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I'm looking to get myself a new telescope to get back outside and looking up. I currently have a Celestron Astromaster 130eq, however, I do not use it as much as it broke in a way where the mount and knobs cannot be fixed. I did enjoy using it, but now I am looking for a more convenient scope to use. I'm looking at smaller goto scopes around $400. I want to be able to take it with me anywhere, set it up in minutes, and get to observing without much hassle (punch in an object and have it be tracked). I'm currently looking at the two scopes below:
Celestron NexStar 4se
Celestron NexStar 130 SLT
I realized the 130 is the same size as my current scope, but with its goto factor, I feel like I would use it a lot more. The 4se is very appealing due to its small form factor. In addition to the Solar System, I would like to be able to see some DSOs. As for the price, $400 is my comfort zone at the moment, but I'll consider going up or down based on recommendations. If anyone has any experience with the scopes above, or has a recommendation, please share your input. I would love to hear it as I really want to get back outside and observing.
By Cosmic Geoff
At around 14.35 GMT today I observed Venus, Mercury and Jupiter, with my 127mm Mak SLT GoTo.
Venus was a large, very thin crescent, trembly in poor seeing. Mercury was easy to see once I got my eye in, and Jupiter was easier to pick out with a red filter.
Mercury and Jupiter are now not far apart. (7min RA 3 deg Dec.)
The visibility of Mercury seems dependent on atmospheric clarity. On several days recently I looked for it but could not see it.
I just recently took a teaching position at a local community college. We have a virtually mint Celestron Nexstar 8 that, as far as I can tell, has had almost no use. Probably because of this, the center support post and accessory tray are missing. I don't need the tray, and it doesn't figure into the tripod stability, but the post does. I am trying to fabricate a new one (we have the machining capability to do it here), but I need some help with dimensions. Specifically, the thread of the post at the top where the rod enters the mounting plate of the scope, and the length of the rod. The rest I can make work.
Thanks for any help you can provide!
By Cosmic Geoff
Aided by GoTo, I observed Venus in daylight this afternoon. It is only a few days from inferior conjunction (26th) and appears as a large thin crescent. It's in an unfavorable position for Northern nocturnal observers and appeared almost below the Sun. I could not see Mercury (which should have been accessible).
And before you comment, I checked carefully where the 127mm Mak was pointing before putting my eye to the eyepiece.😲