Jump to content

Sketches

Recommended Posts

On 18/10/2022 at 18:22, ClareMcMullan21! said:

Hi, thanks for the responses. She’s 10, was thinking somewhere between £50-£100. Am I being unrealistic with that budget? 
many advise would be greatly appreciated. 

I guess this almost fits the budget:

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

It has couple of things going for it.

It looks like "proper" scope (long skinny tube).

It is light weight and easy to setup and use. It will show plenty to get someone really interested in astronomy (moon, planets and brighter deep sky objects).

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 18/10/2022 at 17:22, ClareMcMullan21! said:

Hi, thanks for the responses. She’s 10, was thinking somewhere between £50-£100. Am I being unrealistic with that budget? 
many advise would be greatly appreciated. 

There's always local astronomy clubs ,maybe better going with her to their nights ,you may be surprised how generous astronomy people are with their equipment and let new people use them

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is little to match the joy and excitement of receiving a first telescope as a child.  Many of us on SGL were introduced to astronomy like that and we carried the interest through to adulthood; for some, it even influenced our professional direction.  These telescopes are never about showing amazing images of the heavens, if they could do that they would not be beginner telescopes!   A child's telescope is all about firing the imagination and it does that by how it looks, the experience of handling it, setting it up and using it, and just owning it. Getting out there under the starry night-time sky, an adventure in itself for a 10 year old, that is what a 1st telescope is all about.  So the likes of Stellarium, while almost essential as an aid, is absolutely no substitute for owning a telescope.  And yes, binoculars are not telescopes, no more than a scooter is not a skate board - totally different experience and expectation. 

@ClareMcMullan21!  I would thoroughly recommend either of the telescopes suggested by @JOC  (Sky Watcher Heritage 100 P or the Heritage 76 - the 100P being the favoured of the two).  These telescopes are known as Dobsonian telescopes because of their type of mount. They are very easy to set up and use; best positioned on a sturdy table top for comfortable viewing.  For a more traditional looking telescope then the Skywatcher 707 AX as recommended by @vlaiv would be good. This type of telescope is called a refractor and is what most people would identify with as a telescope.  All of these fit within your budget (maybe a few pounds over ).  They will let your daughter see the moon in reasonable detail (craters and other features). Most of the planets are visible with the naked eye, they appear looking like very bright stars. Your daughter would be able to use any of these telescopes to view Jupiter. She will not see a lot of detail, it will look small in the eyepiece but she will be able to pick out the 4 closest moons (as discovered by Galileo) - she will also see that these moons change position each night.  However the Moon will become her most favourite and visited target though and she will enjoy seeing how the image changes as it waxes and wanes.  Above all though, her fun and excitement will come from owning the telescope, handling it and setting it up, and having you share in what she is doing.  You won't go wrong with any of these recommended telescopes.  I certainly wouldn't recommend spending anything more than your target budget; if she takes to it then you can revisit your options again.  The only other thing to remember is to come back here for hint's and tips on how to help her find targets - we will be here Christmas night and onward :) 

Jim 

Edited by saac
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would advise a pair of binoculars to an adult. But for kids, sometime making it more real is a very important step to teach them to take this interest seriously. That is buy a real-look telescope. I am sure other more experienced members already offered many suitable suggestions of such telescopes.

Edited by starhiker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When my nephew was around 10 or 11 his dad asked me for some suggestions as his son was interested in astronomy, partly because he has seen my 200P in the observatory, but also as they were doing Astronomy projects at school, and was considering a telescope as a Christmas present.  He was looking around the £100 mark and didn't want something that was really a glorified toy and would be a waste of money.  He ended up with a Heritage model, with a 3" mirror, liking the idea if can sit on a table and be easy to use. 

Shortly after Christmas we arranged a small star party so he could try the scope out.  It was a moonless night, but Jupiter was bright in the SW, so that was the first target.  It showed up nicely as a small disk with a couple of pin pricks of light either side.  My nephew was disappointed, expecting to see a similar image that I get with the 200P and a couple of stacked barlows.  We tried a few other targets, but he found it hard to look at a chart and star hop, becoming more and more frustrated as the night went on.  So I let him use my old Tasco 8 x 40 binoculars.  He got all excited the moment he first used them, commenting on just how many stars he could see through them.  He managed to hold them well, and being able to locate a bright star or constellation naked eye and then just raise the binos and see what it contained kept him amused for the rest of the night.  Granted he probably saw less detail of the Orion Nebula  through them than he did with the small scope, but that didn't seem to matter to him.  Needless to say the scope didn't see much use after that, but he did get a pair of binoculars for his birthday that came around a few months later.

