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Offline neilep

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Can Ewe Recommend A First Telescope ?
« on: 27/09/2008 01:27:17 »
Dearest Telescopologists,

My daughter (Charlotte) wants one of these !




I don't think I can find a trillion zillion s to buy her one of those and i don't think Bransons space thingymajigy space plane will be stopping off there so , within a reasonable budget (say circa 150 ) can ewe recommend one that will do well in our garden and not need the services of a mountain top or a rocket ?

Thanks

Neil
Owner Of A daddy's Girl !



 

Offline Karen W.

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Can Ewe Recommend A First Telescope ?
« Reply #1 on: 27/09/2008 01:31:55 »
Costco here generally carries a pretty decent one sometimes.. I just don't know if your Costco would do that... do you have a costco or equivilent?
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #2 on: 27/09/2008 06:38:05 »
Patrick Moore has recommended binoculars for beginners...
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/0521555388/ref=sib_dp_pt/203-1286998-5326369#reader-page

Binoculars (possibly fitted to a camera tripod) would be an inexpensive taster for stargazing...

Quote
So just what can be seen with these Adler [40] 7x50 binos?

..The moon-like phases of the planet Venus can be followed.
The four major moons* of the giant planet Jupiter are easily seen as is Saturn's largest moon Titan.
http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/binoculars-for-astronomy/adler/7x50/starter-kit.html

[* these moons would be just be visible as star-like points of light at 7x magnification]

Be realistic: even with say a couple of grands worth of telescope you're not going to get Hubble quality images.

Please stress the inevitable irreversible blindness that will occur if attempting to look at the Sun through binoculars or telescope. If yours is the type of child who will do something simply because you have said not to, then don't allow them unsupervised access to a telescope or binoculars.

At the risk of stating the obvious, binoculars pointed at the sun would cause blindness in both eyes, telescope only one.

The next step up from binoculars would be a reflector like this with a motorised drive (to compensate for Earth's rotation). 

If you've got more cash to splash there are compact computerised "goto" telescopes.
 

Offline thelastman

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« Reply #3 on: 27/09/2008 19:20:37 »
Hello Neil.  Don't set her up for a lesson in frustration by buying a cheap one or small one:  My dad built a shed.  It was a large shed.  When it was done, he'd wish he had built a nicer one.  Lesson:  get her a nice telescope even if she's 4:

http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/catadioptric-telescopes/meadelxd75sn6atwautostaruhtccoatings.cfm [nofollow]

Pretty sure it's go-to:  Just press some buttons (after you've aligned it), and it will go (approximately) to the object you selected.  May need a bit of a learning curve to orchestrate the process.
« Last Edit: 27/09/2008 19:40:19 by thelastman »
 

blakestyger

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« Reply #4 on: 27/09/2008 19:29:49 »
It's useful to remember that stars come out at night - so it will be dark and with the dark comes either the cold or midges or both. And it can be very cold on a clear night, even in summer - this could be a major disincentiviser for the young astronomer. :(

It may be worthwhile going along to a star party run by a local group if you can, before committing to parting with the folding stuff.
« Last Edit: 27/09/2008 19:32:34 by blakestyger »
 

lyner

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« Reply #5 on: 27/09/2008 22:34:41 »
I would definitely recommend the binoculars idea. If she goes off astronomy she can use them for nature watching, sport, or anything else. You need a really expensive telescope to be worthwhile having - they are specialist stuff and binoculars are much better value because they have a huge market.
 

Offline DarthTutor

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« Reply #6 on: 27/09/2008 23:10:28 »
I would also say that naked eye + binoculairs is great for starters. Despite the go-to stuff flying around, it is tremendeously satsfying to know your way around the stars up to some degree.
The naked eye is good for star signs, lunar eclipses, interesting planetary conjungtions, milky way (find a decently dark spot), shooting stars and objects like the Plejades.
Binoculars are great for smalled star clusters (h & x persei), milky way again, larger nebulea (orion's), double stars with large seperations (alkor & mizar), brightest galaxies (Andromedae's M31), brighter comets, and for a first glimpse at the cratered moon.

