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By Andy Cole
I'm a newbie here but not totally new to astronomy. I've had a telescope since I was a teenager (over 30 years!) and only ever had 1 telescope - a Tasco 40x40mm reflector. I expect members my age are familiar with it - thin and white with a thin metal tripod and a push and pull focuser. It's still functional at more than 30 years old although the thread on the eyepiece is worn so the eyepiece falls off regularly! I've only ever used it to look at the moon, Jupiter and Saturn and that's always been good enough for me. Now I have been thinking of getting a new scope. I have a very limited budget and so I am wondering whether I will get any significant improvements on what I can see.
My earliest memories of the Tasco from childhood were that I could see the rings of Saturn as a line across the circle of the planet. Having rekindled my interest in the last few years, I have started to use it again, and nowadays, when Saturn is visible, I can clearly see the rings 'as a ring' and the gap between the planet and the rings, which I don't remember seeing as a kid.
Vieing Jupiter I can usually see about 4 moons.
I've heard that the Skywatcher Heritage 130P Dobsonian is a good 'budget' telescope, and great for casual use, which is what appeals to me most. I don't want a telescope with complicated setup or one that takes up a lot of space. TheSkywatcher seems to fit the bill, and it also fits my very limited budget.
What I am most interested to find out is whill I get an improved view of the things I have already experienced? I have read some reviews that describe what you can see with this scope and it sounds like it's pretty much what I can already see. And it's maximum 65x magnification doesn't seem like much better than the Tasco's 40x. But will the wider aperture make a bigger difference than the magnification?
I'm also interested to know if I could use this scope for basic astrophotography - I have numerous cameras - phone cameras, compacts and DSLR's (photohraphy is my main hobby). I'm not talking about hour long exposures of dark sky objects, just what can be seen easily through this scope.
I'd love to know what people's opinions are, especially if you own or have used this scope. I'm also interested to hear recommendations for other scopes, but please remember I have limited budget and space. I know that an 8" or more is better and I would love one but they are just too expensive and too large for me.
By Mark Daniels
Ok so i and my wife have been travelling to the canaries in the winter for a few years. This coming January we are looking at la palma.
I will be taking a small travel scope for the evenings a sw 50 ed and small tripod also some 10x50 binos
I would like some guidance from those who have been before. Things like a nice hotel in a not to built up area where we can walk of an evening drink some wine and look up to the stars.
Also iwould lile to visit the observatory and from what i can gather need to arrange independently so any info on this would be good. Also are the stargazing evenings on offer any good
Any info on must see tours or nice resturants etc are very welcome as this is a holiday so stargazing is only part of the reason to go.
Thinking south or west of island but opento all suggestions ans experiences
as the title suggests, I've noticed that the RA axis of my HEQ5 pro mount has some give. I don't notice it while the clutch is unlocked, but it's very obvious with a locked RA clutch. Any suggestions on what could be causing it/what adjustments need to be made?