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First of all let me say how pleasantly suprised I was to find an active astronomy forum willing to help new people to the hobby!

Absolute kuddo's to the people running this forum & the contributors who daily answer questions.

I've been thinking of getting into astronomy for a while and I would like to buy my first telescope this summer.

This question must have been asked at least a million times but times change, technology evolves & new things get discovered.

Since i'm just a beginner my budget would be around maximum €300.

My goals would be: Moon & Planets (and only if possible deepskyobjects)

I have been looking at the 'Bresser Pollux 150/1400 EQ3'

(https://www.frank.nl/bresser-pollux-150-1400-eq3)

But after doing a lot of research I found this is probably not such a good choice for me as it's a Bird-Jones telescope, and I read that those are to be avoided by beginners.

It seems that the posibilities are immense and I don't know where to look anymore.

Thanks in advance!

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Welcome to the lounge, and thanks for the kind comments; there was someone on the forum earlier who seemed to think the exact opposite...

Anyway, in terms of a scope, I believe something like this will be great for you. It slightly exceeds your budget, but will be worth it if you can spare the extra 23 euros.

These types of scopes (Dobsonians) are really superb value for money, very easy to use, portable and will give great views of the moon, planets and this one in particular will give good views of deep sky objects as it has a whole 8inches of aperture (which essentially means it's great at capturing light). You do have to manually navigate the sky with them however, which is worth learning and won't be hard for planets or the moon.

Enjoy the hobby :smile:

Josh

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I was about to type the same advice,  nothing currently on offer at this budget to suit your purpose.    😀

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Hello. And welcome to SGL

If you are looking for a first "proper" scope around your budget . Then I would recommend a reflector of 200mm in aperture. These scopes are great for Luna , planets and DSO and the SW make some very competitive price and quality in this range. So for bang for buck then a good 200mm reflector is best IMO for your cash to be spent on.

I hope this helps

 

 

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Yes choosing your first telescope can be a little bit daunting at first as there is various scope types to choose from ie the refractor,sct cassagrain,maksutov cassagrain,reflector and so on thay all serve there purpose in Amateur Astronomy some perform better than others on certain objects also and if you don,f like fiddling and have reasonable hands on approach the reflector may not be the best choice for you as regular collomation of the primary mirror is necessary to obtain the best performance of the optics.yet in saying that there are various sources of information ie through the stargazers lounge with members who own them to guide you through.an alternative very good performer is a small maksutov cassagrain telescope this will give you sharp contrasty views of the moon and planets and requires very little maintenance small and compact a grab and go scope.on the slighty negative side thay don,t perform as well on deep sky observing due to the narrow field of view.the refractor for instance does give you wide field views for deep sky and a good performer on the planets I hope this helps.

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Welcome aboard. After working with the product I recommend the Skywatcher AZ-GTi and 130mm Newtonian package when asked by people at the outreach events I do (prior to the C-19 situation I did about 2-3 a month). It is affordable. Allows you to see the moon, planets, many deep space objects (DSO) including most if not all of the Messier objects, gives you full GOTO as well as the ability to star hop, and is very compact. It can be seen here:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az-gti-wifi/sky-watcher-explorer-130ps-az-gti.html

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Posted (edited)

Hi @Blackware and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

Another +1 recommendation for the 'Dobsoinian'; (though I have one refractor and two catadioptric reflectors are that mounted on alt-az mounts for simplicity),  (image of mounts below), as I find EQ mounts time consuming to setup; especially smaller EQ mounts if not permanently setup and aligned.

IMG_0580.thumb.JPG.fc6f227bf7e974dd59c6c96ea3f25fe2.JPG

Many years ago; one of my work colleagues was in a similar situation as you. I advised him the 'pros & cons' and he did his research, he eventually settled with a 200mm 'Dobsonian' and not looked back.

Edited by Philip R
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Thanks for all the beautifull suggestions! It seems it's going to be the 'Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian', tho i'm kinda worried about the massive weight it seems to have :l

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Blackware said:

Thanks for all the beautifull suggestions! It seems it's going to be the 'Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian', tho i'm kinda worried about the massive weight it seems to have :l

It easily breaks down into two very manageable pieces and goes back together very quickly.  Here's a link to a video queued up at the point of attaching the main tube to the Dob mount.

