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Which is the best value for planet viewing in a light polluted area?  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. Which is the best value for planet viewing in a light polluted area?

    • 707 - refractor
      1
    • 102 -refractor
      0
    • 1145P - reflector
      0
    • 130P- reflector
      9


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So its down to these 4 telescopes for me - 1)707, 2)102 3)1145P 4)130P.

Which one is the best for planet viewing in a light polluted area?

70.jpg

MERCURY-707 SynScan™ AZ GOTO

70mm (2.75") f/700 COMPUTERISED REFRACTOR

Please note that this scope is only available in the original Skywatcher Blue colour.

£180.00

A lighter-weight version of the SynScan AZ GoTo mount tailored for the Mercury-707 OTA. This 70mm multi-coated refractor is ideal for the novice and can be used for viewing the Moon & brighter Planets, Double-stars as well as for daytime terrestrial use

  • Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x35 & x70


  • Highest Practical Power (Potential): x140


  • Objective Lens Diameter: 70mm


  • Telescope Focal Length: 700mm (f/10)


  • Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm & 20mm


  • Red Dot Finder


  • 90° Star Diagonal (1.25”)


  • SynScan™ AZ GoTo Computerised Alt-Azimuth Go-To Mount (Lightweight version)


  • Power Requirement: 12v DC Power Supply (Tip Positive) or AA Batteries (not supplied)


  • Aluminium Tripod with Accessory Tray


102r.jpg

STARTRAVEL-102 SynScan™ AZ GOTO

102mm (4") f/500 COMPUTERISED REFRACTOR

£265.00

An ideal instrument for the wide-field observation of Deep-Sky objects, such as Nebulae, Star Fields & Clusters and Galaxies. A useful telescope for astrophotography and also for daytime terrestrial use.

Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x25 & x50

Highest Practical Power (Potential): x204

Objective Lens Diameter: 102mm

Telescope Focal Length: 500mm (f/5)

Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm & 20mm

6x30 Finderscope

45° Erect Image Diagonal (1.25”)

SynScan™ AZ GoTo Computerised Alt-Azimuth HD Go-To Mount

Power Requirement: 12v DC Power Supply (Tip Positive) or AA Batteries (not supplied)

Stainless Steel Tripod with Accessory Tray

1145.jpg

SKYHAWK-1145P SynScan™ AZ GOTO

114mm (4.5") f/500 COMPUTERISED parabolic Newtonian Reflector

£220.00

This telescope with its superb Parabolic optics provides excellent all-round performance for both the observation of the Moon & Planets and Deep-Sky objects.

  • Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x20 & x50
  • Highest Practical Power (Potential): x228
  • Diameter of Primary Mirror: 114mm
  • Telescope Focal Length: 500mm (f/5)
  • Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm & 25mm
  • Parabolic Primary Mirror
  • 0.5mm Ultra-Thin Secondary Mirror Supports
  • 6x24 Finderscope
  • 1.25” Rack & Pinion Focuser
  • SynScan™ AZ GoTo Computerised Alt-Azimuth HD Go-To Mount
  • Power Requirement: 12v DC Power Supply (Tip Positive) or AA Batteries (not supplied)
  • Stainless Steel Tripod with Accessory Tray
130.jpg

EXPLORER-130P SynScan™ AZ GOTO

130mm (5.1") f/650 COMPUTERISED parabolic Newtonian Reflector

£265.00

Fantastic performance from this highly capable all-rounder. Its precision Parabolic primary mirror captures 30% more precious starlight than a 114mm reflector for bright, sharp, contrasty views of a wide range of night sky objects.

  • Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x26 & x65
  • Highest Practical Power (Potential): x260
  • Diameter of Primary Mirror: 130mm
  • Telescope Focal Length: 650mm (f/5)
  • Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm & 25mm
  • Parabolic Primary Mirror
  • 0.5mm Ultra-Thin Secondary Mirror Supports
  • 6x30 Finderscope
  • 2” Rack & Pinion Focuser with 1.25” adaptor
  • SynScan™ AZ GoTo Computerised Alt-Azimuth HD Go-To Mount
  • Power Requirement: 12v DC 1Amp Power Supply (Tip Positive) or AA Batteries (not supplied)
  • Stainless Steel Tripod with Accessory Tray
  • 30% more Light Gathering than 114mm

Skywatcher SynScan AZ GO-TO COMPUTERISED TELESCOPES

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Hi,

Trouble with a poll is that it's non-interactive - we can't really explain the pros and cons of each scope within the context of your needs, budget etc.

