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StarFiveSky

How bad is my situation (to get inton astronomy)?

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Posted (edited)

Good evening every1.

Let me introduce myself: 

I just got 18yrs old, have no car, and live in a pretty populated european city & have less than a few hundred to a thousand $/€ dedicateable to this hobby.

The issue is clearly that I'm not in a good place to view the milky or anything really. 

I can sometimes at night see a few (less than 5-6) little stars (and a really bright yellow one) in the night sky though once I take a pair of binoculars (20x50) I can see more stars in between the bright ones though they are still yellow and blue dots in the sky.

I'm about to buy a motorcycle that would change my situation though I would need a really portable telescope in order to be able to carry it around. 

 Would releasing my location / city (obviously with a bit of privacy) make it easier to determine where I could star gaze?

Edited by StarFiveSky
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Welcome to the forum! I always thought these were cool! But you might be better to buy a star atlas eg Turn Left at Orion and continue with your binos. 

 

http://www.picstop.co.uk/refractor-telescopes/celestron-travel-scope-70-telescope.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwj4zaBRABEiwA0xwsPyBcrWXf_8xRXrUWG2CS5bvfI3UyqYoVdC2SGJMAyPMdSgTwSt-OmRoCs-sQAvD_BwE

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Posted (edited)

You can certainly observe solar system objects (luna, planets, solar with proper filtration, etc) from within just about any city.  You'll probably want something like a 127 Mak on a goto mount that can be fit in a backpack for travel on a motorcycle to dark sites.

Skymax Backpack - Annotated (R).jpg

Edited by Louis D
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Posted (edited)

The tripod for the 70mm travel scope is rubbish. The only place I took it when I bought the scope, was the recycling bin. 

The MAK 127 is for many reasons a much better scope. 

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Yes a 5" (127mm) or preferably 6" (152mm) SCT, they fit beautifully in a relatively small case.
A GoTo is very helpful.

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Even within boundaries of really bright cities you will find interesting spots to observe. You just need to shield yourself from as much direct light as possible. Look for roofs of tall buildings for example (but not for planetary - for planetary you want a park or something like that - to set on grass and away from concrete that absorbs heat).

So portable setup is the one to go for - you will be able to pack it and head out on your bike to a dark(er) location, but you will also be able to do some decent stargazing from within the city - solar system object mostly, but I've been able to

observe couple of dozen Messier objects (mostly globular and open clusters and few brighter nebulae) from red zone in city with 100mm aperture scope.

So it is doable, and if you get accustomed to way object look like from city then you will enjoy much more when you go out to dark site - everything will be sooo much better :D

 

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52 minutes ago, Louis D said:

You can certainly observe solar system objects (luna, planets, solar with proper filtration, etc) from within just about any city.  You'll probably want something like a 127 Mak on a goto mount that can be fit in a backpack for travel on a motorcycle to dark sites.

Skymax Backpack - Annotated (R).jpg

This is pretty much my exact setup right now, and I highly recommend it. The GOTO features are awesome, and even though I don't really need it anymore I still use it when I can. I got mine for about $500, and it was worth every penny. Only thing is, I wouldn't take it on a motorcycle if I had a choice. If you have access to a car, that would be better, but if you can secure it to the side of the motorcycle and drive carefully you can probably make it work. I would recommend getting the peterson first guide to astronomy, it costs like $10 and is probably the single most helpful astronomy tool I own. I would also recommend the total skywatchers guide, its a bit more expensive but very helpful, and it has lots of cool ideas to help you explore the sky. There are a lot of astronomy apps, but my preferred app is night sky 4. The in-app compass doesn't always work right without wifi, so if you don't have wireless data you will need to correct it every now and then. One more thing: most GOTO scopes don't have very good finderscopes. Even though the telescope finds stuff more or less by itself, I would recommend spending a little cash on a better one just in case. Anybody who wants to do astronomy can, even if you only spend $50 on a cheap little refractor and only look at the moon, if you really want to eventually you can work your way up to something better.

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1 hour ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

The tripod for the 70mm travel scope is rubbish. The only place I took it when I bought the scope, was the recycling bin. 

The MAK 127 is for many reasons a much better scope. 

Okay first of all thanks to everyone's advise in this thread 👌

Secondly my binoculars aren't strong (zoom) enough to see much in the night sky. Its somewhat okay / enough to see the moon at night. My mistake was to be foolish enough to believe that I won't need a tripod, its much more enjoyable since I bought one.

There are previews and tests of the Skywatcher 127 MAK and tbh the results are pretty good for a its current price (and my budget).....But there is one issue, the range. I know that is problematic with my budget but in THIS VIDEO (127 mak) Mars just looks blurry. I don't expect 4k UHD Clear dot Quality, but is there a little upgrade possible?

