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ThatKid

Celestron Inspire 100az Refractor Telescope

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Ok, so my lovely 9 year old son wrote his xmas list and at the top was...a decent beginner level telescope. 

I did a little homework since the boy has been using a nice set of Celestron binoculars until now, and decided to go for the Inspire mostly due to its phone mount that lets the phone see what the telescope sees for photographing. 

The question is...whilst I know we should get some pretty lovely views of the moon...does anyone have any idea if there's anything else we may spot? 

Or if I've even made the right choice for him! :D 

Thanks everyone! 

Edited by ThatKid

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Planets at the right times, but try open clusters.  There are loads of them, easy to see, and really beautiful.  Your son's 4 inch frac should serve you both well.  BTW, if you haven't done so yet, download Stellarium to find your way round.

Doug.

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The phone adaptors can be bought and used on any telescope.  Taking pictures this way you are limited to bright things like the moon and planets, the moon is around in the evenings and Jupiter in the mornings at the moment.  Rather than taking a picture to get the best results you take a short video then use the free software registax or autostakkert to merg the frames into a single picture of better quality by taking all the best bits.

A small refractor is a nice scope to start on and the alt Az mount is simplicity in itself so,should be easy to get set up.

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11 minutes ago, cloudsweeper said:

Planets at the right times, but try open clusters.  There are loads of them, easy to see, and really beautiful.  Your son's 4 inch frac should serve you both well.  BTW, if you haven't done so yet, download Stellarium to find your way round.

Doug.

Thank you so much! I've not downloaded Stellarium but I think it's next on the agenda if it will help the little fella out. I'm also very glad he's not just limited to the moon, I think it was that limitation that was frustrating him mostly with his binoculars-especially after seeing Venus last Friday. That started him right off bless him! ?

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Thanks D4N for the software info -I may well  look into recording and editing with the diddy dude once he's got started. I'm going to have one excited little astronaut in training on xmas morning I think! 

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It looks like it will make a wonderful gift, and has several features which I would recommend for a young person. These include good aperture and Alt-azimuth mount (as opposed to Equatorial).

Personally, however, I do find it a little expensive for what it is. If you haven't yet bought it, there are perhaps better alternatives. As D4N says, phone adapters are readily available. For example  https://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-astromaster-series/astromaster-90az-telescope.html  would leave some money left over to upgrade eyepieces etc., or a little dearer, https://www.firstlightoptics.com/startravel/skywatcher-startravel-120-az3.html  has more aperture and probably better optics.

If you do go with the Celestron Inspire, remember the maximum magnification with the supplied eyepieces is x66. For the Moon and planets, your son would probably enjoy more power. You have two possibilities, get an additional eyepiece - perhaps 5mm or 6mm which would give x132 and x110 respectively. A Plossl design would perform well, but these have little eye relief at higher powers.

The second possibility is a x2 Barlow which effectively doubles the magnification of any eyepiece. The supplied Celestron eyepieces are Kellner designs - which can be quite good if they have reasonable optical quality. If, however, they are not so good, the Barlow will also magnify any weakness they may have.

 

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Thank you so much everyone for your time with our questions it really is much appreciated! We have ordered this one for him to get him started off but I think he may well request another in a couple of years when he decides he'd like to see more. He's very keen to get a look at Jupiter, Venus and Saturn as well as looking at the craters of the moon so hopefully this will allow him to do that. Quick question AGAIN (sorry!) are there any other lenses etc we can pick up that are compatible with this particular telescope that may help? Sorry to be a pest! 

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Your telescope has a 1.25 inch focuser tube and diagonal - this means that any 1.25" eyepiece (EP) will fit. EPs start at about 20 pounds and go up to over 400 pounds each so you have a very wide choice. There are a lot of good eyepieces at the cheaper end though which will work very well. Prices depend on optical quality and also on design.

