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Olli

What's the best scope for Lunar and planetary?

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Hi,

I currently have a 130p and I think it's great all-rounder however I have been saving some money and since the weather hasn't been great I been reading more about the moon\planets and has made want to get a dedicated scope for them. What would be the best option I know the make 127 is a good bet but would like to hear some opinions? I think my budget would be around £350-£400 

Thanks :)

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Posted (edited)

Would this scope be mounted on your az pronto, Olli? There's a Celestron C6 xlt on the FLO clearance thread for £400 which would be very good for planetary and lunar, but I think your Pronto mount may struggle with it.

Maybe a small light Mak to complement your 130p, maybe something upto 4" Mak wise would be ok on your mount?

p.s. My 150p f/8 dob was great on the planets and only cost about 200. 

Edited by Lockie

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8 minutes ago, Lockie said:

Would this scope be mounted on your az pronto, Olli? There's a Celestron C6 xlt on the FLO clearance thread for £400 which would be very good for planetary and lunar, but I think your Pronto mount may struggle with it.

Maybe a small light Mak to complement your 130p, maybe something upto 4" Mak wise would be ok on your mount?

p.s. My 150p f/8 dob was great on the planets and only cost about 200. 

I would prefer it to be used on my mount but it doesn't have a great weight limit I know the 102 mak can be used on it but not sure how good the difference is compared to my 130p

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Posted (edited)

+1 for the Celestron C6 xlt. The 102 & 127 Mak's have a good reputation too.

Just for comparison here is my C6 & ETX 105... post-4682-0-08081900-1394160327_thumb.jpg.39874f9748f97e8f9852c808e219edfc.jpg

Edited by Philip R
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I got great results last night on Jupiter with my 127 Mak and binoviewers - probably the best view yet 👍🏼

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Just now, Olli said:

I would prefer it to be used on my mount but it doesn't have a great weight limit I know the 102 mak can be used on it but not sure how good the difference is compared to my 130p

The main difference is focal length, scopes with long focal lengths like Maks, SCT's will give a much higher magnification for given eyepiece compared to your 130p. More comfortable higher mags are good for planets and close up lunar detail. You won't have any diffraction effect with a Mak, and the central obstruction should be a little smaller giving better contrast. The downside is a bit less resolution compared to your 130p. I've owned both and would say the Mak gives better planetary lunar views, but it's not a million miles better. It's just the only thing I can think of that will sit on your mount ok and would be an improvement on the planets. 

Skipping your mount all together, maybe consider a Dob.   

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6 minutes ago, Lockie said:

The main difference is focal length, scopes with long focal lengths like Maks, SCT's will give a much higher magnification for given eyepiece compared to your 130p. More comfortable higher mags are good for planets and close up lunar detail. You won't have any diffraction effect with a Mak, and the central obstruction should be a little smaller giving better contrast. The downside is a bit less resolution compared to your 130p. I've owned both and would say the Mak gives better planetary lunar views, but it's not a million miles better. It's just the only thing I can think of that will sit on your mount ok and would be an improvement on the planets. 

Skipping your mount all together, maybe consider a Dob.   

Thanks for the reply, would prefer not to use a Dob just like having the portability of small scopes. I might Consider the 102. 

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For portability the C6 is 'just' portable, but if you need something for travelling on an aircraft as a carry-on then forget it, (unless you own your own aircraft).

My ETX 105 just about fits in a large aluminium camera case, but doubtful whether airline check-in/handling agent/staff would let me allow it as carry-on. I refused to let my Ranger go in the hold of an aircraft in 1999 when I went to Varna, BG for the solar eclipse, and the case, 'scope, etc., weighed less than it does now, but I still insist it is carry-on. Check-in staff at VAR did not query it. 

BTW - tripod & mount were in the suitcase.  

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You will get a variety of answers. There has been considerable discussion in the past about which design is 'best' for planetary viewing. Apochromats, Maksutovs, long focus Newtonians  and SCTs are all somebody's best choice.  Also consider the mounting. Something that tracks will make planetary viewing much more pleasurable.

Also consider that you might want to try basic planetary astrophotography, in which case you will want a setup that will readily convert for this.

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My Skymax 127 Mak works well for planets. The OTA went carry-on without problems, but, as it was a first for the security guys, it had to go through the scanner on one of their trays before going back in my backpack. I had the other bits in a wheeled case in the hold. However, if you put the tripod in hold luggage, the rest (plus socks, t-shirts and other packing) will fit in a backpack.

5ad4be8ace1ef_SkymaxBackpack-Annotated(R).thumb.jpg.aac8833828109e88b109d18994777905.jpg

Geoff

 

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Going against the grain by suggesting a smaller aperture, but I would recommend the SW Evostar 102/EQ3, I have a Celestron 100mm and it is perfect for Moon & planets, though I have the semi-apo, which unfortunately is out of your budget, however, with the right ep's this scope could work very well for you I feel. Link here: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/evostar/skywatcher-evostar-102-eq3-2.html

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19 hours ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

You will get a variety of answers. There has been considerable discussion in the past about which design is 'best' for planetary viewing. Apochromats, Maksutovs, long focus Newtonians  and SCTs are all somebody's best choice.  Also consider the mounting. Something that tracks will make planetary viewing much more pleasurable.

Also consider that you might want to try basic planetary astrophotography, in which case you will want a setup that will readily convert for this.

I think I will most likely get into planetary photography. So a new mount would probably be best then. 

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2 hours ago, Geoff Lister said:

My Skymax 127 Mak works well for planets. The OTA went carry-on without problems, but, as it was a first for the security guys, it had to go through the scanner on one of their trays before going back in my backpack. I had the other bits in a wheeled case in the hold. However, if you put the tripod in hold luggage, the rest (plus socks, t-shirts and other packing) will fit in a backpack.

5ad4be8ace1ef_SkymaxBackpack-Annotated(R).thumb.jpg.aac8833828109e88b109d18994777905.jpg

Geoff

 

Thanks Geoff, had seen that post before quite impressive that it fits in that bag with the go-to as well.

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I had a a 127 SLT (which is a Maksutov) and affirm that Maks work well on planets. I even used it on Mars and I could see some mottling of the surface, which surprised me. I have a 8 inch Dob now so it should in theory do better than the Mak, I just need the right eyepiece. I am impressed that the Skymax 127 fits in a small bag, I never tried that with my old SLT. I am tempted to get a C90 and put it on a mount just to have a good grab and go Lunar scope, but I want a goto refractor first, so I need to prioritize things in my head!

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