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first time looking through a telescope...


zork
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So... This tuesday Framtidsmuseet in Borlänge took out their telescope to the woods and I went there...

I was poorly dressed so I felt like I was freezing my toes off all the time, but I remained for an hour. The moon was about half full and they used a 8" Meade of some sort with a goto. oh right, it was a bit cloudy on and off too.

I got to see Jupiter and 4 moons - wow!

... the moon - a bit bright for my eye, but also a big wow factor ;)

... M31 - the though of it being so far away is mindboggeling, but it really didnt look much more then a smudge.

... the ring nebulosa. it was really cool, but very tiny :(

... some double stars I dont remember, a blue and a red one.

... some cluster I dont remember either. but this was probably the best of the whole evening!

There was a lot of people who wanted to peek so it took some time before they switched, but I am happy with what I got to see!

Since I am trying to decide what kind of telescope to get for myself (leaning towards a dob), I think that this evening changed my view a little bit. Mostly, what I think about is how much "bigger" do a thing like M31 or ring nebula get in a 10" or 12"? Much, not much? If its not much really, I guess 8" works well enough for me and my son. Earlier we were thinking about a 10" Skywatcher.

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hi Zork, a bigger (aperture) scope doesn't make things look bigger per se (although a longer focal length will increase the magnification of any given eyeiece). Having said that, a bigger scope will allow you to use higher magnifications (in a smaller scope the image gets darker quicker) and at any given mag the image will be brighter and therefore usually better. Also in a bigger scope the theoretical resolution will be higher (ie you can se smaller features).

I have had a10" and a 6" (newtonian) and a 3" refractor. The difference btween the 6 and the 10 is significant, especially if skies are reasonably dark. However, I wouldn't say that the dfference "blew me away" or any other such dramas becasue the views are always quite subtle eg M31 is always just a faint smudge although with practice you get to see variations within the smudge.

funnly enough, the ring was a bit of a "wow" thru the 10 as against the 6 cos you could up the mag so much more.

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Hi Zork, sounds like you had a great evening and saw some neat things. Visually clusters always look pretty good and doubles do as well. With nebulae and galaxies is a bit trickier as they often just appear as smudges - this doesn't really change as the aperture gets bigger other than more details start to show and the extent of the smudge may increase.;)

Sam

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Hi Zork, I have owned 6" , 8", and 10" reflectors and finally settled on the 8" and sold the other two, for me the 8" was a good mix between what it could show you and portability, the 10" was great but it was a bit heavy to carry, so I found myself reluctant to get it out of the shed sometimes if I knew I only had a short time for observing.

The 6" was much lighter, and although it was still a great scope, didnt show as much as the 10" (obviously ! ;)) so I settled on the 8" as a good mix between capability and portability.

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