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Am hoping you can offer some advice, I came across this site while looking for local Astronomy Societies/Clubs.

I want to get into stargazing, looking at the moon and eventually the planets, galaxies etc. I've always been interested in space, the stars and planets and last night we had a really clear night and the amount of stars in the sky was awesome. I live in Bonnybridge, Central Scotland and know lots of places where its really dark to look at a clear sky and would like to know the best telescopes for the beginner star gazer. Now the important part, the budget, I don't have an awful lot of money to spend, £200 is about the maximum I can stretch to. I know what your saying, you can't get a decent telescope under £200 but am hopefully that I'll get good advice from this question and my own research. A friend suggested joining a local society/club as it would help learn about this hobby and I wondered if anyone knew of any in my area of Scotland.

Am not a complete novice, I know some information about the stars and planets from watching documentaries on TV.

If you all can point me in the direction of a good make/manufacturer and also offer a beginner star gazer some helpful advice that would be great.

Edited by Ailsa
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Welcome to the group, I would suggest looking at Dobsonian telescopes for your first one, they a simple to use and you get the biggest apeture scope you can for the price, maybe a 6 inch Dobsonian scope would be in your price range. Celestron, Orion, or skywatcher make good affordable Dobs.

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Hi Alisa, welcome to SGL! looks like you have some decent skies up there! A dark site is worth a lot, it will really help you to get to grips with the night sky. :rolleyes:

A scope is another matter, so many choices and opinions,

for your £200 you could go for a Skywatcher Skyhawk 1145P, only £115.00, you could spend the rest on some extras like an eyepiece or two for starters.

Only a thought

good luck with whichever one you buy. :eek:

Edited by Nexus 6
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Hi Ailsa and welcome to SGL :rolleyes:

The Skywatcher explorer series has had some good reviews and falls into your price range the 130(5") is between £120 and 150 depending if you want GOTO or not or you could even go as stated above for a 6" dob.

Have a look at a couple of sites like firstlight optics / opticstar ect and see whats available then check out the reviews section to see what people think of them.


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hi and welcome to the forum a good place to start would be FLO click the big icon at the top of this page get there number and give them a ringthey will give you the answers you are looking for,get to a local group if ya find one have a look at there scopes and see what ya think take care


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Hi Ailsa and welcome to the forum.

As you have a little bit of knowledge, my suggestion would be (if possible) to go along to the nearest astro club/society or local observing group to first have a look through a scope before buying. This approach will arm you with an idea of what you can get for your money and might introduce you to a scope that is a little bit more than your budget but which might really tick the box with regards to your expectations. A lot of people buy kit having NEVER looked through a scope which is sheer madness and they quickly realise, that had they saved just a little extra, they might now own something that will help them sustain their interest. I don't wish to spend your money for you and all the suggestions above are very good and will provide a lot of fun - I would just like you to be able to frame those choices against some kind of bench mark to help you evaluate more effectively.

One other route of course is to buy second hand be it on Astro Buy & Sell UK (many adverts from Scotland) or on here (will need 50 posts and one months active membership) to qualify and to be able to see the adverts. This route will enable you to get more for your money and if bought from here, will typically be in excellent condition. Hope this helps.

Clear skies


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