How far will you be carrying it and where will you be storing it?

Edited by Louis D
Added video link of assembly
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7 minutes ago, Blackware said:

Thanks for all the beautifull suggestions! It seems it's going to be the 'Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian', tho i'm kinda worried about the massive weight it seems to have :l

Yes I hadn’t thought about that. As Louis mentioned it can be broken down into two manageable pieces. You could get a mount for it later down the line, which would certainly help with manoeuvring it.

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7 minutes ago, Louis D said:

It easily breaks down into two very manageable pieces and goes back together very quickly.

How far will you be carrying it and where will you be storing it?

I have not thought about this yet, probably at my house. I'm located 10kilometres outside a city so I'm half in the city, half in nature...

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Posted (edited)

Depending how good your DIY skills are; you could make up a 'cheap & cheerful barrow' to move it around; (i.e. straight timber, wheels and mounting hardware; i.e. nuts, bolts, washers, etc.); ...or buy one ready made, though they can be expensive.  

Edited by Philip R
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You check this map to get some idea of you light pollution levels (I centered it on Belgium for you).  If you click on your location, a popup will give you statistics about your sky conditions including Bortle level.  You generally want to observe under Bortle 6 skies or better (lower number) if possible in my experience.

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If weight/bulk/storage are issues, I'd stick to a 130/650 dobsonian scope. It would moreover serve as a travel scope to escape the light-polluted areas of Belgium. As a seasoned observer and owner of several scopes from 3" to 18", I am very pleased with the Skywatcher Heritage 130 P Flextube. Very versatile, compact, excellent optics, that allow magnifications from 25x up to 180x. Holds collimation well, cools down rapidly. Together with a shorty Barlow, as the Baader 2.25x Turret barlow, it would be well within your budget. I'd avoid the AZI Goto bundle mentioned above, as the primary mirror is not collimatable (and, IMHO, it's better to "learn the ropes" traditionally, without GoTo).

I've added a ES 26mmf/62° LER eyepiece for wide field views ( giving 2.5° True Field of View), the Barlow mentioned above, and a 8-24 Zoom (Seben, Celestron), and it's one of my most used scopes, for good reasons.

Have a read on this (the One Sky Newtonian of the AWB is the same scope, just the US brand):

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/463109-onesky-newtonian-astronomers-without-borders/

Stephan

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40 minutes ago, Louis D said:

You check this map to get some idea of you light pollution levels (I centered it on Belgium for you).  If you click on your location, a popup will give you statistics about your sky conditions including Bortle level.  You generally want to observe under Bortle 6 skies or better (lower number) if possible in my experience.

Thanks! Very helpful! It's level 6 here 🙄, but I'll find a solution :)

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6 minutes ago, Nyctimene said:

If weight/bulk/storage are issues, I'd stick to a 130/650 dobsonian scope. It would moreover serve as a travel scope to escape the light-polluted areas of Belgium. As a seasoned observer and owner of several scopes from 3" to 18", I am very pleased with the Skywatcher Heritage 130 P Flextube. Very versatile, compact, excellent optics, that allow magnifications from 25x up to 180x. Holds collimation well, cools down rapidly. Together with a shorty Barlow, as the Baader 2.25x Turret barlow, it would be well within your budget. I'd avoid the AZI Goto bundle mentioned above, as the primary mirror is not collimatable (and, IMHO, it's better to "learn the ropes" traditionally, without GoTo).

I've added a ES 26mmf/62° LER eyepiece for wide field views ( giving 2.5° True Field of View), the Barlow mentioned above, and a 8-24 Zoom (Seben, Celestron), and it's one of my most used scopes, for good reasons.

Have a read on this (the One Sky Newtonian of the AWB is the same scope, just the US brand):

https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/463109-onesky-newtonian-astronomers-without-borders/

Stephan

Thanks! Looks like a nice competitor since i'm kinda getting more & more worried over the 'massiveness' of that 200 dobson 8". Will I still be able to do some deep sky object exploration with this model ?

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Posted (edited)

Absolutely.  I can get down to mag 12. objects with it, so several thousands of targets are within your reach. Very good for widefield views (add an Astronomik UHC filter for the Cirrus nebula in Cygnus etc.).

