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Thread: First telescope for a family with 6-year old

  1. #11
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    Default Re: First telescope for a family with 6-year old



    As the owner of a 14” GOTO Dob it shouldn’t be hard to guess what I’m going to recommend ....
    Normally I’d recommend getting the biggest aperture you can afford - in the world of visual astronomy aperture is still king. However, getting the 6” now is probably a good strategy until you see how interested you all are.
    That being said, you need to find the local astronomy club and go to one of their star parties - preferably before you buy a scope so you can actually look through one similar to what you want ... and you may just change your mind about which scope ....
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  2. #12
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    Default Re: First telescope for a family with 6-year old

    Quote Originally Posted by Clouded Out View Post
    I'm probably in a minority of one here but you can't go wrong with an 80mm short tube refractor.
    Make that two. Great scope for kids and adults, travels extremely well, and continues to be VERY useful after the purchase of a larger scope. No worries with collimation either.
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  4. #13
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    Default Re: First telescope for a family with 6-year old

    Hi Art. Another +1 for the 6" Dob telescope. It is a great combination of aperture size, cost, and transportability. And, your son should soon grow into it, and your family will have many years of great viewing. I hope this helps Art, and welcome to the forum to you and to your family.
    Last edited by Makuser; 10-17-2018 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Typo
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    Default Re: First telescope for a family with 6-year old

    Thanks, all, you have been so tremendously helpful. I imagine I'll return to this post in the weeks and even months to come to re-read your advice. I ended up purchasing a 6" dob (Orion XT6 Plus) with a couple of eyepieces and Barlow lens. Based on your suggestions, I think this will be a good middle-of-the-road starting place for us, and we can explore other options depending on how interested everyone in the family is. I can definitely imagine going with a bigger aperture in the future, as well as getting something like the 80mm short tube refractor that a couple of you recommended. I can see that I have a lot to learn, but am really excited to check things out when the scope arrives. Will try to post an update when we get a chance to put it to use!

    Art

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    Default Re: First telescope for a family with 6-year old

    Congrats on the scope !

    Some things to do to while waiting for the scope to arrive

    • Read up on collimation. It is one of the first things you have to do after assembling the scope. Astro Babys Guide to Collimation - Newtonian Telescope - Reflector is a well regarded resource. It looks a little initmidating but is quite easy once you get the hang of it.
    • Download Stellarium (free on laptop/desktop). It is a wonderful resource to learn the night sky with or without a telescope.
    • Get hold of the book "Turn Left at Orion". It is a great book for beginners which tells you what all you can see from your back yard and how to get to them. You can get older editions (ex library copies) on ebay for about $5 shipped.
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    Default Re: First telescope for a family with 6-year old

    Congrats on the new scope and Welcome to the worldwide phenomenon of Amateur Astronomy.
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    Default Re: First telescope for a family with 6-year old

    All the advice here is great, and I have a 6" Orion SkyQuest XT6. I love mine and it has a nice handle that lets you transport it with only a slight hernia. LOL. I would like to add just one thing. I have two boys, now in college. We have spent countless hours under the stars over the last year and that time spent is worth all the money in the world. Rest assured, what ever scope you buy, you will buy another and maybe a third. Eyepieces are the same way. You will likely end up with many. It's all part of the journey. I would definaely pick up a pair of 10x50 binoculars. They are essential. You will see why. Also, the Orion is an f/8 scope, so there is no need to spend a fortune on EP's. My high end EP's (Eyepieces) are Celestron X-Cel LX. @ $70. Most of my EP's are GSO or Omni Plossl. They all do just fine in an f/8. Awesome actually. At 6 don't be suprised if the coolest thing outside the moon is his red headlamp. Heck, I'm 50 and sometimes it still is for me. I sometimes entertain the neighbors 6 yr old. I have found it helps to let him do his own thing and call him over when I find something for him to see. Just last week, I showed him M22, which has now been officially renamed Starball.

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    Default Re: First telescope for a family with 6-year old

    Oh. You will also need a litterbox. I have no idea why, but when I took up astronomy, cats begin moving in with me. I now have three. One glance around this sight and you can tell that there is some wierd connection.
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    Default Re: First telescope for a family with 6-year old

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixfalls View Post
    Oh. You will also need a litterbox. I have no idea why, but when I took up astronomy, cats begin moving in with me. I now have three. One glance around this sight and you can tell that there is some wierd connection.
    Cats often come to see me and I was rather sad when a neighbour's cat died after he befriended me. They would not move into our house, as we have two dogs.
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