53 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

Even within boundaries of really bright cities you will find interesting spots to observe. You just need to shield yourself from as much direct light as possible. Look for roofs of tall buildings for example (but not for planetary - for planetary you want a park or something like that - to set on grass and away from concrete that absorbs heat).

So portable setup is the one to go for - you will be able to pack it and head out on your bike to a dark(er) location, but you will also be able to do some decent stargazing from within the city - solar system object mostly, but I've been able to

observe couple of dozen Messier objects (mostly globular and open clusters and few brighter nebulae) from red zone in city with 100mm aperture scope.

So it is doable, and if you get accustomed to way object look like from city then you will enjoy much more when you go out to dark site - everything will be sooo much better :D

 

I've read a few things about that, some people in this forum said that you shouldn't use a telescope in doors because of ambient temperature, what is the issue with temperature and telescopes.

There's an observatory a few minutes away from me, is that the best place to gaze since there's already a giant telescope in place (the owner must've thought about light pollution & height ,etc... before putting an observatory down there right?)

 

Now its up to which telescope I should buy, I feel like this is gonna rip the wallet apart. Take this Video  as an example, it looks a little blurry on camera, but will it look better in person?

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Ive used telescopes of different types and size while looking through windows. Most objects look the same. Planets are terrible. 

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1 minute ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

Ive used telescopes of different types and size while looking through windows. Most objects look the same. Planets are terrible. 

Yes understood, I won't misuse any telescope by viewing anything through a window ;) Which telescope do I need for outside star gazing, I wanna see nebulas and mars in a better / acceptable quality than what was shown in the videos.

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14 minutes ago, StarFiveSky said:

Okay first of all thanks to everyone's advise in this thread 👌

Secondly my binoculars aren't strong (zoom) enough to see much in the night sky. Its somewhat okay / enough to see the moon at night. My mistake was to be foolish enough to believe that I won't need a tripod, its much more enjoyable since I bought one.

There are previews and tests of the Skywatcher 127 MAK and tbh the results are pretty good for a its current price (and my budget).....But there is one issue, the range. I know that is problematic with my budget but in THIS VIDEO (127 mak) Mars just looks blurry. I don't expect 4k UHD Clear dot Quality, but is there a little upgrade possible?

I've read a few things about that, some people in this forum said that you shouldn't use a telescope in doors because of ambient temperature, what is the issue with temperature and telescopes.

There's an observatory a few minutes away from me, is that the best place to gaze since there's already a giant telescope in place (the owner must've thought about light pollution & height ,etc... before putting an observatory down there right?)

 

Now its up to which telescope I should buy, I feel like this is gonna rip the wallet apart. Take this Video  as an example, it looks a little blurry on camera, but will it look better in person?

Im sure you know that the object in the video is the planet Mars. Its very difficult for many people to observe,image this planet. Even in an 8" scope its very small and doesnt give up much detail. Ive never really had any luck observing Mars. I have seen the polar caps a couple of times and on one really good night, i saw surface detail.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, StarFiveSky said:

Yes understood, I won't misuse any telescope by viewing anything through a window ;) Which telescope do I need for outside star gazing, I wanna see nebulas and mars in a better / acceptable quality than what was shown in the videos.

Its ok to observe through a window. Not the best way, but if its all you can do, its better than nothing. If the window can open thats even better because the inside temp will get to be about the same as outside.

What scope should you get?

How much do you have to spend?. How much storage space do you have?. How fit and healthy are you?. Lots of factors will determine the best scope for you to buy.

I see that you have 20x50 binoculars. They will certainly need a tripod to use them.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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1 hour ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

Its ok to observe through a window. Not the best way, but if its all you can do, its better than nothing. If the window can open thats even better because the inside temp will get to be about the same as outside.

What scope should you get?

How much do you have to spend?. How much storage space do you have?. How fit and healthy are you?. Lots of factors will determine the best scope for you to buy.

I see that you have 20x50 binoculars. They will certainly need a tripod to use them.

I'm ready to spend up to 500€ but I would obv. choose the cheaper 100$/€ option if possible.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, StarFiveSky said:

I'm ready to spend up to 500€ but I would obv. choose the cheaper 100$/€ option if possible.

A 100 euros or dollars wont get you a scope that will serve you well. If you have up to 500t to spend, a nice 8" (200mm) Dob is the best option (if you can move it around and store it).

