between the two stars at the outside/bottom Lyra.

Looks like a blurry star in low magnification,


at around 100x you should see that it's a ring, if the sky is truly dark it should be very obvious


This is the remains of a super nova. Boom!

Close to M57, one of the stars of Cygnus/Swan, is Albireo.

While stars always appear as small dots, this one reveals something beautiful:

If you magnify it, you will see that there are actually TWO stars.

One is red, one is blue. Pretty double star.

Dumbbell Nebula

If you draw a line from M57 to Albireo, and extend it further, you will find another nebula.

A dark sky helps, but it is definitely one of the easier one's.


imagine a diagonal through the big dipper (actually ursa major!) and extend it once outside of the big dipper once, then the two galaxies should be visible in the low magnification eyepiece - those two will show under mediocre conditions at the edge of the city.

Even if you can not make out much detail, one should be round, one long-ish


Under very good conditions you may be able to see the irregular center of the cigar galaxy.


Spiral galaxy, preeetttyyy... IF the sky is dark.

Under extremely dark sky: http://www.kolumbus.fi/jaakko.saloranta/Deepsky/Messier/M101.html But in 5" near civilization, you can usually not expect this kind of detail.

Under city sky it may not be visible at all.

If you have decent city limit conditions, it may look like http://rodelaet.xtreemhost.com/SketchM101.html

If light pollution is strong, it may just be a faint glow, or not visible.


One of my favorites :-)

Under the handle of the big dipper (part of Ursa major),

under good "city limit conditions" the two cores should easily be visible,


If you observe it long, if the sky is very clear, you might see some details even in 5", I once saw a faint band between the cores.

It will never look like http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Messier51.jpg

but it still is amazing to see a galaxy almost 30000000 light years away, that shows what will happen with our galaxy and Andromeda in "a couple of years"...


The cluster in Hercules. Aim for under his armpit, it's easy to find :D

My first observation was a bit of a disappointment. A faint glow, not more...

Important: Observe when it's dark, no moon.

Use indirect vision!

The center of our eye's retina is the sharpest but not as light sensitive as the outer regions. Very interesting stuff, read up on Rod/cone cells on wikipedia.

So if you try NOT to look at M13, you may see more stars in the corner of your eye.


Also check out M3.


The blinking nebula. Same game:

If you look at it directly, you will see the small star.

If you look away, you will see the larger, dim nebula.

If you quickly look at it again, it vanishes. Thus the blinking nebula...

h & chi Persei double cluster

Beautiful, low at the moment so not ideal to view, look like diamond fireworks.

I know it's not ideal to view at this time of year, and it does not look like much in stellarium, but this is the sort of object the low magnification, wide field heritage shows well...

Andromeda galaxy

Under dark skies visible with the naked eye, larger then the moon...

Under mediocre night sky it will just be a oval smudge.

Right now not good visible early, so search it late at night or wait till fall ;-)


big nebula, while the orion nebula is not visible in the summer, the north america nebula is.


CR 399

The coat hanger.


The sky is full of commodities :-)


Adjusting the finder scope / red dot finder

It will be odd at first to use a finder with zero magnification, but it is actually more useful then the common 5x24 finder scopes with narrow field.

Look for something far away (mountain top, church tower...) and adjust it during the day.

The red dot finder should point to what you can see in the center of the eyepiece, even at high magnification.

Adjusting this during the day helps to avoid frustration at night.


Follow a guide, either the simple instructions printed in the manual, or a guide in your native language to make it easy.

Collimation guides look complicated, but if you read them while your telescope is in-front of you, it is not that hard.

One manual can be found at


Step one to four SHOULD not be necessary but you should check that the secondary mirror is round in the collimation cap.

There are also youtube videos on the subject.


Use a bright star along with some less prominent to focus. Turn the eyepiece focus ring of the heritage until the star is small and pin point sharp. If you have trouble finding the perfect focus, check the less bright stars. The better you focus, the more dim stars are visible, and they get easier to see.

Sometimes you can't seem to get good focus, no mater what. Other then bad collimation, this could be seeing (air turbulences in the atmosphere). Try less magnification.

Also the mirror needs to cool down to outside's temperature, and windows, balcony and roof tops will cause warm air to rise, causing the image to be blurry and move.

Also, viewing through window glass will limit magnification and can show double images.

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Hello again!! My telescope has arrived, I've had it for about a week now and I'm really excited. I have seen the moon VERY clearly and so far Saturn and Mars but not much else. Apart from light pollution , it is harder with a full moon as well. I often refer to your notes for guidance :). I am also reading stargazing guides (nightwatch and turn left at orion) . I have aligned the red dot finder during the night. I find it's quite easy to track objects but the truth is that so far I haven't tried with objects that are not very bright. I have quite a few questions though if it is not too much touble.

1. With the 6mm eyepiece (x 108)  I can distinguish Saturn's rings which is very cool and if my telescope has a maximum x 260 magnification as it says , does that mean that if i buy a 3.2 mm eyepiece it will double the magnification without affecting the image quality? Also, do you think a barlow lense might work to a degree? i't is the cheaper choice.

