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Help with buying my first telescope!


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Hi stargazers

I’ve been looking at purchasing my first telescope, There are so many options online - I’ve been looking at Celestron and Orion so far. 

Aside from the moon, I’d like to view as many planets as possible, I appreciate to get a top quality telescope you have to spend thousands!

I would really benefit from suggestions for a telescope with a budget of between £100-200

much appreciated

J

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Hello and welcome! Happy New Year as well.

Unfortunately this hobby can be expensive. But relative to other hobbies it is quite cheap. The added bonus I tell She Who Must Be Obeyed is that it keeps me out of the Pub's. ;) That said the option that Astro Noodles recommended is a good one. However if you are in a village or city centre then you may want a bit more aperture. Unfortunately with said aperture comes more expense. I would recommend the following:

For the largest bang you can get for your buck I would suggest the Skywatcher Classic 200P Dobsonian. You can download SkySafari or Luminos to your smart phone, hold it next to the eyepiece and the back of the phone pointed at the sky to act as a sort of digital setting circle that will get you in the vicinity of various deep space objects.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/skywatcher-skyliner-200p-dobsonian.html

These are more expensive options but provide you with a motorized mount with full GOTO that is controlled by your smart phone. They are telescope/mount combinations I recommend to beginners wanting to get into the hobby. The frustration level can become quite high because it is difficult to star hop for a beginner in a city or even a larger village. This eliminates that difficulty and lets you see things instead of hunting for things. The first one is a refractor and has the minimum aperture to see much of what is out there. It is the Sky Watcher StarTravel 102 AZ-GTe. The second one is the Skywatcher Explorer 130PS AZ-GTe

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/sky-watcher-startravel-102-az-gte.html

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

As I said above these are more expensive options than your stated budget but I think it will meet your needs better. 

 

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Hi and welcome to SGL.

1 hour ago, J123 said:

Aside from the moon, I’d like to view as many planets as possible

Well, you'll be able to observe:

Moon, Mercury (rather difficult as it is always just before sunrise or right after sunset), Venus (also usually in the morning or in the evening - never during night), Mars in about 2 years, Jupiter and Saturn next summer. Uranus and Neptune will be no more than simple dot (one bluish and one greenish).

If that is all you are interested, or these object are your primary interest and all the rest is secondary - then get scope like this one:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/maksutov/sky-watcher-starquest-102mc-f127-maksutov-cassegrain-telescope.html

It is a bit above your budget, but will provide you with very nice high power views.

If you absolutely must stay in £100-£200 range, then maybe take a look at this:

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-astromaster-series/celestron-astromaster-80eq-md-refractor-telescope-with-motor-drive-smartphone-adapter.html

 

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Find a local astronomy group in your area and check out what they have.  You never know you might be able to pick up a very nice used scope from someone there.

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