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Old 03-18-2014, 10:48 AM   #1
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Default Telescope

Hey guys,

I'm looking at investing in a Telescope in the near future.
Does anyone here have one or give me some advice / tips on what to look out for when buying one?

I'm looking at a budget of around £150 - £200.

Are there any websites where I could perhaps see examples of what kind of view I would be likely to get through any particular telescope?

What kind of features can I expect?
Automatic tracking (motorised)?
Automatic finding (motorised)?
Possible to take a picture through? - I've seen a couple that have said they just put their iPhone up to their eye piece and managed to get quite a nice result but is there anything within that budget that would allow me to use my DSLR? - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-...e=UTF8&index=2

Essentially I know absolutely nothing about telescopes but just lately when taking the dog out for a walk in the evening the sky has been really clear and the moon / stars have looked lovely and I've always been interested in space and stuff.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: Telescope

My dad had a 4" refractor from TASCO. It was real nice for moon and planet gazing. But that was soooo long ago.
I was looking at some reflector types from TASCO but most of them were well out of my price range. But check them out.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Telescope

Hmmm see this is where I need to do some research.

I just looked up a Tasco telescope - Tasco Spacestation 70az Refractor Telescope: Amazon.co.uk: Sports & Outdoors

and it looks like I think of a traditional telescope.

But then you have something like this: Celestron Astromaster 130EQ: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

Which looks a completely different style? Do you know what the benefits / comparison of the 2 different styles are?
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Telescope

The tasco scope that you listed will be an exercise in frustration.

The Zoom isn't that great for a start -pretty good for moon spotting, but for planets you'll have to go some.

And the tripod arrangement will be difficult if not impossible to use for a beginner, sort of fine for looking at the moon, but a real pain in the arse for trying to align with any star.

The celestron one that you said has an equatorial mount, - very good for tracking objects in the sky once things are arranged and aligned.

but again very difficult for a beginner to understand how to set it up. difficult to align, sure, once you have it aligned then you can dial in degrees to go to stars (referenced in a star map)

When I lived in oxford my house mate had a celestron scope with one of these tripods Celestron NexStar 4 SE Computerised Telescope: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

They are pretty cool, you align them to *any* three bright stars in the sky, then you tell it to automatically go to and track an object. (but there was noticeable "jitter" as the stepper motors inside the mount moved. -this results in photo blur (your exposure time for a photo is quite unlike anything normal!)


you can put a phone just up to the view finder and get some good enough photos, but getting the proper camera mounts is often easier, or at least leads to better quality pictures.

(he took some pictures of Saturn where you can make out rings, and of Jupiter where you can see the spot -which is kind of cool when you're in your garden).


Basically, what are your requirements? -do you want to moon spot/create mood maps/pictures, or actually see stars?
and how much time do you have to spend on this hobby?

You live in a city don't you? so getting out of the city is near essential for getting to see any stars in any real detail (the telescope will also magnify light pollution).


I'd suggest getting a copy of "the sky at night" magazine. -there is a lot of information in there.

(the guy who I used to live with has actually just moved back in with us, so I'll ask him a few questions and see if he can suggest any starter pointers also.)
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Telescope

Well I don't really know what I want it for at this point in time I just know i'm curious, certainly exploring the moon would be interesting, seeing other planets would be great! Stars? Hmmm what can you actually see of them? Wouldn't they just be even brighter lights lol?

I do live in the city but I recently bought my Mrs a caravan for xmas so we will be getting out and about into the country side this summer!
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Telescope

Quote:
Well I don't really know what I want it for at this point in time I just know i'm curious, certainly exploring the moon would be interesting, seeing other planets would be great! Stars? Hmmm what can you actually see of them? Wouldn't they just be even brighter lights lol?
I'm going to go out on a whim here and instead of recommending a telescope, recommend that you perhaps think about getting a good pair of astronomy binoculars instead - celestron make some great ones.

They're cheaper by far, and while you won't get the same zoom as a telescope they're much easier to carry around and you still get to see many, many more stars than you do with the naked eye. Because they don't zoom in so much finding what you're looking for is actually much easier (even with binoculars it can be a struggle to start with, so with a telescope it can really be a lot of faff.)
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