To be honest none would be top of my list for planetary viewing - I'd be thinking of a maksutov-cassegrain.

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A maksutov will provide much better corrected images on planets unless you buy a refractor for many times more cash. A fast achromat refractor will give much false colour on brighter and is better suited to deep sky.

a maksutov or sct is a type of reflector but also uses a lens to improve the image.

Maks and scts have a problems with requiring cooldown time and can collect dew on the corrector if precautions are not taken to prevent it.

Edited by CGolder
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thats a reflector isnt it? Ive been told I am better off with a refractor for non-deep sky viewing

Two of the scopes you put in you list were also reflectors. The Maksutov-cassegrain design is very good for planetary viewing and compact and easy to mount. Refractors are good but expensive per cm of aperture - the 70mm that you listed would have too little aperture for decent views of the planets and the 102mm F/5 will show too much false colour to be much use at high powers.

A 4" F/10 refractor would be a great choice but it's not on a GOTO mount:

Evostar - Skywatcher Evostar 102 (EQ3-2)

Newtonian relfectors can show very good planetary views as well - especially when they are long focal length ones, like this:

Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 150PL EQ3-2

The maksutov-cassegrain has the attributes of the above scopes in a compact tube.

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Hi Karl, at the very least you should go for as big an aperture as is possible, a light pollution filter will help if you if lp is poor, as the scopes you have listed are fairly small you would at least be able to take your choice to a darker location which will enable you to see far more :)

Alan

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I wouldn't go for any of those either for good planetary viewing.

I second the skymax 102 mak on the EQ mount or the 127 mak on the Supatrak mount.

I have the 127 GoTo version but as I've said on other posts once I learned my way around I found I wasn't using it. I wish now I'd either gone for the EQ mount or the Supatrak mount and spent the extra cash on better EPs.

But you question was about scopes. Either the 102 or 127 Mak and whichever mount fits our budget would be my answer.

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If it had to be one of those four it would have to be the first one as the others are all f5 fast wide field scopes.

So? Nothing a barlow or a short long eye relief eyepiece can't fix (yes, I know focusing is a bit more difficult, but I didn't have a dual speed focuser for years on an f/4.5 and still managed to look at Saturn at 450x, though eventually I ot a €12 Vernier reducer and hacked my own dual-speed knob on one side).

Well, you indeed don't want a fast achromat, but the Newts aren't a problem. On-axis they deliver pretty good planetary images (the central obstruction tends to be large, but not larger than on e.g. Mak-Casses).

Aperture is a lot more important as a consideration than f/ratio. The first scope only has 70mm of aperture, and it's not going to be a satisfying planetary scope for very long (in fact, it'd be a lot better to get a 150mm or 200mm Dob, even though you have to nudge the scope).

In fact, I'd rather have --and actually used on holidays-- my f/4 114mm Starblast with a tabletop Dob mount; even though it's as un-planetary as they come, on Jupiter I've seen the GRS, trench between the GRS and the SEB, shadow transits, barges in the NEB, festoons etc. in it when the seeing was good.

Edited by sixela
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I would advice that if you want a AZ goto then go for the 102 mak, the 127 is at the limits of the mount.

unless you are a refractor fan then the mak will perform just as well in a smaller bundle, with a mak needs to cooldown where as a frac doesnt,

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If it had to be one of those four it would have to be the first one as the others are all f5 fast wide field scopes.

I think I would have to suggest a Mak also.

for planet viewing I understand light distortion is a not an issue, if affects mostly light producing stars?

I intend not to move it around and keep its stationed in my house or in the garden, so transportability is not a problem.

Edited by Karl Sagan
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for planet viewing I understand light distortion is a not an issue, if affects mostly light producing stars?

I intend not to move it around and keep its stationed in my house or in the garden, so transportability is not a problem.

We are talking about chromatic abberation, or false colour, as it's known here. It affects all bright objects, planets, the moon and bright stars. It does not affect low power, deep sky objects like clusters, nebulae and galaxies.

With an F/5 achromatic refractor it really does have an impact on planetary viewing.

If transportability is no problem and if you could drop your requirement for GOTO, an 8" F/6 dobsonian mounted newtonian would far out perform all these scopes for both the planets and deep sky objects. Just a thought.

Edited by John
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As with all the other reviews, 130P would be the preferred choice if that was all the choice was. But knowing there is a 102 Mak available as well, that has to get the vote.

Much better still, as John says, is the Skyliner 200P. No GOTO and not even any tracking but it's another league for viewing.

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