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Guidance help Essex/Herts


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Hello users of SGL

I’m not sure if I’m posting the forth coming questions in the right place.

I’ve been wanting to get into Astronomy for a long time now, After a recent trip to Oz (Wilsons promontory) I saw the Milky Way in all its Glory and thought its time to get a telescope, I’ve already done some research and I’m familiar with some of the telescope brands like Celestron,Meade, Sky Watcher.

I think it would be useful for me to go to a telescope shop and talk with a dealer on which telescope to go for, I got an idea on what I’m looking for by reading some of the many useful posts from the users of this forum.

My questions are:-

Are there any recommended telescope shops in the Essex/Hertfordshire region? I’m from Harlow

Personal recommendations on a budget of £600-1000

Thanks for any feedback which is left

Matt

Edited by matthale78@gmail.com
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I've had a quick search, and apparently there isn't any real astronomical telescope shops in Essex, not to worry though.

On a budget of £600-£1000, you can get some cracking scopes, but which one you get depends on certain factors: What you want to see, where you will use it, ease of use etc.

Me personally, on your budget, I would get s Skywatcher Skymax 150 PRO on a HEQ5 for £1013. But that's a bit over the top, and probably not the best starter telescope. One thing it would do, is to give you absolutely brilliant views of planets and the Moon

For a beginner, I would direct you towards either a Dobsonian (If you use it predominantly in your back/front garden) , or a neat grab n go setup, if you are planning to get out and about with your telescope.

Reflector - Dobsonian:

You don't even need to spend all of your budget on getting a great Dobsonian telescope. Here's one:

Skywatcher Skyliner 250px Flextube Dobsonian

The dobsonian mount makes this telescope easy to use. All you have to go is nudge it, and turn it, to point it where you want it. It's a 10" telescope, and could last you a lifetime. It will give absolutely brilliant views of planets, and loads of Deep Sky Objects. The flextube means that it will be able to be stored fairly easily, as it closes to about half the size of when it's fully set up.

Refractor - Grab n Go:

This is for if you are planning to take your telescope out and about, maybe even on holiday for example. Most grab n go telescopes are predominantly Refractors, due to them being maintence free, and being ready to use, straight out of the box. Heres what I'd recommend:

Skywatcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro Outfit

Skywatcher AZ4 Alt-Az Mount

Some people will give me some strange looks for recommending that telescope as someones first telescope, but I have done so for a reason. Firstly, the telescope tube itself, is brilliant. It's an apochromatic refractor, which means it has NO false colour at all. It will give some brilliantly crisp and sharp views of wide star fields, and it will be extremely impressive on the Milky Way in the summer, from a dark site.

The mount is very easy to use, just attach the scope via the dovetail bar, and away you go. It enables you to glide around the skies, pointing the telescope at what ever catches your eye.

Although the Evostar 80ED only has 80mm aperture compared to the 250mm aperture of the Dobsonian, it will enable you to learn the skies, with a trouble free, no maintenence needed telescope.

Hope that helps a little!

Clear Skies

Edited by lw24
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Are there any recommended telescope shops in the Essex/Hertfordshire region? I’m from Harlow

In Harlow there's no astro shops, but less light polution then North London. If your observing then a dob is the way to go, the 80ed would be ideal for astro imaging...

Nadeem.

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Hi Matt, welcome to the forum from a fellow Harlow resident!

I'm in a similar position, currently have a small refractor but looking to get something more substantial. Not wishing to contradict the previous poster but as I'm sure you've noticed, the light pollution in Harlow is pretty bad. It's ok when the air is clear, but the slightest bit of muck or moisture in the air and we have orange sky :-(

Anyway, if you are prepared to go into London then I've had some good advice / chat with Ethan at the Widescreen Centre down Baker St. I also noticed that Hertford Cameras (Bull Plain, opposite the museum Google Maps) have skywatchers in their shop window, but haven't had a chance to pop in yet.

Chris

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Hey lw24

Thanks for going to the effort of your post, some useful information to consider, I’m understanding more and more regarding the different types of telescopes (Reflector/Refractor), The Reflector look a lot bigger but I’m guessing you get better results but with out the portability and also seem to be cheaper, I’m also now understanding that you can buy telescopes and mount’s separately, I thought these came together as a single unit, but it looks like people mix and match on the equipment.