By that time your daughter will know how serious she is about sky gazing. Then a 3 inch refractor or 4 to 6 inch reflector will give her many years of observering.
 

Offline syhprum

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« Reply #7 on: 28/09/2008 15:48:11 »
Their are some organizations that enable students/enthusiasts to obtain views thru large remotely controlled telscopes via the internet.
I am afraid I have no details but no doubt an internet hunt would yield some.
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #8 on: 28/09/2008 17:49:38 »
Costco here generally carries a pretty decent one sometimes.. I just don't know if your Costco would do that... do you have a costco or equivilent?

Yes..yes ..we have a Costco equivalent...it's called Costco !..lol !

I'll check next time I'm there..thanks for this Karen !
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #9 on: 28/09/2008 17:53:15 »
Patrick Moore has recommended binoculars for beginners...
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/0521555388/ref=sib_dp_pt/203-1286998-5326369#reader-page

Binoculars (possibly fitted to a camera tripod) would be an inexpensive taster for stargazing...

Quote
So just what can be seen with these Adler [40] 7x50 binos?

..The moon-like phases of the planet Venus can be followed.
The four major moons* of the giant planet Jupiter are easily seen as is Saturn's largest moon Titan.
http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/binoculars-for-astronomy/adler/7x50/starter-kit.html

[* these moons would be just be visible as star-like points of light at 7x magnification]

Be realistic: even with say a couple of grands worth of telescope you're not going to get Hubble quality images.

Please stress the inevitable irreversible blindness that will occur if attempting to look at the Sun through binoculars or telescope. If yours is the type of child who will do something simply because you have said not to, then don't allow them unsupervised access to a telescope or binoculars.

At the risk of stating the obvious, binoculars pointed at the sun would cause blindness in both eyes, telescope only one.

The next step up from binoculars would be a reflector like this with a motorised drive (to compensate for Earth's rotation). 

If you've got more cash to splash there are compact computerised "goto" telescopes.

This is simply super...lots of good advice.

I like the idea of the binoculars as it will also enable to check out my neighbours with both eyes !

I appreciate this advice and in fact find the price of that reflector looks very tempting...especially backed up by those good reviews.

Thanks RD
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #10 on: 28/09/2008 17:56:01 »
Hello Neil.  Don't set her up for a lesson in frustration by buying a cheap one or small one:  My dad built a shed.  It was a large shed.  When it was done, he'd wish he had built a nicer one.  Lesson:  get her a nice telescope even if she's 4:

http://www.telescopes.com/telescopes/catadioptric-telescopes/meadelxd75sn6atwautostaruhtccoatings.cfm

Pretty sure it's go-to:  Just press some buttons (after you've aligned it), and it will go (approximately) to the object you selected.  May need a bit of a learning curve to orchestrate the process.


Hi thelastman

Wow !..that telescope looks fantastic !....I'll have to send her to wash a few cars to be able to afford it though. ;) It looks like a fantastic piece of kit though and I really appreciate this kind advice.

Thank you.
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #11 on: 28/09/2008 17:57:40 »
It's useful to remember that stars come out at night - so it will be dark and with the dark comes either the cold or midges or both. And it can be very cold on a clear night, even in summer - this could be a major disincentiviser for the young astronomer. :(

It may be worthwhile going along to a star party run by a local group if you can, before committing to parting with the folding stuff.

Thank You blakestyger

Yes, yes..a star party would be a great idea. I can't imagine it being difficult to locate a local group.

Great idea...thank you very much indeed !
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #12 on: 28/09/2008 18:02:00 »
I would definitely recommend the binoculars idea. If she goes off astronomy she can use them for nature watching, sport, or anything else. You need a really expensive telescope to be worthwhile having - they are specialist stuff and binoculars are much better value because they have a huge market.