2. I've tried the film canister trick unfortunately without success. I can only see sth blurry and the image does not inmprove if I adjust the focuser. 

3. I was wondering if you can buy the same or a similar mount seperately because I find it 's quite heavy to carry and I often visit my hometown so it would be convenient to have a mount there so that I wouldn't have to carry it every time (I don't take the car there). I did some research on the internet and I couln't find anything. I read something about building your own mount but I don't think I'm up for it :)

4. Looking at the full moon was very exciting but I found that it was really bright. I read about special moon filters that make the glare of the moon more bearable. Is that worth buying? I would like to be able to look at it fo a longer period of time.

5. I also read about nebula filters that enhance the view of deep sky objects.

6. I ve been having some trouble adjusting the tension control knob. At times it doesn't lock, it doesn't stay in the position I want it to.

7.The list ofobjects you suggest are visible in relatively dark skies only? I think I've spotted Albireo but I haven't seen it's double yet. What magnification is needed?

Thank you once again :)

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Hi there,

Congtatulations to your first observations!

I am sorry that you are having some troubles, but it is not uncommon for almost any hobby at the beginning. I hope I can help to solve a few issues.

If you have "turn left at orion", it is perfect for your telescope, and as the heritage is quite a "large small telescope" all of the objects should at least be faintly visible under darker skies.

The brighter double stars and clusters may be visible under worse conditions as well.

I tried M57 (the ring nebula) from the balcony under a full moon, and to be honest, if I wouldn't had known what to look for, or lived further towards the city, it would probably have been invisible. So even a few meters further out can help, even if it is not completely dark there either.

And no moon for deep sky.

1. You can get a few Barlows for 10 to 40 euros, most of them are similar (If Not identical).

The 2x achromatic barlow works, but ads color fringe around bright objects like Saturn. It will look bigger, but things like the Cassini division will probably not show due to lack of contrast, especially combined with mediocre conditions.

The 3.2mm and 2.5mm HR Planetary can sometimes be bought for 30 Euro, usualy 50 Euro.

Depending on the mirror quality 200x and over may be a bit much, things will appear larger but not sharp. Of course seeing and collimation are more critical as well...

If you consider getting an eyepiece or barlow anyway, I would vote for the 3,2mm as the results will be better then with the cheap barlow.

If you can't afford it and you do want to get the ACHROMATIC barlow, get the 13€ from seben as it is similar to the more expensive ones, and it is not bad (actually better then the 3x Bresser / Meade I got), but the image worse then with the Hr Planetary.

Be aware that the planets will never be large. Even at 200x or 260x they will be small peas floating in space ;-)

I know this can be disappointing at first, but over time you get used to observing them at small size and still see details if you observe patently, waiting for that split second where seeing improves...

If you look at drawings of planets they sometimes have been done with 130x or 150x.

But I guess my eyes aren't good, I like to observe at 200x most of the time.

2. I played with the film canister combination quite a bit now. It works, but you will have to push the mechanism in about two centimeter or so. If you get the right distance, both regular eyepieces and the modified goldline should reach focus.

Of course at 150-200x reaching focus is a bit difficult (especially if seeing is causing trouble), and requires to move the focuser slowly, observe, adjust, observe, adjust.

I hope you can get the fim can mod to work, as you can make sure a higher magnification will work before buying more eyepieces.

Another thing to know:

Not only focusing gets more tricky when using a higher magnification.

The higher you magnify, the smaller the exit pupil (light beam exiting the eyepiece) get:

The image gets darker.

Over 130-150x this will be noticable.

The planets are bright, so if you are not distracted by street lamps or such, it should work.

To improve contrast when viewing planets, consider the card board tube and carefully blackening the edge of the secondary mirror with black whiteboard marker (not permanent marker).


I have not seen the mount being sold seperately.

Your best chance is to buy a second heritage used, there are some dented refurbished models at eBay for 100 euro or so... But for that kind of money, I would build a mount or save up.

Other options: An AZ4 mount, perhaps az3.

A Astro3 or fake EQ3 (a bit sturdier then the eq2, used from 10-20€ if you get lucky).

A nexstar SLT goto mount, used 150, new from 200€, so not cheap.

Cheaper mounts may not carry the heritage. A beefy, professional camera tripod could be adapted.

For shorter trips <2km, a bit of pipe insulation and two zip ties around the handle help carrying it easier, the hands don't hurt as much.

For further distances, putting the telescope in a small backpack and carrying the mount in your hand works for longer trips as it isn't as heavy that way.

For longer trips I put it in a large backpack, easier then carrying the heritage.

Some disassemble the rockerbox mount to easier carry the heritage. I have not done this as I read that the rockerbox mount will suffer from this, after doing so a couple of times it may loose stability.

In the german astrotreff-forum someone build a new mount that's similar but sturdier, so it can be done.

OR... A bike hanger :-)

I have one, and it can be used with a bike or if attaching a third wheel it can be used as jogger.

For the heritage it may be a bit of overkill, but for my 10", binoculars, observation chair and such it is ideal.


