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DandD2014

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Hi

Myself and my partner have just bought a Celestron Inspire 80AZ telescope. 

We have set it up and viewed the moon a little last night but not for long as it was cloudy.

The scope came with 20mm and 10mm eyepieces. 

We have a moon filter arriving today. 

Also for Xmas I have a Celestron  Astromaster kit coming from Santa to add two more eyepieces (15mm and 6mm), a 2x barlow and some red blue filters. 

Any general tips or suggestions would be most appreciated. 

I think we mainly plan on observing the moon, planets and large clusters. 

Would a 32mm be a good addition?  

Thanks

DandD 

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Hi DandD, like Joe above I think a 32mm eyepiece will be most useful, many people never take this one out of the telescope because it gives such a good view of the night sky.  The Celestron Omni Plossl is a good one, found here:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-eyepieces/celestron-omni-plossl-eyepiece.html

Good luck with your stargazing!

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Welcome to SGL, @DandD2014:hello:

My tuppence advice is to take your time. Try to appraise your gear first and then you'll have a better idea of where you want to go and how exactly you want to get there. I feel you ought not to upgrade or buy anything until you know you are missing out on something that is essential to your observing and just as importantly when you know or have a general idea of how it can be improved upon and bettered. If you haven't used your scope that much, it's going to be more tricky to make a sensible and informed decision.

Your scope is a 3" fl11, so with your suggested eyepieces and Barlow, you have magnifications of:

  • 20mm & (x2Barlow) = 45x & 90x
  • 15mm & (x2Barlow) = 60x & 120x
  • 10mm & (x2Barlow) = 90x & 180x
  • 6mm & (x2Barlow)   = 150x & 300x

In general, only under good seeing conditions is one able to push more than 200x to view detail on objects like the Moon or planets. We can also take into account a rough and general rule of thumb which suggests that a theoretical upper limit to how much a telescope can magnify before the image becomes too faint or blurry is the aperture of the scope in inches multiplied by about 40x to 50x. As such, your 6mm is going to be about the maximum power for general viewing.

Needless to say, before buying anything more in terms of eyepieces, slow down a little, practice with your scope, put it through its passes with the gear you already have.

If you haven't already done so, a star atlas is a very useful purchase, as is a red torch to read the atlas at night and perhaps a book like this or this.

Hope that has helped a little. Good luck and let us know how you get along :thumbright:

Edited by Rob Sellent
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Hi @DandD2014 and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

Here are some useful resources/accessories...

  1. Stellarium - it's free for most OS desktops/laptops - also available for mobile OS devices for a small fee.
  2. Turn Left at Orion:... (also available on 'Kindle') - by Guy Consolmagno & Dan M. Davis.
  3. Tri-Atlas - a free .PDF download star atlas in three volumes - WARNING! it fills a CD-ROM if you download and save it on one.
  4. sites offering free .PDF files of DSO charts, i.e. Messier, Caldwell, etc. 
  5. a red light/torch to preserve your night-vision - (even a rear bicycle LED light will do, as long it is not flashing).
Edited by Philip R
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3 hours ago, DandD2014 said:

Would a 32mm be a good addition?

If your lifetime telescope is that Inspire 80, yes. But if you upgrade later a basic narrow-field eyepiece like that 32 will restrict what you can do with your scope. So learn with what you have, and wait before you spend.

Edited by Ben the Ignorant
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23 hours ago, DandD2014 said:

Celestron Inspire 80AZ

I'm curious - what made you pick this ^^^ model?

FWIW you may not find the moon filter beneficial - it depends on your eyes.  Some people swear by them and say the moon is too bright, but I've got an 8" mirror with far more light gathering capacity than you and filters I could use on the moon, but I much prefer my moon the way nature intended and do not find it too bright to watch comfortably.  You may also find that you don't get a lot of use out of coloured filters - I soon got fed up with screwing them on and off the EP's.  Possibly your best route is to see what you can do with what you have, then when you get a hankering to improve things your best investment might be a different scope, maybe a 200P Dobsonian which is what most beginners get a lot of use out of.

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On 11/11/2019 at 10:59, DandD2014 said:

 

Also for Xmas I have a Celestron  Astromaster kit coming from Santa to add two more eyepieces (15mm and 6mm), a 2x barlow and some red blue filters. 

Hey!

This is probably not what you want to hear but if the Celestron Kit is not paid yet, I would advise not buying it. The 15mm eyepiece is a Kelner which is an old design and gives very limited apparent field of view. The 6mm is a Plossl which is a good design for longer focal lenght eyepiece (15mm +) but will have a very short eyerelief at 6mm (thus not comfortable to use, you would have to jam your eye against the eyepiece). The barlow is likely to be pretty bad too and color filters are not that usefull (actually very few observer use color filter on a regular basis). Finally, the whole thing will have very low resale value when/if you decide to upgrade.

