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North Star vs Konus

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Hi all

My boyfriend has recently got into atronomy after being given some binoculars. I want to buy him a telescope for Christmas but there's so many about I'm getting really confused :headbang:

I've seen 2 that seem quite good and would like your input please. The 2 I've seen are:

NorthStar Mars 76RDF 700x76mm (3") Newtonian Reflector kit


Konus Konusmotor 500 Astronomical Telescope

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance :D

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For the sort of money you are talking about there are many options to consider.

May I suggest that you reply with an absolute maximum budget figure that you are prepared to pay. This will have a bearing on the advice that you are given - and, I am sure, you will get a lot of good advice!

The options will include various telescope types and binoculars as well. By the way - are you able to put the 'scope in your garden or not etc? will also influence the advice.

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The large south facing garden is the place to be! (You are likely to get mobbed by all of us who would do ANYTHING for one of those!!!!!!!!!).

Anyway... £130 will get you: Skywatcher Skyhawk 1145P on an EQ1 mount, or a

Skywatcher Explorer 130 on an EQ2 mount both of which are reflectors (like the ones you mentioned) but are better quality. Of the two I would recommend the second as the EQ2 mount is much more substantial.

The Skywatcher Evostar 90 (AZ3) is a refractor (uses a lens rather than a mirror) but that model only comes on a simple mount. The best bet is probably the Skywatcher Startravel 80 (EQ1) an exellent refractor on an equatorial mount. These are all from the Skywatcher range and can be seen in detail if you click on the First Light icon at the top of the pages of this forum.

(Yes they sponsor the forum but they give exellent service at very competitive (and recently lowered) prices.

Now, what do I have to do to get into that garden............?

Edited by Bizibilder
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Thanks that's great!

Now for a really stupid question. which is better....Reflector or Refractor?

Neither really - they are both good in their own ways but refractors cost more per cm to make and buy so, for your budget, you will get more aperture (ie: the size of the main mirror or lens) with a reflector and therefore more chance of "wow!" at the eyepiece :headbang:


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NOT a stupid question! They each have thier benefits - and their problems! Everyone has their own ideas here so I will try to give an impartial answer. In astronomy you are, by definition, looking at very faint objects. So you need to "collect" as much light as possible. Therefore you need the largest "Aparture" you can get - this means the largest diameter of mirror or lens (all else being equal) So the answer is the Skywatcher 130mm (or 5inch) diameter mirror.

As important (actually you can argue MORE important!) is a good mounting the EQ2 is considerably more substantial than any of the other mounts I mentioned above.

So the choise is the SW130 on an EQ2 at £129!!

Refractors are somewhat more robust than reflectors. They do not need to be collomated (making sure the optical components are lined up - which is NOT the black art some will have you believe - especially for visual observing) as reflectors do. They also have some technical advantages for looking at the moon or planets for instance - but these are slight, if noticable at all, for the instruments you are considering. Also - lenses are more expensive to make than mirrors (they have two sides to a mirrors one!) making refractors more costly per mm of aparture.

For both types DON'T get swayed by "magnification". For many objects LOW power - say x20 - x50 is best! It is only the Moon and planets where higher powers ( say x150 - x200) comes into their own - and that is only on the rare occasions that the atmosphere is steady enough to let you see through it ( called "seeing") - as supplied the SW130 has from x36 - x180 just about right!

I've rambled a bit!! If it was my money? SW130 on an EQ2 at £129 comes out on top. (surprisingly just within budget as well!!)

Oh I forgot - Don't bother with the attic window - the glass and heat from the house (window open or closed) will ruin any view you may have. Plus the telescope will vibrate horribly every time someone moves or walks about - houses are like jelly!

Edited by Bizibilder
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