With the 6mm eyepiece and around 1mm exit pupil I find the moons brightness bearable, with 0.6mm exit pupil / higher magnification eyepiece it is no trouble at all.

Solutions ordered by price:

-Sun glasses

-Film can with color or polarisation plastic sheet from 3D glasses

-Cheap 4€ green moon filter from ebay

-ND (natural density) filter, 10-30%

-Adjustable brightness / variable polarisation filter.


Nebula filter such as O-III and UHC are very narrow banded. They will only improve views of gas nebulae / planetary nebulae, not on planets or galaxies.

At only 130mm aperture the image will be very dark, especially as small nebulae will require higher magnifications, and the 130p will have a smaller exit pupil then with 150/200mm aperture.

There are filters that are not as narrow banded, sold as CLS or light pollution filters.

I have a CLS filter, it does improve the contrast, but when viewing the ring nebula under bad conditions yesterday, it did not really make a difference.

A bright sky is a bright sky.

No filter can compensate this. They can help, but IMHO a good set of eyepieces and a portable scope helps more. Especially for the brighter deep sky objects you won't need a filter. If you really get into planetary nebulae after a while, then getting one of these filters or a larger telescope will be a choice. I would observe like this for now though :-)

6. Are you referring to the knob on the side or the one holding the telescope's metal dove tail?

The height adjustment of the telescope should work smoothly if the telescope is balanced well. It should not be tensioned much.

It helps to mark the metal dovetail where the telescope has good balance.

For transportation I put the foam sheet on the base and lower the tube all the way again so it is easier to carry.


Have you set up eyepieces and telescope in Stellarium? It should give you an impression of what magnification works well, even though the images in Stellarium are over realistic images.

Albireo should split at as low as 8x and look like this at around 100x


At 15x (so similar to what you should see with the 25mm Eyepiece) http://www.sternfreunde-kelheim.de/images/fernglas/albireo.html

But it's much more pretty with your own eyes, the colors much more noticable then with my Deepsky camera.

If you have "turn left at orion" it should mention which objects are visible under dark skies, and overall should be much better then my quick write-up :-)

The ring nebula or M13 are a faint smudge in low magnification, larger then a star, when increasing magnification under light pollution, they may not show more details. That gets kind of frustrating.

I have observed the ring nebula under a full moon before, it works, but yesterday the moon was so close it did not work well. Under dark skies it is really obvious, if you find it. So save yourself frustration and wait for darker conditions when attempting DSO.

It will still be a faint smoke Ring, not the colorful explosion you see on images from the hubble telescope.

Again, a image from my deepsky camera through the heritage, at a setting that should match the visual impression of the 6mm eyepiece under halfway decent conditions,


For some it looks like a faint smudge.

But it's kind of fascinating to see the remains of a super nova with your own eyes, far, far away.

With larger telescope you could even see the small center star remain.

The Heritage is a nice starter telescope, not less, not more. I hope you can find a nice observation location and get the most out of the little telescope despite it's quirks and limits.

A lot of hobby astronomers started with 60 or even 40mm aperture, the heritage starts to show deepsky details, and as faint as they may be, there is a lot to explore.

It's strong suit is definitely wide field, but for a short telescope it gives nice views of planets as well.

Not as good as a 127mm Maksutov or a 150mm dobsonian, but at a much lower price.

Under good conditions, when the planets are up higher, Saturn's Cassini division and Jupiter's great red spot should be visible.

It may not be as easy as expected, but it is fun and relaxing to try every evening if time allows, and it's rewarding to see more and more details as you get used to observing.

A small booklet where you keep notes, sketches/doodles and such helps as well.

Also allways make a plan B if conditions suck or if you fail to locate a difficult object, such as remembering when the ISS is visible, or get binoculars that help finding objects or just relaxing while randomly observe the milky way.

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thanks for everything, I 'm really so grateful! I also have to say that your suggestion list is really useful and it's really good homework although I'm quite sure I'm not going to ace the exam ;) I spotted my first double star, Albireo and I'm super thrilled!!!! it was awesome..the view was better with the 10mm eyepiece

quick questions about observation.. I spent quite some time looking for M27 and M57 , I used the 10mm and the 6mm eyepiece. Now if i'm not mistaken M27 is between Sheliak and Sulafat in the constellation of Vega..Now , I should be looking for sth like a smudge , right?  but what size is the nebula, bigger or smaller than a star (you've mentioned that the ring nebula is larger than a star but that's not the same object, right?)? I m not really sure I understand the sketches..  I couldn't find it no matter how hard I looked. Is it possible that light pollution or the moon (it was rising from right below) are hindering me from seeing, or is it that my eye is still not well trained? I know you talked about this in the previous response, Ijust wanted tom make sure I;m looking in the right direction and in the right way. Will it be visible with a 10mm eyepiece? also tried to find the dumbbell nebula by drawing a line from Albireo a little higher than Altair , is that correct? I still haven't taken the telescope to a dark sky area, still enjoying the view from my balcony and I have to say, even under these conditions, it's very exciting , trying to find these objects. Hopefully, my tracking skills will improve with experience :)

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