Stephan

Edited by Nyctimene
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Understand that the 200p, while a great scope and one I highly recommend, does not come anywhere close to meeting your criteria for compact and easy to transport. While not as difficult to transport as a 250 or bigger dob the 200 is still like moving around a water heater. 

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1 minute ago, Dr Strange said:

Understand that the 200p, while a great scope and one I highly recommend, does not come anywhere close to meeting your criteria for compact and easy to transport. While not as difficult to transport as a 250 or bigger dob the 200 is still like moving around a water heater. 

Yes, I should have thought about that 😁 the '130/650 Heritage FlexTube DOB' Proto Star recommended would be way easier to transport.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Blackware said:

Yes, I should have thought about that 😁 the '130/650 Heritage FlexTube DOB' Proto Star recommended would be way easier to transport.

How old are you, are you reasonably fit and healthy. If the answers are under 60, yes to both the other two then get the 200p. A 200 aperture telescope gathers close to four (4) times more light then a 130. 

The light gathereing capacity of a scope is one of the key things to consider when buying one. The more light you gather and everything else being equal, the more you see, it's that simple.

I am 50+ (sadly nearer the 60 than 50) and have no problems transporting a 250 dobsonian and mount around.  Both the tube and base fit easily into a standard family sized car. The 200 dobsonian is simple to use and would provide you all you need for a long time until aperture fever strikes in the future.

PS. Aperture fever doesn't get everyone and is simply a mythical astronomy joke. 

Edited by bomberbaz
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1 hour ago, Blackware said:

Yes, I should have thought about that 😁 the '130/650 Heritage FlexTube DOB' Proto Star recommended would be way easier to transport.

If you are considering a 130mm telescope then please look at the AZ-GTi I mentioned. It has the same aperture but provides a lot more flexibility and functionality as well as value added features over the vanilla 130 Heritage. 

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5 hours ago, Blackware said:

Thanks for all the beautifull suggestions! It seems it's going to be the 'Sky-Watcher Skyliner 200P Dobsonian', tho i'm kinda worried about the massive weight it seems to have :l

First of all welcome from Land Down Under

Over 10 years ago, I purchased as my first scope SW 10" Flex Dob

Like @Dr Strange I am also out a couple of times per month prior to COVID-19 doing presentations year K-6 in primary schools, Space Badge, Cubs and Joeys scout movement

Would go with the 8" flex, as easier to store and transport, and the base and scope fit on back seat of my SUV when out club nights, and presentations

Go also for a right angle finderscope, as lot easier to use, and not laying on the ground when trying to spot things overhead

Another thing to remember, the base is also chipboard construction, and can be damaged over time by moisture in the ground

Always put the base on a small waterproof ground sheet to protect the base from moisture

Have enclosed pic of my 10" Dob showing right angle finderscope, with an 8" flex in background, with light shroud fitted

John

 

 

Skywatcher 10in Dob.jpg

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12 hours ago, Dr Strange said:

Welcome aboard. After working with the product I recommend the Skywatcher AZ-GTi and 130mm Newtonian package when asked by people at the outreach events I do (prior to the C-19 situation I did about 2-3 a month). It is affordable. Allows you to see the moon, planets, many deep space objects (DSO) including most if not all of the Messier objects, gives you full GOTO as well as the ability to star hop, and is very compact. It can be seen here:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sky-watcher-az-gti-wifi/sky-watcher-explorer-130ps-az-gti.html

If the power runs out - is it possible to manually push/pull the telescope? 

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50 minutes ago, doubledoubleswifty said:

If the power runs out - is it possible to manually push/pull the telescope? 

Yes it is, I own it. Where abouts in lancashire are you?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, doubledoubleswifty said:

If the power runs out - is it possible to manually push/pull the telescope? 

If the power runs out, you're unlucky. The mount only needs a 750mA current.

A typical phone charger style £20 20000mah power bank will last a few sessions before a recharge is required.

The non collimatable primary mirrors in the scope in my experience are just great. I've owned two telescopes with this configuration at 130mm and 150mm. Collimation was spot on from the factory. The 130mm was used a lot for a year before I upgraded. The primary was fine.

 

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet

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