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Doolally

Using a telescope through a window

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Don't worry... i'm not peering into people's houses, i'm just wondering what kind of results you can expect using a telescope to look at the night sky through an upstairs window.

i'm thinking about getting an 8-inch dobsonian but i live in an upstairs flat, so it will basically be a pain to take it downstairs every night (...not impossible, but i can't see me doing it too often).

i do, however, have a great window looking out onto the sky. and luckily it's over a load of trees and gardens so there aren't too many lights around either (i have some handy trees shielding me from the other buildings).

it's probably a dumb question... but does looking through a glass window effect the image in any way?

the only way of opening the window would be to smash it, and I don't fancy doing that!

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I would save your money and buy something you can at least take outside easily.

Looking through a window, quite likely double glazed I imagine will create multiple reflections and double images, not great.

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Try looking at the stars through the window with your naked eye, versus going outside, and you'll quickly realise that looking through a window is not good, because of light absorbtion, reflection, distortion etc, also limited field of view. Additionally, if you try to use a telescope inside a heated building, you'll find that magnified air turbulence renders the views very poor. Professional visual observers worked in unheated observatories, well wrapped up, but often freezing cold. Modern amateurs do much the same. Invest in a small, portable telescope and a set of warm clothes. Most people find an 8 inch dob pretty portable.

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Chose something you can carry in one go so you will be bothered to use it. If it is too big it will collect dust.

Even a pair of 8x42 binoculars will show you lots.

It looks clear you lug 27 kilos down those stairs by the time you get in the garden it is cloudy!

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There's nothing to beat taking the scope outside but I often look at the Moon through my double-glazed window and have enjoyed some nice, warm sessions. May even have a quick glimpse at Venus and Jupiter, just to see the phase of Venus and the alignment of the Galilean moons.

It's still better to get something you can happily and easily get outside with, though.

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The views would be horrible, as suggested above if double galzed doubly so, Try a short frac on an az4, very portable and effective setup.

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i was hoping you would all say the opposite but i know you're right, it's a dumb idea getting a big scope when it's stuck in a room behind glass. i think i might go one size down because i've had a look at the 8-inch in real life and i know i'm going to struggle carrying it up and down the stairs... i can just picture me dropping it

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Realistically are you patient enough to do more that one trip up and down those stairs? Even a 6 inch still is awkward to carry I would imagine and as soon as you split it into telescope and base that it is two trips.

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I have a mini Dobsonian that I use from my window will because it's convenient but from time to time I try viewing things behind the window because I can't open that particular one (I also have very whiny neighbours who view anything I do suspiciously). At low magnification its not much of a trouble but at higher magnification you start noticing things ie air circulation or turbulence in my small 3 inch TELESCOPE because it's warmer inside ofc and image being less clear.

I'm hoping to buy a larger telescope but as it wouldn't be too useful indoors I would just keep it in my car so I'm always ready to go wherever as I live in a heavily light polluted area. For using something indoors I'd use binos or just a small Dobby.

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I have dealt with this issue. It's a genuine pain in the as. My window consisted of 12in x 12in panes of glass in a 10x10 array. My solution was to have a professional combine half of them into a single 5ft x 5ft pane of removable plexiglass. Obviously this isn't anywhere near an optimum situation and leaves you with a very limiting FOV.... but hey, we make the best with what we have. C'est la vive.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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If the problem is simply lugging one up and down starirs etc then go get a simple 80mm achro refractor, I would still advise against one of the f/5 variants as they have CA. You can often get them as a scope and mount where the mount is a manual Alt/Az - you could even put the scope on a decent camera tripod.

That would make something easy to carry and you would see a lot through it.