Now I can't say that this experience will be the same for everyone.  We are all individuals and it may be that the OP's child is more patient and has less expectations.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, malc-c said:

He ended up with a Heritage model, with a 3" mirror, liking the idea if can sit on a table and be easy to use.

One of the 76mm models with an f/4 spherical primary?  Just troll the thrift shops and such and you can find them for under $20 used.  Someone had one they had brought to a star party.  Being setup on a table made it next to impossible to sight along the tube, so I shot from the hip to aim it.  As you say, I was able to get Jupiter eventually in the center.  You could definitely make out the Galilean moons and at least an equatorial band.  However, the outer field was an aberrated mess thanks to SA.  It does work, but not very well.  I guess that's what happens when you try to hit a price point.

Edited by Louis D
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Louis D said:

One of the 76mm models with an f/4 spherical primary?  Just troll the thrift shops and such and you can find them for under $20 used.  Someone had one they had brought to a star party.  Being setup on a table made it next to impossible to sight along the tube, so I shot from the hip to aim it.  As you say, I was able to get Jupiter eventually in the center.  You could definitely make out the Galilean moons and at least an equatorial band.  However, the outer field was an aberrated mess thanks to SA.  It does work, but not very well.  I guess that's what happens when you try to hit a price point.

No, it would have been the 100p (=3") and as its name suggests, it has a parabolic mirror, giving surprisingly good views. That's the one I bought my daughter. Its only problem is it's F/4 and the image size is pretty small. The mirror's good enough to take quite a high mag with a decent EP, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Gfamily said:

Clearly someone who has no experience of the Heritage range of scopes. And anyone who seriously thinks that showing someone a simulation on a TV screen will satisfy an interested child probably has no experience of interested children either.

🙂 🙂 🙂  I be a scared of approaching a 'Heritage'! Let alone dumping one on the test bench 😞  Have heard enough reports about, pinched optics (are their mirrors plate glass 6mm thick)? Plus other criticisms re-quality control... Ya gets what ya pays for (sometimes). Shrugs.. Horses 4 courses 🙂 

Iffn yas had an overgrown forest beyond the doors similar to this dump, which in all probability is prowled by lions, tigers and rabid hedgehogs during the night, yas might not be so keen to have a peek at summat or udder 😞 

🙂  I actually prefer Stellarium than getting pneumonia! Since moving from Bortle 1 skies within Oz to CZR (Bortle 20 skies and gaining rapidly)... err um add to which I have always preferred to make optics and mounts rather than use em 🙂  thus visual observing is seldom attempted... 😞 during summer it don't gets DARK 😞  anna during wintery knights its damn -10 to -25c here 😞 😞 😞

So dere 🙂 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gentlemen, please.  Normally it's only the ladies that quibble over the extra inch !!

From memory (seeing my nephew is now 18) it was more than likely the 76mm version as the tube had all the writing on it.  Can't recall if it was the SW or Celestron variant.  We struggled to get any detail on the disk of Jupiter, but you could see the larger moons that were on view at the time. 

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, Louis D said:

Assuming the 100 refers to 100mm, 100mm/25.4mm/inch=3.94 inches.  I'd call that 4", not 3", unless you insist on using truncation instead of rounding.

You're quite right. Mea culpa.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, malc-c said:

Gentlemen, please.  Normally it's only the ladies that quibble over the extra inch !!

From memory (seeing my nephew is now 18) it was more than likely the 76mm version as the tube had all the writing on it.  Can't recall if it was the SW or Celestron variant.  We struggled to get any detail on the disk of Jupiter, but you could see the larger moons that were on view at the time. 

If the 76mm version had a parabolic mirror, it would help it quite a bit.  You'd just be left with strong coma, which is much less intrusive with Plossls than spherical aberration.  You aren't just losing an inch of aperture, you're also losing parabolization.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I gifted my grandson the Celestron 70LT refractor after I had removed the Starsense unit for my dobsonian. I also gave him several eyepieces that would perform better than the supplied achromats. He was smiling ear to ear when I had centered Saturn in the eyepiece. He was caught up in an astro buzz for the remainder of the night as I toured the major sights for him. Now he’s arranging his stay overs at mine depending on the clear skies app. I don’t think his dad is too keen on spending nights outside in the cold with him. I’m only too happy to step in and nurture the boys interest, as after all I started it 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 22/10/2022 at 22:02, Gfamily said:

No, no, no. 

Clearly someone who has no experience of the Heritage range of scopes. And anyone who seriously thinks that showing someone a simulation on a TV screen will satisfy an interested child probably has no experience of interested children either. 

