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BeagleDad

New Guy from PA

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Hello all!  I am new to telescopes and formal star gazing.  I have always been interested in astronomy and have enjoyed planetariums and learning about space.  My wife and I bought our first camper last year and I thought our frequent excursions into the woods would be a good opportunity to get a decent telescope and see what we can find.  I haven't purchased anything yet but have my eyes on a Celestron Astromaster 130EQ.  I look forward to browsing forums here to learn what I can before and after purchase!

 

Randy and Brenda

Windsor, PA

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Hi Randy,

welcome to SGL, lots of friendly people here !

i like your plan to get your scope out to the dark skies, sure to see more from those types of locations :)

i notice you are considering an EQ mount and suggest you do a little research into the differences between EQ and AZ mounts...

you may find an AZ mount better for both simplicity and portability.

here is an example mount to check up on called "AZ4"

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-150p-az4-mount.html

its a U.K. link, but just to show you the idea. Of course if the mount will carry a 150mm then it will easily carry a 130mm. 130 is a good size for portability for sure and will work well from remote sites

if you already considered all this, then that's great!

hope you get clear skies,

Alan

Edited by alanjgreen
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Hi randy and welcome to SGL, popular scope the 130, but an aperture of 150 should serve you better, especially if use from dark sky country locations. Something to think about and research before you make your final decision, enjoy the forum :)

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Welcome to the forum and 'formal' star gazing. No need for a tux, although it would be rather elegant I guess! ?

Everything's nicely informal here and I'm sure you and your spouse will have lots of fun with the forum and the hobby.

Enjoy the trip. ?

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Hi and welcome to both of you, there will be much more advice if you post

your questions in the relevant forum, hope you both enjoy your time here.

Good Luck and Clear Sky's.

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Hi, welcome to SGL :smile:

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Greeting both, and a warm welcome to the SGL, where you will find folks
with a plethora of knowledge on all thing Astronomical, and many other subjects,
Enjoy your stay, and join in the threads with your own input, we like to hear all 
about the interests of new members.
Best Wishes.
 

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Hi there,

welcome to the forum. Lots of advice here - you may also want to consider binoculars - easy to stash in your camper and doubles up for wildlife viewing.

Whatever you choose, here's wishing you cloudless skies and happy camping.

John

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Hiya Randy and Brenda - Welcome to SGL. This is a great place to be, so settle down and enjoy the ride :D 

Look forward to seeing you around :)

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Hi R & B - I would recommend starting with a refractor or a Dobsonian rather than a Newtonian on an EQ mount.  Not an easy introduction, I believe!

Doug.

 

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Hi and welcome to the fabulous SGL . Here you will find answers to many of the questions you may have, if not there are many many great people here willing to share there knowledge and experience with others. Good luck with finding a scope and enjoy the forum :) 

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Hello and welcome, Brenda and Randy,

congratulations to your decision for a camper, so you'll perhaps spend a lot of time under really dark night skies!

As others have suggested above, a scope with a Dobsonian or altazimuth (AZ) mount would be a good start. Space in a camper might be an issue, so how about a collapsibe ("Flextube") Dobsonian? Dark skies call for wide field instruments, and aperture rules. The OneSkyNewtonian with the same 130/650 paraboloid optics  as your Celestron (various brands; have a look at the huge thread on this on the CloudyNights forum) would take a smaller footprint in your camper. Add a pair of 8x40 or 10x50 bins,  the Pocket Sky Atlas, a planisphere, red flashlight, and Stellarium or Sky Safari 5 app, and you'll be prepared to have a lot of fun (--until aperture fever sets in, or you are taking the slippery road to astrophotography......)

Enjoy, and keep asking!

Stephan

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Greetings, you two, and welcome to SGL - it's good to have you aboard!

We love questions, and finding their answers, so no need to be shy with yours.

Starry Skies,

Dave

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On ‎24‎/‎01‎/‎2017 at 12:23, BeagleDad said:

 I haven't purchased anything yet but have my eyes on a Celestron Astromaster 130EQ.

Randy and Brenda

Windsor, PA

Hi.

I own a new 130mm/900mm newtonian tube that I bought because the price was incredibly reduced, and I had a 150mm/750mm while I built a dobsonian mount for it. I consider the 130mm worthwhile but it borders on toyish for the smaller diameter and plastic focuser. The 150, on the other hand, has a full-metal focuser that adjusts real well, and stays adjusted. Despite being a little bit more sensitive to turbulence, its light is more intense, star colors are more apparent, and it resolves compact clusters more easily.

A 150/750 is fatter but shorter than a 130/900, and the mount, whether it's a rocker box or a tripod, will occupy about the same volume. So, if you can, equip your couple with the bigger scope. No matter what other finer or bigger scopes you might have later, a 150 f/5 will always compete. The 150's have a real spider with thin rigid steel vanes, and a properly sized secondary mirror holder.

But the 130's have oversized secondary housings, and very thick aluminum vanes; the whole thing steals contrast, it's not theory because I replaced the spider/secondary assembly in my 130 with thin vanes, and a smaller mirror housing. Contrast in shady areas became stronger, and so did brightness.

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Hi Randy and Brenda and a warm welcome to you both on joining this forum. When I read about your '.....frequent excursions into the woods' I was a little concerned that you might have signed up to the wrong forum - we know what you campers can be like!:biggrin: 

Anyhow, please don't hesitate to ask more questions regarding the choice of your first scope as there is plenty of help here to guide you. Have you considered the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P ? It offers you a lot more aperture for you bucks which helps make it the U.K's best selling scope and for good reason as most of the money has gone into the mirror (the business end!) to provide you with a increased ability to collect more light. More light means a greater ability to resolve detail which is what makes observing the night sky worthwhile.

Clear skies to you both and hope you enjoy your stay here,

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Thanks for all the advice!  I will explore every option you offered and let y'all know what I end up with.  I thought this would be an easy purchase.  So much to consider!

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You may not locate what specific telescopes are recommended here, this as they may have different names here in the USA. And Skywatcher hasn't yet started selling some of their most popular scopes in the UK over here yet.

So a Dobsonian-type telescope can be easily located in many astronomy-stores here.

We'll get you there! :smiley:

Dave

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Welcome to SGL! Nice to have you here. Don't be afraid to ask questions; there are many knowledgeable loungers about :happy7:

 

Clear skies,

Reggie :icescream:

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