I would do as suggested by Rob and first assess what I have and then I would try to buy a few eyepiece on the second hand market (amateur astronomer tend to maintain their stuff very well and if you don't like something you can always resell it with no or minimal loss).

Clear skies,

Raph

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7 hours ago, JOC said:

I've got an 8" mirror with far more light gathering capacity than you and filters I could use on the moon, but I much prefer my moon the way nature intended

The Moon is a sunlit rock, so if it is blindingly bright any sunlit lanscape is blinding, too, and needs to be viewed through filters. But I've never seen anyone being dazzled by a sunlit landscape in a large scope, and we used our club's 400mm newtonian on landscapes a few times.

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5 minutes ago, Ben the Ignorant said:

and needs to be viewed through filters

I respectfully disagree - MIGHT need to be viewed by filters is a better way of putting that.  I have viewed the moon through my 8" reflector, my 8cm refractor and a pair of binoculars and have never needed or wanted a filter.

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D&D

Welcome from Land Down Under

I am out a couple of times per month with my club doing presentations in primary schools, Space Badge Joeys/Cubs, scout movement

I find that a 15mm or 17mm wide angle eyepiece ideal for observing Jupiter and Saturn with younger eyes,  and 20mm, even 25mm ideal for the moon

Have used lunar filter occasionally, and use #25 Red to observe the polar caps on Mars

The attached link useful when working out which filters to buy

https://www.myastroshop.com.au/guides/filters.asp

If you get the opportunity, rock up one night at your local club, and everyone there only too happy to show you their setup, and lot of helpful advice with respect to equipment, eyepieces and filters

John

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There is some excellent advice in this thread. Unfortunately, you are on the same path I took and most others too.

I bought a cheap telescope (which is fine for starters), then spent a fortune on cheap eyepieces, filters and other dross that offered zero improvement. I then bought a more substantial telescope and wish I had not wasted my money on cheap accessories/eyepieces.  Your view will only ever be as good as the weakest link in your optical chain. Putting an expensive eyepiece in a cheap telescope is like putting lipstick on a pig. It won't imprive things. Putting a cheap eyepiece in a quality telescope makes it a pig. Don't waste money, buy quality. Junk kit has negligible resale value. I suggest enjoy your new starter's scope for a few months with only its supplied accessories and only move on once you better understand the money pit that you are falling into. It will be OK for Moon/Planets and some accessible DSOs (like Orion Nebula), but buy a copy of "Turn left at Orion" to understand the limitations.

Edited by noah4x4
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4 hours ago, noah4x4 said:

There is some excellent advice in this thread. Unfortunately, you are on the same path I took and most others too.

I bought a cheap telescope (which is fine for starters), then spent a fortune on cheap eyepieces, filters and other dross that offered zero improvement. I then bought a more substantial telescope and wish I had not wasted my money on cheap accessories/eyepieces.  Your view will only ever be as good as the weakest link in your optical chain. Putting an expensive eyepiece in a cheap telescope is like putting lipstick on a pig. It won't imprive things. Putting a cheap eyepiece in a quality telescope makes it a pig. Don't waste money, buy quality. Junk kit has negligible resale value. I suggest enjoy your new starter's scope for a few months with only its supplied accessories and only move on once you better understand the money pit that you are falling into. It will be OK for Moon/Planets and some accessible DSOs (like Orion Nebula), but buy a copy of "Turn left at Orion" to understand the limitations.

There is a lot of sense in this.  If you want to improve the viewing experience then why not sell the current scope and put the cash and that from Santa's present into the purchase of something like this https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html - keep an eye on the second hand advertisments in the buy and sell section of SGL and you might be surprised at how cheap decent telescopes 2nd hand can be.  The telescope you have purchased probably cost £70+ from what I see online, the astromaster kit is another £50+ There is every chance of a much better telescope turning up on SGL in that forum for not a lot more investment and then you will really improve what you can see.

NB.  If Santa hasn't been shopping yet for the Celestron Astomaster kit in preparation for the future I think you would be better off investing in one £47 BST starguider EP than all the things in that box.

Edited by JOC
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Thank you to the helpful replies that included some helpful information and signposting to useful resources based on what we have so far and my original question. Much appreciated. 

In regards to the scope it was bought with a quick setup in mind and ease of breakdown/storage. 

In regards to filters, especially the moon filter, I am recovering from bilateral cataract surgery last week and my eyes are, and will be for sometime, sensitive to bright light especially that under magnification. I felt a moon filter was a good and sensible idea. 

