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New to astronomy - 1st Telescope

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I know many people have been asking this and I have done so much reading around that I keep going round in circles! 
Astronomy is something that I’ve been interested in and finally want to get stuck into. I appreciate that there are different telescopes and lenses for different purposes. 
Ideally I’m looking for a starter telescope to view planets and nebulae (where possible) with a budget of c£150. I do live in a town so light pollution could be an issue to consider also. I may look at a telescope that’s easier to move too so I can leave the town to get away from some of the light. 
So far I’ve been looking at:

Celestron 114 AZ

Sky-Watcher Explorer 130 (EQ-2)

Obviously I’m looking for some input and recommendation from people who are active amateur astronomers. 
Please do tell me if I’m barking up the wrong tree with what I’ve been looking at or what would be best for a telescope.
I was also wondering whether it be best to steer clear from EQ and stick to AZ for a starter as I’m under the impression EQ takes a bit more time and experience to use. 
Thank you.    

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Hello Maggie.  Welcome to SGL.  Beginners, understandably always want to view planets, nebulae, the Moon and also to take photos of them.  At a modest initial budget this is going to invite the "c" word--compromise!  You will get various recommendations from the experienced members, they will all be valid to a certain degree and may well add to the choice confusion.  It's best to try and narrow down the type of astronomy which you would like to do most as this can focus on the best advice.  For a start, planets need enough aperture and magnification to do them justice whereas faint objects like nebulae and galaxies require aperture, lower magnifications and wide field of view,  It is difficult for starters to have both of these attributes.  The 130P mentioned by Robin probably comes nearest to this solution at this price bracket.

Bear in mind that there is only one Moon and only three or four planets that are interesting in a small telescope and the main three are poorly placed for some time.  By contrast, there are countless star clusters and double stars available to a small telescope.   🙂

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Thank you for your replies and welcomes. 
To be honest I’d be happy to see anything really to start with as there is so much to see. I find it all fascinating!

Peter your comments do make a lot of sense with regards to the planets and the countless star clusters around. 
From the link Robin sent would it be more prurient to start with something like a Sky-Watcher Heritage 100 just to get a basic grasp before looking at something like the 130? 

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As you said you'll try to get way from light pollution in town then a bigger aperture scope makes sense.  This will mean a reflector is better value for money. 

However the Celestron 114AZ looks like it's a Bird-Jones design that's best avoided as it's difficult to collimate.  It also advertises magnifications up to 750x!  The reason I added an exclamation mark is that there's absolutely no way that this would give you a good image in a 115mm scope, and very rarely in the UK in any size scope.  It's just manufacturers using magnification to suck beginners in.  

The Sky-Watcher Explorer 130 (EQ-2) is a much better bet, but as you pointed out is on an equatorial mount.  This is a little more difficult to learn to use, and at about 13kgs it's also very much heavier.

I'd choose a Dobsonian mount as others have also suggested.  This will be lighter plus a lot more stable, but the table top ones do need something to put it on.  All sorts of things can be used for this though, not just a table.

I'd definitely choose the 130 over the 100 Heritage.  The bigger aperture will give a lot more light gathering power, plus the focal ratio is f/5 rather than f/4 with the 100mm.  F/4 scopes are more difficult to collimate, plus need higher quality and thus more expensive eyepieces to get the same quality image.  This will negate the small saving in cost in the long run.

You may have to wait a few weeks for the Heritage 130 to come back into stock, but the wait will be well worth it.  However, they're extremely popular and the next batch may well be pre-sold before they arrive.  I'd therefore get an order in as soon as you've decided.

Edited by Second Time Around
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Astronomy is not a cheap hobby, and £150 does not go very far.   With that budget, you need to shop carefully to avoid getting a poor quality telescope on a poor quality (wobbly or difficult to use) mount.   With the often-recommended Heritage 130p, the optics are said to be good, there is not much to go wrong, and if you don't like the mini-Dob tabletop mount, you can transfer the telescope onto a better (and more expensive) mount of your choice at a later date.

I suggest you avoid equatorial mounts on the grounds that beginners often find them confusing, and other than the fact that they can be motorised (at extra cost) they confer few if any practical advantages to the beginner.

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+1 for the Skywatcher Heritage 130 P Flextube. Excellent optics, versatile, compact, handling is intuitively.

In stock here ; a trusty retailer:



Edited by Nyctimene
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