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23 hours ago, Space Explorer said:

Hello, I am looking for a budget telescope that can allow me to view the moon's surface craters even the smaller ones, I have asked retail stores but they keep offering me 70mm apertures as a selling gimmick, i roughly know i need something like 130mm but more likely somewhere in the region of an 8" aperture, I have always looked up to the skies and loved astrology but with no excuses, i never took to it as a kid, so I am no expert and will probably need as much help as possible, like a automatic tracker I think they are called, plus I am also disabled, I am able to walk but not far as I become breathless, I do have help to move a telescope to outside when needed, I thought this would be a perfect place to ask, as i am assuming most of you are experts or at the very least know what i am talking about lol.

What else would be a bonus is if I was able to see an asteroid or comet close up through the lens...thanks people.

What is your budget?

What max size and weight is acceptable, given that you/your helper have to move it outside?

What kind of tracking is acceptable - manual (=you push it or twiddle knobs), motorised (= an electrical motor moves an equatorial mount (q.v.) at the right speed to counteract the Earth's rotation) or the full monty - a GoTo mount - all GoTo mounts include tracking among their functions?

Do you want to image the moon and planets only?

Or deep-sky objects in addition to these?  This has more severe requirements re. a mount and probably requires a different telescope and camera.

If you can write down answers to these and get back to us, it is more likely to elicit constructive suggestions.

As a general comment, I would suggest that you think of buying a relatively cheap and simple telescope (it does not matter that much what sort), and then buy another later in the light of what you have learnt and what you liked or didn't like about the first one.  Trying to buy a telescope for life that does everything is unlikely to work.  (that is why some of your correpondents list several telescopes and mounts in their signatures)

Note that any sort of telescope, even a small cheap one, will give a 'wow' factor when looking a the moon.

What sort of telescope you buy for observing the planets is going to be a compromise between what would be ideal, and real-life considerations like cost, size, weight and whether you are allowed to build an observatory to put it in. We can't tell you which one would suit you - it has to be your choice.  Almost every type of telescope (except short focal length achromats) has been recommended by some people as suitable for planetary observing, so the choice is wide.

There is a thread on this forum entitled "What can I expect to See?" If you have not found it yet, I suggest you do so and study it.

Asteroids - the brighter ones are not hard to see, but the hard part is distinguishing them from stars.

Comets - spectacular ones do not come around that often, but you may see one visible in binoculars or a small telescope if you wait long enough.  Imaging and GoTo gear increases your chances of bagging one. 

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Hi cosmic, budget was £500 till i found a couple of good scopes at around £699, (most scopes were out of stock), the kind of telescope, I already mentioned up above, like the sky watcher 250p, the flex is lighter but the explorer is even lighter and i don't lose the specs, only snag i ran into, is that there is no goto (is that something that comes built into the mount or can I attach it to the mount) it will be used to observe the moon, the other planets, the nebula (thinking this means deep space) hence why a 10inch aperture would be ideal as it brings in more light, according to reviews, which should be suitable for picking up passing comets, asteroids or meteorites hopefully not in 3d (just my luck, first time telescope an all) I don't want to waste money on just seeing the moon and blurry planets and save up again to buy a second and a third  I figure, if I just go for a decent mid-level telescope, that should be all I need for awhile on an educational level (few years) but now I said that, how many of you guys said same thing when you first started and what have you spent since and more importantly are you still married. (In the words of footballs of steel, there is only one way to find out mark)

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1 hour ago, Space Explorer said:

only snag i ran into, is that there is no goto (is that something that comes built into the mount or can I attach it to the mount)

You can buy a GoTo dob (see astronomy dealers' websites) but they are far more expensive than the manual version. In general the GoTo is effectively built into the base, and the most practical (or only) way to upgrade is to sell the whole thing and buy anew.  There is an exception if the telescope is a solid tube (=round cylinder, not a truss) you can scrap the chipboard base, buy tube rings and a dovetail bar, and put it on an equatorial heavy duty GoTo mount suitable for allsorts of imaging if you want, but be warned that the cost of doing this could be eye-watering- several times what you paid for the manual outfit in the first place.

 

1 hour ago, Space Explorer said:

10inch aperture would be ideal as it brings in more light, according to reviews, which should be suitable for picking up passing comets, asteroids or meteorites

While a 10" is obviously more capable, you don't need one that big to see some of these things. A metorite is a space rock that has fallen to the ground.

1 hour ago, Space Explorer said:

Hi cosmic, budget was £500 till i found a couple of good scopes at around £699

If you want a GoTo mounted scope, for this budget you can buy a rather small scope on a lightweight mount.  You can buy a good sized manual Dobsonian outfit for this budget, if that's what you want. You don't need a GoTo mount to find the Moon or Jupiter. 🙂  But trying to image with a Dobsonian is like rowing across the English Channel - some people have succeeded in doing it but most people would take the ferry.

 

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Yup saw the goto mount on a dobsonian but not with a flextube, it was a solid, for like £1099, your probably right, that I will need one, so all I have to do ask it to look at whatever I want and it will just point at it, from what I have learned, I have to first point it at an object to get it aligned, so it knows where it is, kinda like a compass, so it knows what direction planets are. The 10" is so I don't run into disappointments, if I just heard of a star or something interesting, I will have more hope the 10" inch will at the very least give me a glimpse (safety precautions  better to be prepared and ready, then ready and unprepared) I'm all sorted for the next few or so years without need to upgrade, Mr Spock has a great flextube with a goto, what do you use cosmic? 