I was put off from the hobby due to the extreme restrictions posed by my previous eyesight. We wanted to purchase a scope that wasn't too expensive to test my hopefully new and improved vision without splashing out on expensive kit right away. 

We will be using the scope as much as we can, skies permitting, and will test the scope and my new eyes. 

Thanks

 

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2 minutes ago, DandD2014 said:

In regards to filters, especially the moon filter, I am recovering from bilateral cataract surgery last week and my eyes are, and will be for sometime, sensitive to bright light especially that under magnification. I felt a moon filter was a good and sensible idea. 

Then it sounds a very good idea in your situation.  I'm sure I've read about people getting some use out of a moon filter to also place some contrast on the brighter planets.  NB.  if you ever wish to view the sun you will need far more specialist filters (just in case you felt tempted I thought it as well to state this!).

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8 hours ago, JOC said:

There is a lot of sense in this.  If you want to improve the viewing experience then why not sell the current scope and put the cash and that from Santa's present into the purchase of something like this https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-150p-dobsonian.html - keep an eye on the second hand advertisments in the buy and sell section of SGL and you might be surprised at how cheap decent telescopes 2nd hand can be.  The telescope you have purchased probably cost £70+ from what I see online, the astromaster kit is another £50+ There is every chance of a much better telescope turning up on SGL in that forum for not a lot more investment and then you will really improve what you can see.

NB.  If Santa hasn't been shopping yet for the Celestron Astomaster kit in preparation for the future I think you would be better off investing in one £47 BST starguider EP than all the things in that box.

Definitelly better off with on BST starguider than this kit!

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3 hours ago, DandD2014 said:

Thank you to the helpful replies that included some helpful information and signposting to useful resources based on what we have so far and my original question. Much appreciated. 

In regards to the scope it was bought with a quick setup in mind and ease of breakdown/storage. 

In regards to filters, especially the moon filter, I am recovering from bilateral cataract surgery last week and my eyes are, and will be for sometime, sensitive to bright light especially that under magnification. I felt a moon filter was a good and sensible idea. 

I was put off from the hobby due to the extreme restrictions posed by my previous eyesight. We wanted to purchase a scope that wasn't too expensive to test my hopefully new and improved vision without splashing out on expensive kit right away. 

We will be using the scope as much as we can, skies permitting, and will test the scope and my new eyes. 

Thanks

 

There you go! https://www.firstlightoptics.com/astro-essentials-eyepieces/astro-essentials-nd96-0-9-1-25-moon-filter.html

No need to buy a whole kit useless if you just need a moon filter!

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Hi and welcome to the forum. My advice would be have fun and enjoy your kit. I started with a 70mm refractor and had a great time. I also enjoyed getting new cheap eyepieces and swapping them around frequently. I think you made a good choice choosing a scope that is ready to go quickly and especially an AZ mount. Quick set up time is sometimes underrated. Especially at the beginning and even now, a few years later, 30 minutes observing is often enough.

If, after a few sessions, you find you'd like to see a bit more sky to help you with star-hopping, then get a cheap 32mm. Also, as already mentioned, the book Turn Left at Orion is great, as are the free programs Stellarium and Virtual Moon Atlas. 

Good luck and have fun.

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To OP,

If you re still looking for cheap EPs you should have a look on UK ABS. Especially those 2 ads:

https://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=155552

https://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/propview.php?view=155553

Most of these are less than £10 per piece and are better than what you would get in the Celestron kit

 

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Couldn’t agree with domstar more. You have just stepped through the door into a pastime/passion/obsession that is truly mind blowing.

Look around, learn a bit, keep a diary of what you see. Don’t fret the details of equipment at the beginning, it’s all about seeing those first clusters, Andromeda, a planet or two. You will quickly learn what you can see, but I will say if you are brave enough, visit somewhere dark see how much you can get out of your first scope.

M

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Scope sounds a good choice and you have a reason for the moon filter. You have at least put some thought into it.

I would agree that the eyepiece kit is probably not that great a decision. My opinion is that 2 well thought out individual eyepieces are better.  So if not ordered I would suggest you hold off of that at this time.

Would suggest as a tip that you add your town or county to your information. In general knowing approximately where a person is helps. Runs into the state that if close by to myself you are welcome to try an eyepiece or two. Very likely many miles away but never know for sure.

Take time to set up finder and scope, they do not just fit right and need setting.

Other bits are learn the basic constellations and therefore the main stars. A suggestion of try Almaak in Andromeda means you have to have some idea of Andromeda at least.

Start on easy targets, again needs a little thought applied. Oddly M31 the Andromeda Galaxy may not be easy owing to its size. You need quite low magnification to get it all in a single view. But everyone tries for it.

Hope the eyes make a full and improved recovery.

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