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I Need help with choosing a scope


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Hi I'm looking at two scopes but am unsure which to go for SkyWatcher Star Discovery 150P Computerised Telescope or the SkyWatcher Skymax 127 SynScan AZ GOTO 127mm Maksutov Cassegrain Telescope ant advice will be greatly appreciated I'm thinking along the lines of deep space observing and planets

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Hello Scott there is not a telescope that does everything, more of some scopes are better at some things than others. A good all round scope for DSOs and planets is the SW 200p on a Dobsonian mount This gives you a large mirror for gathering light at a reasonable price, but you would need to learn the sky and constellations as it is a manual scope. Have a look at the primer topics at the beginning which gives you an insight into buying a telescope. http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/35441-essential-reading-for-those-who-are-thinking-about-getting-into-astronomy/

Edited by Sirius Starwatcher
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Plus 1 for the  200P Dob. :grin:  A great scope to start with.  You can always download Stellarium it's free and there are plenty of books to help you find your way around the night sky - Turn Left  at Orion is a great book and very popular on this site.

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The general precept is that aperture rules and so you'll find that if a beginner asks 'what should I buy?' 99% of those answers are always going to suggest the biggest Newtonian (reflector) you can afford and carry about, and more than likely a Newtonian which is Dobsonian mounted rather than GEM (EQ) mounted, simply because the former mounts are easier to use and set up and are a lot cheaper, so in effect you're putting more money into the optics and less into the mount and/or GOTO system which hunts out objects for you.

Most beginners want to see a little of everything and at a decent price. If you are looking for faint DSOs like globular clusters, nebulae or galaxies you need aperture and low magnification, the former to get as much light as possible and the latter to get as wide a view as possible. Newtonians excel at all these factors and because of their light gathering capacity, they are also exceptional scopes for viewing the Moon and planets and splitting doubles.

In a sense, you've highlighted two types of scopes. A short focal length newt and a longer focal length mak. All things being equal, the former will give you potentially wider fields of view and more aperture, the latter will give you relatively narrower fields of view, less aperture but the potential to augment magnification with relatively low focal length eyepieces. In short, the former is better suited for general viewing and the hunting out DSOs, the latter more suited to planetary and lunar observations.

Of course, this is a simplified explanation, so at this junction, it might be worth your time looking at astronomy sketches. If you have a look at the type of telescope from which the sketch was made this is the kind of thing you will see when observing from a telescope of similiar aperture.

If possible, and this cannot be stressed enough, try to get along to a local astronomy club and look through the type of telescope you think you may purchase and see if the view meets your expectations. Most stargazers will be only too happy to help.

It's probably not necessary to say, but just in case, I'd suggest that you buy your first set up from a specialist telescope shop that can provide advice and an ongoing service – not from ebay and not from some supermarket or photographic store where the staff will generally have no knowledge of what they are selling. If you haven't already had a peek, First Light Optics comes highly recommended as one of Great Britain's top class astronomy shops and, of course, SGL can help out a lot.

I hope this helps and please don't hesitate in asking more questions. Good luck in whatever you decide to do :icon_salut:

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personally ,as a beginner I think a goto is a good beginning...it teaches you where things are . the bigger the aperture the more noticeable the tremors created by just being near the scope. deep space objects are just that...deep; and most direct viewing gives you a sense of what the object is like...of course nothing can substitute for a dark night sky....

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Personally i would always go for a scope that offers you really good views of DSO's and pretty good views of planets and the Moon.

Why?................

There are a lot more DSO's in the universe to observe then there are planets and Moon. Dont get me wrong. Planets are great (well the inner rocky ones) and the Moon is amazing. We all view them to a degree each time we observe and they are visible. Astronomy is all about the exploration of space and the universe. Is it not more rewarding to observe the depths of space and universe looking at DSO's...........rather then just looking in your own back garden (so to speak in astronomical terms) at *8-9* planets and our single Moon. 

(*8-9* planets~~~I'm one of those who still firmly count Pluto as a planet.)

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I have had my 12" DOB for about ten years now.

With a 50th Birthday just gone i said to myself its now or never and pushed the boat out and bought a Celstron CGEM-DX EDGE HD SCT 1400.

(not to mention boat loads of creeping to the wife )... ahem..

I have never been fortunate to look through one of these babys but i would reckon this would be a good sort of all rounder?  ie.. planetary and DSO.. ?

What do you guys think of the spec in relation to what it can achieve ?

btw... not in the best place in relation to LP.

Robbie

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Ive seen one up close once and it was a beast. I've seen images taken through the same one i saw (owned by the same guy), on S@N a few times and in magazines. It's not for me, but i doubt it can be faulted.

Happy belated 50th.

Cheers Paul.

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LukeSkywatcher has basically said what I wanted to say at #8 If your after deep space,  often low powered eyepieces and big apertures are essential. You should have more experiences with a larger Newtonian  based telescope, mounted to a Dobsonian,  than an EQ mounted refractor! After all, of all the Planets, maybe Saturn and Jupiter will show some details through a  telescope, but what next, the rest, if you can find them are just small specks of colour in a sea of Stars, and no surface detail. So Tonight, my conclusion is not to buy me an APO high powered refractor telescope, just to look at two Planets?

The Moon is absolutely stunning through my 200P Skyliner, using any eyepiece in my collection. I have also seen some amazing detail on Jupiter ( during one session in 2014 ) its to do with the atmospheric conditions, when the detailing is at its best and the Planet is overhead?

The only issue I have with the Skyliner  telescope is the size of the image produced from an 8" mirror. I think I need to at some stage, increase to say a 12 or 10" mirror........that's still  some way off yet, but this will be the same with any 8" (200mm) reflector.

My suggestion, have a look at the  Dobsonian  Mounted Skywatcher Skyliner, with a minimum aperture of 8" (200mm) This telescope is purely designed for visual use and is fully manual in operation., no technology or GoTo. just place it on level ground and observe.

Edited by Charic
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