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Don't worry... i'm not peering into people's houses, i'm just wondering what kind of results you can expect using a telescope to look at the night sky through an upstairs window.

i'm thinking about getting an 8-inch dobsonian but i live in an upstairs flat, so it will basically be a pain to take it downstairs every night (...not impossible, but i can't see me doing it too often).

i do, however, have a great window looking out onto the sky. and luckily it's over a load of trees and gardens so there aren't too many lights around either (i have some handy trees shielding me from the other buildings).

it's probably a dumb question... but does looking through a glass window effect the image in any way?

the only way of opening the window would be to smash it, and I don't fancy doing that!

I guess you could crank them all the way open and take the screen out. But its not really worth investing in a great scope only to be restricted to looking through a window.

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Windows aren't bad. As long as it is cleaned and you've turned off all the lights inside your home, then it should be fine. Very little difference.

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I might just move house instead. You have to get your priorities in order: telescope first, then everything else after

I really want a decent sized scope, so i think i have managed to convince myself that a 6-inch will be fine. Ive had a look at one in real life, and if i go down the gym for a few months and build up some muscles it will be okay

Has anyone tried one of those flextube ones? Because ive seen an 8-inch that you can compact up into quite a small size. I might be alright with that on the stairs

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Weight might be an issue - but I'd suspect bulkiness would be the killer.  In your situation hassle sounds like it could translate into not using it.  Plus you don't mention what you're hoping to look at.

myself, I'd go for something like this: sw heritage 130p flex tube. - compact and no hassle setup.  Plus if you move somewhere where a bigger scope is easier it can become your grab and go 2nd scope (camping scope?)

 http://www.firstlightoptics.com/heritage/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html

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I Live In A 5 Story Walk Up,I Use My Scopes Way More At My Window Than I Do Outside,But I Can Open My Window I've Tried Looking Through The Glass But It's A Real Crappy Image.....Your Best Bet Is Taking It Outside.....

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You want something like an ED80 Refractor scope.  My set up (heavy for an ED80, as it has triplet lenses) is 7Kg including the mount and tripod.  Beautiful clear views of star clusters and planets and you can magnify to between 120-150 times depending on the seeing conditions.  You won't see galaxies (other than maybe the bright cores on a good day), but you will see the brighter reflection nebulas like M42 (Orion neb) and M17 (The Swan).

The bonus is you can take these on holiday in your hand luggage or easily travel to a dark site.  Easy light equipment is the stuff that gets used!

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You want something like an ED80 Refractor scope.  My set up (heavy for an ED80, as it has triplet lenses) is 7Kg including the mount and tripod.  Beautiful clear views of star clusters and planets and you can magnify to between 120-150 times depending on the seeing conditions.  You won't see galaxies (other than maybe the bright cores on a good day), but you will see the brighter reflection nebulas like M42 (Orion neb) and M17 (The Swan).

The bonus is you can take these on holiday in your hand luggage or easily travel to a dark site.  Easy light equipment is the stuff that gets used!

What he said

You'll see loads with one of those. Granted not all the dso's but enough to keep you occupied ;)

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I tried using a scope at an open window, but the heat difference made the image wobble like jelly.

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i was hoping you would all say the opposite but i know you're right, it's a dumb idea getting a big scope when it's stuck in a room behind glass. i think i might go one size down because i've had a look at the 8-inch in real life and i know i'm going to struggle carrying it up and down the stairs... i can just picture me dropping it

I've looked through a window on many occaisions, looking at the Moon and Jupiter, but the window is wide open, letting the heat out. The mixing settles, but never perfect, and the scope is easily carried in two parts!

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I guess if the room is an unheated one that would help reduce escaping thermals.

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When I first bought my telescope, I tried it out looking through a window at Venus. I was shocked at how smeared the view was. The problem is that window glass does not tend to be optically good. In addition, if you are looking through the window at an angle, you will get reflections and all sorts of other problems. Then there's the problem of heat differences producing turbulent air, which will produce noticeable effects especially with obstructed telescopes.

In short, a useful telescope is one that gets covered with dew, pollen on the glass/mirror and smudges on the eyepieces.  :smiley:  :smiley:  :smiley:

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