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Hi everyone.

sorry I know this has been asked and I've tried getting ideas from other posts but any advice would be greatly received. My husband has always had an interest in the skies and I would love to get him a telescope for Christmas. I really had no idea how confusing it would be! I'm hugely struggling with all the types of telescopes and different peoples views. 

From searching through lots of sites and reviews the skywatcher explorer and skywatcher star travel seem to be good beginner scopes. Can any advise on these or other suggestions? I don't want to spend too much more than £100 (appreciate these are both more) and I was hoping for something he can add to over time if he wishes (other lenses, phone connector etc). I would prefer it to have its own tripod though read that many of these are flimsy. We live outside of London so sky's not always great but my parents are in cornwall so hoping to view there too. 

Thank you for any help 

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Welcome

Staying with the star travel the 80mm one comes on a az3 tripod and is portable and would show great wide field views, whilst very high power magnification is not it's strong point none the less it can be used on the Moon and planets as well. Due to the construction it does show some chromatic aberration on really bright objects like the Moon or say Venus and Jupiter I'm not personally phased by that but if you anticipate your husband might be then the heritage 100p (in budget) won't show CA as it is a different telescope design. 

You can obtain additional eyepieces as the hobby grows but both come with two to get you started.

Stellarium is free to install and is a brilliant planetarium software.

If the hobby really grows the ST80 can be used as a finder scope of a guiding scope, or a quick grab and go.

If spending about £140 the heritage 130p is very capable.

No question is too small.

Edited by happy-kat
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I personally would go for the small Dobsonian design of the Heritage 100p or if possible the 130p. They are both quite easy to transport to dark locations, and I find the image better than that of the ST80. On the down side, they need to be collimated from time to time, but that is not very hard.

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Hi , and welcome to SGL.

I also suggest the Heritage 130p.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html

You get a lot of aperture for your money. Many members who now own much more expensive scopes have kept their Heritage 130p, and still use it.

Whatever scope you buy a celestial guidebook like Turn Left at Orion will greatly enhance your enjoyment.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/books/turn-left-at-orion-book.html

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Thank you so much everyone. I'm going to look the 130p. Also thank you lenscap for the recommendation of the book. Hubbys birthday is right before Christmas so I'm always stuck for gift ideas. This will be a great addition to get him started. 

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10 hours ago, DD4 said:

I'm hugely struggling with all the types of telescopes and different peoples views. 

It's never going to be easy, even those in the know deliberate  for ages on this one, that one?

A pair of binoculars is also a good birthday option, and these can effectively be used day or night.  Again so many choices but not more than 10 times magnification making them easier to hand hold for longer periods of time. Something like 10x50  or an 8x40 ( has a wider view ) might even  get used more than a poorly chosen scope, after all, hubby isn't going to tell you he doesn't like the scope!

If hubby is capable/able my suggestion is to go straight in for a 8" reflector telescope mounted on a Dobsonian mount, like mine, the Skywatcher Skyliner 200P. It's not the easiest scope to lug around between homes, but the results are pretty good.  A similar tabletop version,  the 100P would give an idea of how the 200P works, only the 200P will provide better detail when the conditions allow. There's also a 150P variant of the Skyliner, just as easy to use.

Don't forget some aftershave, incase all this astronomy stuff messes with your mind and the birthday arrives before any scope!!!!

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Don't go out and buy one from a camera shop, or Argos, or Jessops or a National geographic one and don't be seduced by the pictures on the sides of the boxes or in their blurb .

Also, get a hold of your husband's and your own expectations.  Before buying it is well worth taking a look at this thread:

Even if you don't read all the text scroll down and look at the pictures - the tiny ones were taken with a 4" telescope. 

Edited by JOC

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