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Telescope Help Picking

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Heads up: soz for big post, and it's the same post as in welcome, but it involves questions about picking equipment!

Just found this amazing forum when i was looking up on information about amateur telescopes. I am dutch, and still novice :D

I have 1 small meade etx80 telescope which introduced me to 'stargazing' :p, im aware that it is not good at all, but i did manage to see the ring of saturn last week !, i wanted to try and find the andromeda galaxy , but unfortunately fog ruined the attempt ( also it seems to be very low in the sky when i look at it's position in programs like stellarium, or certain appz on ipad/phone)...

I was wondering if it is even possible(skeptical about it) to view the galaxy @ over 2.5 million light years away....

Hence im looking to purchase a new telescope..., im mainly interested in deep sky and my budget is that of a student unfortunately:P, after some quick research on the internet and then in these filled forums!, i thought a dobson telescope would be fitting for my desire/budget, it would be greatly appreciated if someone could point me the differences between the models below, and if this would be a good telescope for me..

Some questions i have about--

Skywatcher skyliner 300p flextube

Skywatcher skyliner 300p

- What is the difference between them( other then one needs to be extended before using and is more compact for storing, will this affect sturdiness? or are they equally robust, also the mirrors will be more exposed then the closed one?,

-Is goto system advised( it's quite an expensive add on, + i never used the primitive go to system on my etx80 yet since i am too lazy to allign it)

- Then for the flextube they also offer the ''tracking'' variant, which just keeps the object your viewing centered, again is this advised over the standard version?( since earth spins at over 1600km/h 'small' objects will go out of the viewfinder quite fast, for example when i watched saturn at 8,64 AU or so , it went out quite fast)

Is this telescope powerfull enough to get beautiful sightings?

Im highly enthustiac about astronomy and am looking forward to learn alot in these forums!, Thanks in advance for answering some of my questions and also if you have any suggestions on equipment!(budget is between 500 and 1000 euros or so..), they would be much appreciated!!!

Thanks in advance

And sorry for an ambivalent story and my sometimes terrible english spelling lol!

Greetings Freek

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They are very good scopes. They are quite big and heavy though. If you can see them before you buy, then that would be good to make sure it isn't too big!

At a star party last year, under dark skies, we had our best view ever of the Andromeda galaxy in binoculars and in the 300p flex tube. It was amazing in the dob.

I would say the flextube possibly needs collimating more often than the solid tube. You would ideally also need some sort of light shroud for the flextube (we made one from a camping mat).

As for AUTO or GOTO, that's got to be down to your own preference. As you say, the cost increases! We have the AUTO version, but the ground wasn't level, therefore the mount wasn't level and tracking wasn't great. After seeing a thread on here we purchased the AZ hand controller separately, to upgrade the AUTO to a GOTO. It seems to be working reasonably well so far, but again, I think the mount isn't quite level enough, so we may need to look at adding adjustable feet to this so it can be levelled.

If you decide you don't want tracking or goto, then the choice may be down to whether you want to transport the dob to darker sky locations. We found the solid tube version was a bit too long for the car, hence we purchased the flextube, as we wanted to take this 300 dob to star parties.

Certainly with a 300 dob you should be able to see many wonderful and beautiful deep sky objects, as well as the moon and planets.

A non tracking dob is easy enough to nudge, to keep an object in view. At higher magnifications then the object will move more quickly, but not all viewing needs to be done at high magnifications! Also wider field eyepieces would help with keeping an object in view longer. Some other dob users will probably be able to advise on suitable eyepieces, if you need some.

Edited by Sarah
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There are some good guides around. Look at Astrobabys guide to collimation here:

Astro Babys Guide to Collimation

The best thing is to treat this as a day time exercise the first time you do it. Then you're under no pressure thinking, "I have to get this done to use my scope tonight". Take your time and like most things once you've done it once it starts to make more sense.

I also found youtube very useful for watching others collimate their scopes.

Don't let collimation put you off. :D



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The Dobsonian will DEFINITELY show you the Andromeda Galaxy - and loads more. Plenty of good guides on thye net and elsewhere about collimation. Also, find a local astronomy group and turn up on a public stargazing evening so that you can talk to the members and get their advice and answers for your questions.

Good luck and clear skies.

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Align the ETX80, it is easy enough to do.

It will show Andromeda, my 8x42 binoculars show Andromeda, so the ETX 80 will do it.

Put a 20mm eyepiece in the thing to get 20x and a decent field of view.

Andromeda will ALWAYS be no more then a grey bit of fuzz, with the 80 or with the 300.

Suppose you are not the Freek I used to shoot with from Achilles in Alkmaar.

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