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BBC Stargazing inspired me to get a scope


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Hello

I have been thinking for many years about buying a telescope and I have learnt that if you buy cheap then you pay twice. This was especially true when I bought a telescope from ALDI for £40 as it wasn't a patch on my 10*42 birding binoculars.

Watching BBC's Stargazing last night fired my desire to buy reasonable telescope for casual observation of the moon and night's sky in general.

I'm guessing that this is probably the most asked question from a beginner such as myself but putting searches into Google is mind wateringly bewildering to say the least.

Somebody has hinted at Newtonian telescopes, is this a good starting point?

Cheers

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Welcome to SGL fella :eek:

The first questions you'll always get is:

1: What do you want to see? Planets or DSOs (Deep Space Objects)?

2: And what's your budget :)

Well chuffed that programme has done exactly what we all hoped in this hobby.

You're about to have many 'wow' moments! And that's just looking around this forum! lol

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Hello and thanks for replying so quickly.

I'm just a casual observer though I would like to see the moon, planets and those deep space objects please.

Later I will think about taking photos with my dSLR.

As for my budget, I don't want to go over the top and will limit it to under £300 if that is possible. Mrs Lemming would have my nads on a platter if I spent any more.

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£300 is a great budget to begin with. You'll get a good newt on an EQ mount with that or, as Kris says, a very decent dobsonian mounted newt.

Actually...for around £300 you'll get a huge Dob :eek: Perfect for a casual/experienced observer and beginner. You can always learn the ropes as you may go to photography and sell it later down the line.

Yep, I've voting Dob :)

Edited by astroimpulse
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I would also add to the choice equation a scope that you can easily use, this may well be a Dob/Newtonian. I went down the refractor path after months of deciding. Before that I spent 9 months using my binoculars learning my way around the sky. Good luck.

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Hi

Good to here from you, plenty of sound advice from this site. You could also consider a refractor - some like these others prefer reflector. The view you get from refractors is 'similar' in some ways to binoculars as they use a lens, reflectors use a mirror. So as with your binos you will need a good lens!

andrew

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i would go fo the 6" skywatcher dob its very portable also with any scope you buy you need to upgrade your eye pieces to get the most out of the scope you could get the skywatcher plosse 20 quid each and have a nice set up

my brother has this and the views are very good on dso and planets so good all rounder

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Welcome to SGL fella :eek:

The first questions you'll always get is:

1: What do you want to see? Planets or DSOs (Deep Space Objects)?

2: And what's your budget :)

Well chuffed that programme has done exactly what we all hoped in this hobby.

You're about to have many 'wow' moments! And that's just looking around this forum! lol

Oh yes he's right..............i,m still in no mans land and trying to narrow down what I,m going to buy.

Good luck !!

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Hi Folks,

New here, but been observing for years. I started on a 6" Dobsonian after having binoculars for a number of years. My advice to all beginners is to put the money towards the aperture, some good eyepieces and a stable but simple mount - in a nutshell, a 6" or 8" Dobsonian. You can then learn your way around the sky with it - and learn to star hop too with the aid of star charts. The GoTo EQ scopes are great, but the mounts are more expensive and you have a much better chance of learning about the night sky with a simple Alt-Azimuth (such as a Dobsonian) instead.

Also, a Dobsonian is much easier to set up and take down.

I currently have a Celestron C11 ASGT (a GoTo Equatorial Mount), and to be honest, the time to set up and take down, which is about 15 - 20 minutes, is a bit of a disincentive to going observing.

Regards and happy New Year to all!

Kevin.

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To save my fingers, cos ever newbie asks this stuff, I wrote an article as an entree to beginners, you can find it here........

So you want to buy a telescope ? - Part 1

Very interesting article, but now my furry little brain hurts.

before today I thought that all I needed was a big long tube and some glass at either end. Who'd have thought that this would get so complicated?

Bottom line, I'm after a casual telescope to point at the moon and the odd galaxy or two.

BTW the BBC 2 show tonight has inspired me to see more of this deep space stuff. :-)

Am I still in line for a Newtonian/Dobson to do the job?

Quite like the idea of cutting out the middle man and going for a GoTo, but will this up the price?

Thank you everybody for your help and advice.

Cheers

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Im a newbie :-) , my advice would be find something you will use . I know it sounds silly , but its all well and good buying a nice 12 inch dob if all it does is sit in your house because its too big to lugg around. Taking into account what the situation with light pollution is in your area, as portability will play a big factor if you have to travel to dark sites to get good viewing. As far as photography goes , I would start with widefield work and get comfortable using , focusing, processing those objects before you consider sticking it down the end of a scope because thats a whole world of cash :-) Also consider using webcams for planetary pictures as a good start in that particular avenue of astronomy.

all in all get something you will use, get familiar with the sky etc.

I bought a celestron C8 on a goto mount as my first , the C8 is great , however the goto is hit and miss (probably my fault) and to be honest i just use the tracking feature of the mount now as finding these things is most of the fun :-)

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Ok

Now I've learnt a little more, I now have more specific questions to ask.

I live in a small seaside town with a lot of light pollution, however I do not have to drive far to get away from the bright lights and most definitely I can get away from lights within a 10 mile radius.

With this in mind, what ever I choose will have to be transported in the back of a car and then set up in a field or on top of a hill.

Does this cut down my choice of telescopes to an acceptable level?

Cheers

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I would go for a manageable sized dobsonian , the collapsable ones would mean you could get a bigger scope in the car. Will be good to get you observing. Perhaps you could look at some with a tracking option maybe , but as for the goto - for me i thought it would be a'must' but to be honest i use an app on my iphone as an atlas (but equally a good book would do) and dont use the goto and for the price they add , for me , if i could start again wouldnt have got it but rather would have put the money into a sturdier mount or better eyepieces

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Hey - welcome to SGL!

I was in your situation a few months back and finally took the plunge and bought an 8" Dobsonian scope (Skyliner 200p). My main site for observing is my back garden but even a dob that size isn't awful to transport (weight-wise), and is VERY easy to setup once you get to your dark site!

Probably the one thing I would mention from Stargazing Live is that the DSO pictures they show have been created using long exposure photography and a lot of image processing. When you loook through a scope, you won't see the colours or details on the images shown on TV - they will simply be smudges.

The plants and moon will always provide a focus for casual observers, like me, and are easy to find and appreciate.

As others have posted, you will need to try and decide what you would like to focus on (excuse the pun). Ultimately, that will decide what you're best to spend your money on :eek:

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