If Dobs are not for you, a nice refractor:

https://www.bresser.de/en/Astronomy/BRESSER-Messier-AR-102xs-460-Hexafoc-Optical-Tube.html

Then also a tripod and mount:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe/sky-watcher-az5-deluxe-alt-azimuth-mount.html

Total cost less than 600...........for a NICE setup.

I just bought the above.

 

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Spotting scopes.............

do they really cut the mustard for astronomy?

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5 minutes ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

Spotting scopes.............

do they really cut the mustard for astronomy?

Binoculars, 2 spotting scopes stuck together ? :grin:

Dave

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7 hours ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

Spotting scopes.............

do they really cut the mustard for astronomy?

No. There is nowhere to mount a finder and at best you get a 45° angle when you want a scope with a 90° star diagonal. If you already have one you can press it into service but if you're looking to buy it is better to go for something designed for the task. 

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8 hours ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

Spotting scopes.............

do they really cut the mustard for astronomy?

This one does, as it's really a small astro scope you can use for terrestrial things:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/optical-tube-assemblies/celestron-c90-mak.html

Finderscope is a toy (I've fitted a spare 8 x 30 one). I like the 45 degree diagonal but you can fit a 90 degree one if you want.

Smaller than the 127 mak above which would be better if you are able to carry it around.

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9 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

This one does, as it's really a small astro scope you can use for terrestrial things:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/optical-tube-assemblies/celestron-c90-mak.html

Finderscope is a toy (I've fitted a spare 8 x 30 one). I like the 45 degree diagonal but you can fit a 90 degree one if you want.

Smaller than the 127 mak above which would be better if you are able to carry it around.

From my expierence I would rather not get another pair of binoculars (I know its not really a pair ob bncs but still). 

Okay I want to spend around 150€, what would be the best telescope I could get for that price (Zoom > quality at thid point 🙄 in space).

Again to give a little side info: 20x50 was not enough at all to view much) so we need to go much higher than that + the viewing angle taught me something about my neck.

 

Still I'm a complete beginner to this whole field so take everything I say with a grain of pepper-  salt but packed with enthusiasm, passion and open-minded philosophy.

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23 hours ago, StarFiveSky said:

here are previews and tests of the Skywatcher 127 MAK and tbh the results are pretty good for a its current price (and my budget).....But there is one issue, the range. I know that is problematic with my budget but in THIS VIDEO (127 mak) Mars just looks blurry. I don't expect 4k UHD Clear dot Quality, but is there a little upgrade possible?

I don't know what you're complaining about with that video.  That's actually showing quite a bit of surface detail for Mars.  Even in giant telescopes, you're mostly limited by atmospheric seeing.  The best views of Mars are from images made from stacks of thousands of frame captures:

gallery_3310_3650_1407435731_2317.jpg

For this Mars opposition, we're not likely to see any surface detail except for the polar cap due to a global dust storm raging on Mars right now.

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3 minutes ago, Louis D said:

I don't know what you're complaining about with that video.  That's actually showing quite a bit of surface detail for Mars.  Even in giant telescopes, you're mostly limited by atmospheric seeing.  The best views of Mars are from images made from stacks of thousands of frame captures:

gallery_3310_3650_1407435731_2317.jpg

For this Mars opposition, we're not likely to see any surface detail except for the polar cap due to a global dust storm raging on Mars right now.

So which telescope fits my budget of 200€/$(l  live in eu so eu links/shipment would easier).

Which telescope did you use in that image (i know you used registack and stacking in generell but still ,mak127?

longest blood moon coming up in 17 days so I need to get ready ;) (<-- wouldn't that be awesome to see as a complete beginner)

 

 

(optional) Last question: Can I use/buy filters and other additional "things" later on to improve my telescope in terms of quality and magnification?

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2 hours ago, StarFiveSky said:

From my expierence I would rather not get another pair of binoculars (I know its not really a pair ob bncs but still). 

Okay I want to spend around 150€, what would be the best telescope I could get for that price (Zoom > quality at thid point 🙄 in space).

Again to give a little side info: 20x50 was not enough at all to view much) so we need to go much higher than that + the viewing angle taught me something about my neck.

 

Still I'm a complete beginner to this whole field so take everything I say with a grain of pepper-  salt but packed with enthusiasm, passion and open-minded philosophy.

Binoculars have as much right to be a pair as trousers do :D

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2 minutes ago, StarFiveSky said:

Which telescope did you use in that image (i know you used registack and stacking in generell but still ,mak127?

I didn't take that image, so I don't know the details.  I just found it on CN as an example of what is possible with image stacking.  Here's what a recent image of Mars looks like:

gallery_265278_7021_7960.jpg

As you can see, the central part of Mars is basically featureless due to the dust storm.

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