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Newbie with Celestron Powerseeker EQ80

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Hi all!

I'm a complete newbie so please forgive me if i ask any silly questions!

I've acquired a Celestron Powerseeker EQ80 and tripod (discontinued around 2001), it has a 25mm widefield eyepiece fitted. I managed to see M42 last night and could clearly see four of the brightest stars in the nebula as well as make out a very faint "cloudiness" surrounding them.

I also tried viewing Mars but was very dissapointed (tiny red pin-point of light).

I wanted to know if anyone here has got any experience of this scope and whether i should stick with it as a newcomer to this field (advice on upgrades would be welcome).



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I don't have your exact scope (I do have an 80mm scope among several others). I have however looked at the specs. Your scope should provide a decent introduction and is better than many of us had with which to begin.

While I would not spend a ton of money upgrading, it would be worth getting a quality 2x barlow so you then have two magnifications (about 45x and 90x). You can always take the barlow with you when/if you decide to upgrade. Then stick with the larger and brighter open clusters (Perseus, Pleiades, Taurus Hyades, double cluster etc). With your lowest power eyepiece the andromeda galaxy (2.5million light years away) will be a relatively large fuzzy spot.

You might also consider a wider field lower power eyepiece (about 32mm). A plossl (£30?)would be a great place to start unless you want to spend more for a wider field.... again you would take it with you when you upgrade and combined with a 2x barlow would give you an effective 16mm eyepiece.

Planets (especially mars) will bring out all the weaknesses in your scope (and all scopes have weaknesses). Mars isn't much better even in much larger scopes. Right now, the moon is full so that is why you didn't see much more in the Orion nebula. Go back in a few days.

For a great introduction to the night sky consider the book Nightwatch by Dickinson. Also visit skymaps.com for a free map and observing list download each month. Any of the "binocular" objects either lists will be great in your scope.

One other upgrade is to make sure you can use/align your finder and build or buy a unit power finder for your scope.

The following link has a link on it for the manual for your scope.

PowerSeeker 80EQ Telescope (item #21048) / PowerSeeker Series Telescopes / Telescopes / Products / Celestron.com

By the way, when I asked the same question 15 years ago as you have now (and I only had a 60mm scope) it was suggested I pick up a 32mm eyepiece and a 2x barlow and that is exactly what I did. Good eyepieces really help a scope perform at its best.

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Thanks all for the advice! I've got a 2x Barlow on order now and can't wait to try it out.

I was looking forward to viewing some open clusters tonight but i've got so much cloud and moonlight - on top of that, the people across the road have a security light on that beams straight into my field of view :/

Will try tomorrow. Regards. G

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My suggestion would be to use the scope for a while as it is and not spend any money on it. It will be limited by it's aperture and it's moderate quality lens will give false colour on bright objects.

Better to save a little money and go for a bigger scope. My suggestion would be an 8" reflector on a Dobsonian mount, for simplicity. With this aperture you will remain interested for years and will have hundreds if not thousands of deep sky objects sensibly within your grasp.

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Hi derekm!

I did a some research about my scope and found that it's actually an EQ80 WA (short tube with 400mm focal length). As I understand it, i won't be able to hit any decent magnifications unless i push it with a barlow+high power eyepiece.

I do like the bright images produced by it though so i'm going to get hold of a Meade 4000 Plossl next week and get my basics/theory right before taking the plunge on a bigger scope.



Edited by Gish_X
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