Does this person even enjoy astronomy themselves? "Look at it on a TV screen indoors" - what sort of astronomy is this? * 

Going back to the original request - I can see why people might recommend binoculars, but bear in mind the following

  • Children often find it not at all easy to use adult binoculars, as they need to set the correct spacing between the eyepieces
  • Children can also find it difficult to manage getting the right dioptre adjustment setting so that both eyes are focussed together
  • Adults can find it tiring to hold binoculars for a longish look at high altitudes, and children will tire even earlier.

And again, as someone has pointed out - if a child wants a telescope, they'll want to feel they have a telescope, and not been given a substitute. 

If you already have a reasonably solid camera tripod (or can get one second hand cheaply), a short refractor may well fall within your budget - I was quite surprised by how good a view I got from the Celstron Travelscope70 when I bought one for my nephews.  It did need a better tripod than the one provided, but the telescope was pretty good for the money, and easy for the boys to use with minimal adult help. 

But the best option would be the Heritage 130P if you can get one second hand (try Gumtree or eBay)

 

* My little joke, clearly these are imagers! 

 

 

Completely agree , Some of the replies are mind boggling ! 

"Download an app and watch on TV" Pffft !!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am going to add another +1 for the Celestron Travelscope 70.

First off, you would need to throw away the tripod because it is genuinely rubbish and will only cause frustration. If you have a half decent camera tripod (ideally with a pan handle) this will work well, otherwise you would need to buy one. Look on e.g. Amazon for something with lots of good reviews in the £30-£35 price range that has a pan handle and standard 1/4" screw for attaching equipment (in your case telescope). 

The bag that comes with it is okay, a bit cheap but will certainly work well enough to carry the scope, eyepieces and a small tripod, and it can be fun to get everything packed up in the backpack and go on a jaunt somewhere darker for observing. 

The eyepieces and diagonal supplied with the scope are okay to get started but you might want to replace later - more below. 

The finder is not very good but you will find that with a low power eyepiece you may not really need it. 

At this point you have enough to get started observing. 

The scope itself has good optics considering the low cost, and has the benefit of being a very wide field scope. This means that you can see lots of the sky at once which will make it much easier for your child to find things, and will be able to see large beautiful star fields which really give that feeling of looking into space. Objects like the Double Cluster in Perseus, The Pleiades M45 and open clusters will look great. Views of the moon will also be great, and you'll be able to take in the whole moon in the field of view with the low power eyepiece. Whilst the views of the planets will not be exceptional (quite small) you will certainly be able to make out Saturn's rings and the four Galilean moons of Jupiter. This means your daughter will feel like she is getting that classic telescope look as well as the easy wide field of view similar to binoculars. 

If the interest holds, you could then look into replacing the supplied eyepieces for birthdays etc. The best of the two supplied is the 20mm, but that said it does not give the widest field of view possible with the scope. As above, a wider field of view makes it easier to find things. 

You could get a second-hand 32mm Plossl-type eyepiece very cheaply, or for £29 you could get a new Astro Essentials 32mm Plössl from First Light Optics. This will give you the maximum field of view available for that scope. 

Later on, you could then get a higher power eyepiece to replace or supplement the 10mm. For example, an 8mm BST Starguiders wod be a good replacement. BST Starguiders are very commonly recommended on SGL as the first eyepiece upgrade and for good reason - they are relatively inexpensive and very good quality. 

You would also want to think about replacing the cheap diagonal that is supied with the scope. You could rpoba ly pick one up quite cheaply second hand, and many good inexpensive examples are available from suppliers like First Light Optics. 

Hope this helps with a few ideas to get started. 

 

 

Edited by badhex
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 18/10/2022 at 17:22, ClareMcMullan21! said:

Hi, thanks for the responses. She’s 10, was thinking somewhere between £50-£100. Am I being unrealistic with that budget? 
many advise would be greatly appreciated. 

Similar threads every year result in the same, (sometimes ferocious!) debate you read here.

Personally if I had £100 or so and was buying a child relative a first telescope I'd look around for a used Heritage 130-150p newtonian and be on hand to help them out.

If I was in your position I'd buy a https://www.firstlightoptics.com/beginner-telescopes/sky-watcher-mercury-707-az-telescope.html.

The best option though, to avoid trying to decipher an answer from the debate these questions invariably cause, would be to email First Light Optics explaining your budget, child's age etc and ask for advice.

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/contact.html

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has she looked through a telescope before?  I often find that kids (and adults) who haven't either fall into the camp of it is awesome or they are underwhelmed, expecting to see something much more like what Hubble would see.  I would reach out to a local astronomy club, most will be very helpful and see if she could get a look through a couple of scopes.  If she is interested in space etc it would be good activity for her and you would find out which camp she falls into before spending any money.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.