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Completely new and eager ! Looking for advice on the right kit please


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Hey everyone !

Hope your all doing as well as you can be with this pandemic ! Im completely new to this stuff, im looking for some advice on the right telescope kit to buy. I dont want to be spending too much cause like im new and wanting to try it out, just hoping you guys have got some suggestions for telescopes for the value.

Mainly wanting to look at stars (my stepdad passed away 3 weeks ago and my partner bought a "name a star" for him and would love to see it properly) and im interested in see the planets like the rings and stuff too

Any help would be very appreciated ! 

Possibly below £100 the cheaper the better at the minute but dont want it to be so cheap and tacky that i can only see the end of the garden through it lol

Stay safe everyonr

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Hi and welcome to SGL

I'm afraid that £100 will really get you only very basic telescope.

Do you know what star is it that you want to observe? I ask because size of telescope and brightness of the star will determine if you'll be able to see it at all with that telescope (this does not mean that you won't be able to see other stars and other interesting objects).

In that price range, maybe this telescope would be best suited:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/sky-watcher-mercury-707-az-telescope.html

Unfortunately stocks are low at the moment due to very high demand so you'll have to probably wait some time before it can be delivered.

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The list below shows a range of beginner telescopes from <£50 and up. 

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes.html

If you're primarily looking at stars then you should be fine within your budget but for the rings of saturn and other planets I'd look at something a bit more substantial (you'll need something with a higher focal length but wide enough aperture). An alternative could be binoculars which can offer great views of the stars. 

Are the skies clear where you intend to observe? "star hopping" can be tricky in highly light polluted areas although Stellarium (as recommended above) would be useful. I use "Star Walk 2" app on my phone which gives the location of the stars based on GPS. 

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Whilst this can be as expensive a hobby as you want to make it , its sometimes better to spend not a lot at the start and see how you want to develop it. Indeed the sky is the limit- pun intended. Don't discount starting with a pair of binoculars first- there is a section on here on binos'. and you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can see with even a modest costing pair. You cant start relatively quickly and start to learn the stars- a good book like "Turn left at Orion" is also a good investment early on. 

 

 Look at the links suggested above , they can be a good start too but be aware not to expect Hubblesque quality views, even with an relatively expensive scope.  Look at this 

 this will give you a little idea of what you can expect with a modest scope.

 

This site is full of friendly pointy headed, beardy  folk who will be more than happy to help. As stated earlier decent scopes even the starters are like rocking horse pooh so do your due diligence and ask questions and look at all the amazing stuff on this site before you commit. As I said earlier you could do worse than getting a pair of Bino's first

Hope you find what you want and let us know how things are going

 

J

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1 hour ago, jacobingonzo said:

This site is full of friendly pointy headed, beardy  folk who will be more than happy to help. As stated earlier decent scopes even the starters are like rocking horse pooh so do your due diligence and ask questions and look at all the amazing stuff on this site before you commit. As I said earlier you could do worse than getting a pair of Bino's first

Hope you find what you want and let us know how things are going

J

I mostlly endorse the above but ... Point of order !

NO clanger has ever had a pointy head or a beard ! 😀 Some are even female.

A helpful friendly bunch on here though, I'll give you that 😀

Heather

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Hi Lewis2020 and welcome to SGL,

You have already been given some good advice here, I would just like to give a big plus to binoculars, they are so quick, easy and convenient to use, cover a wide field of view and they require no previous experience. I think they would be a good buy for you considering your budgetary restraints because for that money any telescope you buy will be a bit low end to be honest, and I feel you may be disappointed with whichever one you go for.

FLO do a good range, some of which are well within your budget, furthermore they are in stock! Have a think about it anyway before buying a telescope, binoculars are a good beginners alternative that will allow you to enjoyably find your way around the night sky.
 

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20 hours ago, vlaiv said:

Hi and welcome to SGL

I'm afraid that £100 will really get you only very basic telescope.

Do you know what star is it that you want to observe? I ask because size of telescope and brightness of the star will determine if you'll be able to see it at all with that telescope ...

Hi vlaiv, from what I have seen of these “name a star” promotions they do not actually point to a specific star that you could identify through a telescope, more of a cluster or a galaxy and say it’s in this region here. So as it turns out you couldn’t even see it using HST.

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6 minutes ago, Moonshed said:

Hi vlaiv, from what I have seen of these “name a star” promotions they do not actually point to a specific star that you could identify through a telescope, more of a cluster or a galaxy and say it’s in this region here. So as it turns out you couldn’t even see it using HST.

Is that so? I was under impression that they use actual stars - like mag10 or something that is within a reach of smallish aperture. You know - your star, also known as TYC 2861-1890-1 or 2MASS J03264757+3817176 or Gaia DR2 234879052611521920

Very nice mag 11.8 star, you should be proud :D

 

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18 minutes ago, vlaiv said:

Is that so? I was under impression that they use actual stars - like mag10 or something that is within a reach of smallish aperture. You know - your star, also known as TYC 2861-1890-1 or 2MASS J03264757+3817176 or Gaia DR2 234879052611521920

Very nice mag 11.8 star, you should be proud :D

 

You could be right which may mean that for the first time in my life I may not have been 100% correct 😄

It’s a long time ago since a friend named a star for me and that was as I described, impossible to pin down to a single star,  more of a general area, all just a bit of harmless fun anyway. However, this company will allow you to name a single visible star within a chosen constellation for the mere sum of £46 https://www.star-registration.com/products/constellation

So go ahead and treat yourself, we could have a star named vlaiv in the constellation (insert birth date) and have a competition to be the first to photograph it. Wouldn’t that be nice!

 

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thanks for all of your replies ! iv had a good read through them all and will also look into bino's too. I could perhaps spend up to £150 if it makes any difference lol The star in question is on the leo miner, i havnt got the exact coordinates to hand but i know my partner paid extra for a star which is brighter than the rest so hopefully fingers crossed it wont be hard to find. if i was to buy a telescope what would you guys recommend brand wise ? whats best to avoid etc

again thanks for all the replies people really appreciate it 

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For £150, a lot of people will recommend this one:

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

But there's still a long wait for that - although I'm seeing a few come up secondhand, recently. Astronomers keep their kit in good shape, so as long as you buy from a proper Astro used gear site (like here) you should be good.

 

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Given that you want a telescope to see a particular star, perhaps it is best if you are able to identify this star for us so that we can suggest a telescope that should be able to pick it out. Did the company give an HD number for the star by any chance? 

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