Thank You sophiecentaur   I do think the binocular idea is great, Truth be told, The telescope (if I went down that route ) would be for me too....I'm up for most the night and I expect it would be mostly me who eventually uses it !...though..upon seeing something special I would have no qualms about awaking the whole family and dragging them out by the hair to look through the scope !  :D

Thanks for the advice, it's appreciated
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #13 on: 28/09/2008 18:05:23 »
I would also say that naked eye + binoculairs is great for starters. Despite the go-to stuff flying around, it is tremendeously satsfying to know your way around the stars up to some degree.
The naked eye is good for star signs, lunar eclipses, interesting planetary conjungtions, milky way (find a decently dark spot), shooting stars and objects like the Plejades.
Binoculars are great for smalled star clusters (h & x persei), milky way again, larger nebulea (orion's), double stars with large seperations (alkor & mizar), brightest galaxies (Andromedae's M31), brighter comets, and for a first glimpse at the cratered moon.

By that time your daughter will know how serious she is about sky gazing. Then a 3 inch refractor or 4 to 6 inch reflector will give her many years of observering.

Gosh !..thank you DarthTutor  I have to say I am ever so grateful for your comments and expertise.

I presume if I was to go for the binocular route then perhaps a pair that could be tripod mounted would be a good idea !..gotta keep them steady eh ?

Thank you very much indeed !
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #14 on: 28/09/2008 18:07:05 »
Their are some organizations that enable students/enthusiasts to obtain views thru large remotely controlled telscopes via the internet.
I am afraid I have no details but no doubt an internet hunt would yield some.

Fantastic yes, I have heard about those too !...great tip syhprum

Thank you very much.
 

blakestyger

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« Reply #15 on: 28/09/2008 21:35:50 »
You can find out about star parties and groups in the magazine Astronomy Now, under Astrolistings - you don't even have to buy it if you go to W H Smiths and read it in the shop. [:0]

If you go for bino's it's a good idea to look at the ads in the birdwatching mags; for what you said you'd like to spend may I suggest something like Bushnell (or any good birder will advise). Make sure the ratio of magnification to objective diameter is at least 5:1, eg 8x40, 10x50.
 

Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #16 on: 28/09/2008 22:23:18 »
Costco here generally carries a pretty decent one sometimes.. I just don't know if your Costco would do that... do you have a costco or equivilent?

Yes..yes ..we have a Costco equivalent...it's called Costco !..lol !

I'll check next time I'm there..thanks for this Karen !

Yes You are welcome.. I have seen two models there.. one that ran upwards to $500.00 US and one that ran 150.00 or 160.00 US.

The national Geographic telescopes come in a variety of strengths as well as Prices many of the quality toy stores carry some decent models also..
 

lyner

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« Reply #17 on: 28/09/2008 23:06:32 »
I don't know how rudimentary the cheapest telescopes are but you MUST get one with an equatorial mount. Even at moderate magnification, things march across your field of view remarkably quickly and you need an equatorial mount in order to keep up with them. A 'terrestrial' telescope is not much use for looking at space.
(I may be telling  my Grandmother how to suck eggs here - sorry if I am)
 

Offline turnipsock

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« Reply #18 on: 29/09/2008 00:46:25 »
I have a couple of scopes. Size is important. I have a 12" dobsonian and a smaller 4" casgarian (sic if I haven't spelt that properly). The more light you can get in, the better. The equitorial mount is handy, especially if you are usuing high magnifications, but not essential.



This was a picture taken with the TSGT
« Last Edit: 29/09/2008 00:49:06 by turnipsock »
 

blakestyger

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« Reply #19 on: 30/09/2008 11:40:20 »
Nice picture Turnipsock - funny to to think this is the same Moon that T S Eliot described in Rhapsody on a Windy Night:

The Moon has lost her memory.
A washed-out smallpox cracks her face,

It really does look pock-marked.
« Last Edit: 30/09/2008 11:42:26 by blakestyger »
 

Offline ukmicky

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« Reply #20 on: 30/09/2008 23:05:25 »
Get one that you can turn around and use as a microscope ;D
 

Offline syhprum

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« Reply #21 on: 08/10/2008 11:48:11 »

http://www.slooh.com/blog/tag/2008-tc3/

Here is the URL of the Robotic telescope organization
 

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« Reply #21 on: 08/10/2008 11:48:11 »

 

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