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There is a 10" flex-tube go-to:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-skyliner-250px-flextube-goto.html

One thing to bear in mind, you'll need additional eyepieces and since it's what's called a "fast" scope it will benefit from premium ones (meaning expensive). The eyepiece(s) supplied with most scopes are usually get-you-started types (= cheapos).

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Thanks wulfrun and here was me thinking M15 and M40 were just motorways in england, a few more things written down there to add to the list of first views (I read someones review) the eye pieces I can get afterwards (next month) till then i should get some good views of the moon surface, i know i will never see the blue lake, without NASA's scopes but I heard it is possible to see the apollo that landed with Neil Armstrong and I don't mean he will be there waving back, I mean the exact  point it landed, is this true? 

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9 minutes ago, Space Explorer said:

...I heard it is possible to see the apollo that landed with Neil Armstrong and I don't mean he will be there waving back, I mean the exact  point it landed, is this true? 

No, if you mean you can see any of the stuff they left behind. You have to remember you'll be looking through the earth's atmosphere, which is turbulent and not completely clear. No amateur scope gets anywhere near enough magnification, at least in part due to atmospheric limitations.

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3 minutes ago, wulfrun said:

No, if you mean you can see any of the stuff they left behind. You have to remember you'll be looking through the earth's atmosphere, which is turbulent and not completely clear. No amateur scope gets anywhere near enough magnification, at least in part due to atmospheric limitations.

And significant resolution challenges - I think I read you’d need an aperture of near enough 0.5km to see these objects…

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17 minutes ago, Mr Spock said:

A few pics of my 250mm flextube goto to give an idea of the size.

864609129_D72_8506_DxO1200.jpg.e4ec29c7a55bdc62eb229ef05ae27def.jpg1142091002_D72_8547_DxO1200.jpg.fc462b2a672e45bd593f1d55d33e7903.jpg235722128_D72_8513_DxO1200.jpg.9dd98c129c92957bbe43ec8087aca223.jpg

@Mr Spock nice scope - what sort of covering do you use when stored in your shed? Also do you use a light shroud routinely? I use the standard shroud mod in my Heritage 150p so assume it’s more or less essential on the 250. 

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39 minutes ago, Astro_Dad said:

what sort of covering do you use when stored in your shed? Also do you use a light shroud routinely?

No covering in the shed. The shed is very dry, and kept clean - no spiders :wink2: I don't need a light shroud as the observing area has no light from anywhere.

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33 minutes ago, Mr Spock said:

No covering in the shed. The shed is very dry, and kept clean - no spiders :wink2: I don't need a light shroud as the observing area has no light from anywhere.

No dewing up of the secondary observed either? That’s the other role of the home made shroud - works for me but honestly have only had a dewing up issue once without it. 

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You can see the areas on the moon where the landings took place but no traces of the landings. The smallest feature that we can see with amateur scopes on the lunar surface is around 1km in size and that takes some doing !. The largest object that was left behind by the Apollo missions was the bottom half of the LM landers which are around 10 meters in diameter (including the legs) I believe.

 

 

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15 hours ago, Space Explorer said:

Yup saw the goto mount on a dobsonian but not with a flextube, it was a solid, for like £1099, your probably right, that I will need one, so all I have to do ask it to look at whatever I want and it will just point at it, from what I have learned, I have to first point it at an object to get it aligned, so it knows where it is, kinda like a compass, so it knows what direction planets are. The 10" is so I don't run into disappointments, if I just heard of a star or something interesting, I will have more hope the 10" inch will at the very least give me a glimpse (safety precautions  better to be prepared and ready, then ready and unprepared) I'm all sorted for the next few or so years without need to upgrade, Mr Spock has a great flextube with a goto, what do you use cosmic? 

If you are seriously considering the 10" GoTo Dob, which seems a fine instrument, you should probably run it past the person who is going to help you take it outdoors, given its size and weight.  Have you a storage location?  You also need to budget for a power pack and approx. three decent eyepieces suited to a telescope of this focal ratio (f5?)

If you want to know details of the alignment procedure (which typically involves aligning it with two stars), you can download a Synscan manual at any time.

My telescopes are in my signature, and I use all three for different tasks. I have not gone bigger than 8" as I felt a bigger instrument would be too big and too heavy for my circumstances, and the 'seeing' (q.v.) at this location would not allow a bigger telescope to give of its best except on very rare occasions.

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Cosmic, yeah either that or the ultra light one, if memory serves, only difference between the 2 is weight  24kg total net weight, around 4kg lighter and 14kg lighter than my first choice, thanks to the easy storing part of shortening and extending, it can be safely put away  without requiring much room,

Power pack (guessing for the goto)

Extra magnified eye pieces.

Definately adding them to the list.

Hopefully you can see why I am going for this one because of money it costs  rather than going for something, where I can only see a few things and then having to spend another £1199 on this beauty later on, where with just heading straight to this, I can see those few things and 42.000 other beauties in the universe, I probably will spend a few hundred at some point in another scope if I end up at a field and for quickness I can grab a scope point and click but this is for home, not for transportation.

on the one mr spock has shown, apparently the 4 black brackets to the top part of the scope can actually be undone and the top part can be securely locked to bottom half, completely enclosing the mirror, has anyone tried that and how did it change your viewing experience? 

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1 hour ago, Space Explorer said:

Hopefully you can see why I am going for this one because of money it costs  rather than going for something, where I can only see a few things and then having to spend another £1199 on this beauty later on, where with just heading straight to this, I can see those few things and 42.000 other beauties in the universe, I probably will spend a few hundred at some point in another scope if I end up at a field and for quickness I can grab a scope point and click but this is for home, not for transportation.

Yes I see your point, but a 'starter' telescope can usually be re-purposed as a grab'n go or holiday telescope.

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