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Thread: Best beginner scopes for star clusters and planet viewing

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    Default Re: Best beginner scopes for star clusters and planet viewing



    A good and inexpensive scope for brighter object like moon, planets, double stars and globular clusters
    would be a 5" MCT. Add a pair of widefield binocs like 8X40 and your ready to go without spending a lot.

    David
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    Default Re: Best beginner scopes for star clusters and planet viewing

    Quote Originally Posted by dpickles55 View Post
    A good and inexpensive scope for brighter object like moon, planets, double stars and globular clusters
    would be a 5" MCT. Add a pair of widefield binocs like 8X40 and your ready to go without spending a lot.

    David
    Thanks any recommendations on the MCT and the bino's you state I'm guessing would be for scanning targets and then viewing with the scope?

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    Default Re: Best beginner scopes for star clusters and planet viewing

    Also would the focal length of a MCT obstruct nice views of star clusters? Also based on my price range it's looks like I'd only be able to afford a 90mm MCT
    Last edited by Sean90; 01-05-2019 at 06:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Best beginner scopes for star clusters and planet viewing

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean90 View Post
    Also would the focal length of a MCT obstruct nice views of star clusters? Also based on my price range it's looks like I'd only be able to afford a 90mm MCT
    You can visit this page for a helpful simulation of the field of view using different combinations of scopes and eyepieces.

    https://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/
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    Default Re: Best beginner scopes for star clusters and planet viewing

    Thank you for that I've had a quick look at it but will go more in depth with different scopes. What are peoples thoughts on the table top telescopes?
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    Default Re: Best beginner scopes for star clusters and planet viewing

    The long focal length of a MCT is exactly what makes it attractive for bright objects
    and high magnification. The downside is a narrow field of view. You could view planets
    with a wide field of view, and lower magnification, with a good refractor, but the high
    cost is prohibitive. I would look at a used MCT for solar system objects to keep
    the cost down and aperture up, and then be able to afford a few eyepieces. My approach is
    refractor for wide field scanning, MCT for planets, DOB for deep sky and binos for grab and go.
    Hope this helps.

    David

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    Default Re: Best beginner scopes for star clusters and planet viewing

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean90 View Post
    Minimum I would look at I think would be 20x80 but as I have stated its the use ability of these against say a 90mm refractor I'm not sure what road to go down
    For the majority of targets (definitely NOT planets here) the 20x80s will vastly outperform a 90mm refractor, which in turn would vastly outperform a 90mm Mak. The Mak would be superior on those planets (the order is reversed here) but would be a big disappointment everywhere else.

    I am a BIG fan of big binos, but you really need a parallel mount on a tripod to fully utilize them, a tripod and pan head will not let you see close to zenith. I think your best option is big binos if you can afford them along with an appropriate mount.

    I am NOT a fan of table top scopes at all and would much, much rather have any of those scopes on a tripod and forget the table top Dob mount. I have a 90mm Mak (used only for planets) that I put on a variety of mounts (none table top).

    If it were a scope for me, it likely would be a 100mm refractor. But again, the big binos are HARD to beat (it's a scope for each eye!!) and will outperform larger scopes on most DSOs.

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    Default Re: Best beginner scopes for star clusters and planet viewing

    I really need more advice on this with the budget I stated it does sound like binoculars are the best way to go but don't think I can account for a parallel mount as well let me know if I'm wrong? Telescope wise it looks as though alot are out of reach price wise but been looking and seem to think this is the best for the budget

    Sky-Watcher EXPLORER-130PS (AZ-EQ AVANT) 130mm (5.1") f/5 ALT-AZIMUTH/EQUATORIAL PARABOLIC NEWTONIAN REFLECTOR TELESCOPE - Optical Vision Ltd

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    Default Re: Best beginner scopes for star clusters and planet viewing

    This is "near" (over) your budget but has a LOT of advantages to the reflector you mention. The refractor has better optics, no worries with collimation, and it's on a nice goto mount.

    https://www.firstlightoptics.com/sta...n-az-goto.html

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    Default Re: Best beginner scopes for star clusters and planet viewing

    How are you at making things? You can easily make your own parallel mount for a fraction of the cost of buying. You would still need a sturdy tripod.

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