To be honest the only scopes I’ve been looking at are the Nexstar 6SE / Meade ETX125 as they both looked easy to use for a novice and they also seem to be fairly portable and they both have to goto capability ( I now see the mount is the part with the goto feature )

Now after reading through your post & forum I can see that the brand Sky watcher seem to be a popular choice, I don’t really know much about the company ( I need to do some research on that one)

I guess I will need to do some more research to make sure I don’t waste money, I will do some more reading through this forum and figure out what scope meets my wish list which is:-

Fairly portable telescope with a goto mount / powerful enough for me not to want a bigger one after a couple of weeks / for views on the moon, planets, deep sky objects / maybe to have the option to take some pictures

I’ll keep you posted on how I get on.

Thanks again

Matt

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Hi Chris

Thanks for your post, I currently work in Ware so a quick trip to Hertford Cameras looks on the cards, I didn’t realize that shop was there, so that’s most useful to know., I will keep you posted on what they have in the shop.

I agree that the light pollution Harlow can be bad, however I’m lucky as I live near Harlow common which is pretty dark, also some nights from my garden the sky is clear without an Orange glow, so I think I’ll be ok on that front.

All the best

Matt

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First light optics are very good. They have a large range of scopes and a wealth of advice to offer. Delivery will only be 3 days too so if like me having trouble waiting for new toys it won't be too long a wait.

Good luck and clear skies,

Adamski

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Hey lw24

Thanks for going to the effort of your post, some useful information to consider, I’m understanding more and more regarding the different types of telescopes (Reflector/Refractor), The Reflector look a lot bigger but I’m guessing you get better results but with out the portability and also seem to be cheaper, I’m also now understanding that you can buy telescopes and mount’s separately, I thought these came together as a single unit, but it looks like people mix and match on the equipment.

To be honest the only scopes I’ve been looking at are the Nexstar 6SE / Meade ETX125 as they both looked easy to use for a novice and they also seem to be fairly portable and they both have to goto capability ( I now see the mount is the part with the goto feature )

Now after reading through your post & forum I can see that the brand Sky watcher seem to be a popular choice, I don’t really know much about the company ( I need to do some research on that one)

I guess I will need to do some more research to make sure I don’t waste money, I will do some more reading through this forum and figure out what scope meets my wish list which is:-

Fairly portable telescope with a goto mount / powerful enough for me not to want a bigger one after a couple of weeks / for views on the moon, planets, deep sky objects / maybe to have the option to take some pictures

I’ll keep you posted on how I get on.

Thanks again

Matt

Just my opinion, but I don't think that GOTO telescopes are very good for beginners. They get rid of 80% of the fun in my opinion. Alot of the enjoyment is spent searching around for Deep Sky Objects for a while, and finally seeing it appear in your eyepiece, a brilliant feeling.

I also recommend that beginners learn their way around the sky, this is coming from a beginner also. I have enjoyed learning constellations and specific star names. I now also have the knowledge to precisely navigate my way to various Deep Sky Objects with my telescope, which is nice to be able to do.

So, you say you want a portable set up that wont want you wanting another telescope, so here's one:

Skywatcher Startravel 150 Optical Tube Assembly

Skywatcher AZ4 Alt-Az Mount

Skywatcher Universal Camera Adapter - To take pictures with a digital camera

Rigel QuikFinder Compact Reflex Sight - Replaces the standard finderscope

There you go, portability meets cracking views. No maintenance required, just setup and go. Plus a nice red dot finder and a camera adaptor to let you take some nice pictures easily all for £738.73

Clear Skies

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I agree that the light pollution Harlow can be bad, however I’m lucky as I live near Harlow common which is pretty dark, also some nights from my garden the sky is clear without an Orange glow, so I think I’ll be ok on that front.
Well I've just placed an order with FLO for a Skywatcher 200P dob; when it arrives and I've got it rigged up, you're welcome to come round and poke about with it! Or maybe we should arrange a star party on the common :-)

Chris

Edited by mallux
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