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Hello!

I'm new here. I've recently started getting interested in stargazing and I've been doing a fair bit of research and looked at different options etc.  I'm based near Belfast but I have a reasonably dark back garden with decent-ish views of the sky. I plan to get involved in local clubs but I want to know a bit before diving in. I am also keen on trying a bit of astrophotography or videography perhaps with my smartphone to start with. I would love to try some remote viewing/control as well down the line.

Anyway the reason I am posting (other than wanting to get involved in a new community) is that I hope someone can point me in the right direction please. At the moment I have a Meade EQ113 which I bought on Gumtree for £70 but it's just not got the magnification for good shots of the planets. I think my purchasing goals going forward are:

Dobsonian 200/1200 (new) or 250/1200 (used) - good for snapping some planets and will help me learn the sky and check out some deep sky stuff

Then when/if budget permits

Skywatcher EQ3/5 with GOTO - good for long exposure deep sky, more portable and can upgrade scope

Does that sound like a reasonable plan? Can anyone advise where to buy 2nd hand? There doesn't seem to be a whole load of stuff available on the likes of Gumtree or eBay and collection seems to be the only option when you are based in NI.

Thanks

Scott

 

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Re: the mount for long exposure deep sky, I'm afraid you'll be needing something more heavy duty than a EQ5, especially for a 8 inch reflector.  A widefield refractor/reflector with a HEQ5 is normally the goto for deep sky photography.

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Agree re the mount.  If you are buying new I think FLO (site sponsors) will ship to NI.

In fact an 8" reflector is pretty much on the cusp of being too big for an HEQ5.

I would suggest a smaller reflector and an HEQ5.  Make sure you buy a reflector designed for astrophotography as some of them will not come to focus with a camera. 

Carole 

 

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Thanks for the advice. Hopefully in an hour I will be the proud new owner of a HEQ5 mount. I hope my other half doesn't see this....

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The EQ5 should handle an 8 inch reflector for visual observing... just, but as others have said, for imaging, you'll need a smaller scope. I've imaged with the 130 PDS (Newtonian) and the Altair 60EDF (refractor) and my advice would be; when you come to decide on buying a scope for imaging, buy a small refractor. They are just easier to use and noting ever really goes wrong with them. They do have a higher capital outlay, but your saved time in the long run is worth more than that initial outlay. For observing, an 8 or 10 inch Newtonian will deliver stunning views.

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