Personally I would start with a 6mm EP. Plossls are good but you do have to have your eye very close to the glass - doesn't bother me, but some people find it uncomfortable (and you certainly can't wear glasses). Most entry-level Plossls by the major companies are good and similar in performance (I suspect several have the same optics inside) for example: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-eyepieces/celestron-omni-plossl-eyepiece.html  The Revelation series also has a certain following at this level, but the 6mm appears to be currently out of stock with several suppliers: https://www.harrisontelescopes.co.uk/acatalog/Revelation_Eyepieces.html

If you need greater eye relief, you will pay a little more. I would go for a 5mm EP which will give slightly higher magnification: http://www.365astronomy.com/5mm-The-Planetary-Eyepiece.html  or  http://www.365astronomy.com/5mm-BST-Explorer-ED-Eyepiece.html  The latter (also marketed under different names including Starguider and Paradigm) is a very popular EP with members of this forum.

As for other accessories, I would wait and see how the telescope performs. I notice the diagonal (which changes the angle of the eyepiece) is erect image - this means that what you see is the right way round. Normally for astronomy, the diagonal is not corrected and gives a flipped left right image (in space, there's really no right way round). The correction in your telescope's diagonal may not give the best views for the sky, although it'll be great for terrestrial use, so you might want to upgrade later.

D4N's suggestion of the Rigel Quikfinder is also excellent if you don't get on with the supplied red dot finder, but try it first.

A very useful (and cheap) accessory is a red-light head torch. A dim red light will not affect night vision. Get a regular inexpensive white light torch and paint it over with a coat or two of red nail varnish. Observing can be a misery if you're very cold, so warm clothing in layers is important, with warm socks and a woolly cap etc. A Thermos with hot chocolate etc usually goes down well!

 

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There is currently a Baader Classic Ortho 6mm eyepiece for sale on the forums for £35. If it's in the good condition the seller says it is then this would be a great purchase. I have the 10mm and for planets it is absolutely fantastic if you don't mind the tight eye relief and small field of view. I would buy it myself if Christmas wasn't coming up and I had to think about spending money on other people (bah humbug!!!). Another thing I bought when I had a 4" refractor was a 99% dialetric diagonal. Made a noticeable difference on Venus and provided a little enhancement on other planets. Again you should be able to buy one used for about £35. A 99% dialetric coupled with an ortho eyepiece will start to maximise the performance of that scope.

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I would strongly recommend a 32mm or maybe a 40mm Plossl eyepiece (1.25").  They will give nice wide angle views (about 2.5 degrees of sky) at low mags (x21, x17).  A wider view frames objects nicely, and gives good views of larger objects such as the M45 Pleaides Cluster.  A larger view also makes it easier to "hop around".

Have fun,

Doug.

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Just checked this scope out (had not heard of it before). 100mm aperture is a decent size for a starter scope (even better for a young kid). I like the phone camera adapter thing (looks very easy and intuitive). Should get good images of the Moon (and other stuff). Alt-Az is very user friendly for anyone of any age. I like the erect prism also. This means you see things through the scope as you see them with your eyes (meaning they are not upside down).

All in all i cant find a bad thing about it. It seems ideal for a kid of 8. The Kellner eyepieces may not be the greatest in the world (it takes time to find out what works best for you) but they will do for now and work very well. As Doug said above, a 32-40mm Plossl eyepiece (1.25") will be a good addition and it will allow a wider view and make it easier to find your way around. 

Good choice. I like its functionality.

Also a great book to consider is one called "Turn Left At Orion". It shows you hundreds of objects in the night sky and how to find them easily. It shows them well and how to expect them to look in different size scopes from small to large (and i think the newest edition even shows what to expect when using binoculars). Well worth buying.

Q: the phone adapter etc come included?.......or are they optional extras?. I didnt read that bit. I assumed they come with it. The price as mentioned above may be a bit high, but such is life. I personally find Celestron products to be slightly over priced anyway. My 1st scope was a 90mm Celestron on an equatorial mount and i paid nearly 400 euros (i'll let you do the conversion).

I'm sure your son will love it. 

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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