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  1. #1
    Jayla's Avatar
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    Default Expectations for a newbie..



    Hello forums!

    I've been reading these forums for a couple of days now, I've also read the stickies and done some general googling, but I'm still baffled as to where to start.

    I'm curious as to what I could expect to see from an "entry-level" telescope. Ideally I would love to look at Mars and Jupiter, but also to look at the Andromeda Galaxy. Ultimately I would like to have a go at Astrophotography of the above mentioned items.

    I'm unsure of what results to expect, and so far I havent been able to find a site that says "telescope X will give images like so.."

    Can anyone give me a "heads up" on what to expect? I imagine I would probably be OK to spend £100-150 on a first scope, but that would depend on what it could be used for.

    I would appreciate any advice you could give

    Many Thanks
    J

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    Default

    Hi jayla ... Welcome aboard the forums ... As far as the scope goes get as much aperture as you can afford ...The bigger the better .. just remember , Any scope you get will be nothing like the pictures you see in books and mags. A dobsonian telescope would be the most telescope for the money .. That is a newtonian reflector on a swivel base ... A good book to consider is "turn left at orion" It explaines a lot about the skys and what you can see with a scope .. Hope this helps ...
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  3. #3
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    Default

    Hi Jayla,

    As Rich has suggested, a reflector scope is the best way for many to get started, as you get more for your $ in aperture, which is what it's all about.

    I found a shop in the UK that seems to have a good selection of entry-level scopes, and most are in your price range:

    TRADITIONAL

    There is also a nice Mak-Cass scope on that site, as well as a 150mm Dob that is just over your budget.

    Welcome to the site, btw!

    Mike

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    Default

    Howdy and welcome

    Aperture Rules, so the best bang for the buck is a big-ol-Dob.
    Some people call this type of reflector "yard cannons" and "light buckets" and will show you all sorts of stuff.

    Don't expect to see images like you see posted, that takes lots of $$$$ and lots of gear.

    as for what will you see, LOTS and LOTS, so be prepared to have your socks knocked off

    Perhaps before you purchase anything you should join a local astro club.

    Jim

  5. #5
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    Default

    Thanks very much for the warm welcome to the forums, I'm usually rather sceptical about posting first time to new forums, trolls/flamers usually ambush me

    Anyways, thank you for the information. Thanks to DizzyGazer for the link, I found it rather difficult looking for scopes when I didn't have any idea of what to look for in the first case

    I've looked through the astrophotography section on these forums, I must say I'm very impressed with some of the deep sky images, I would really love to build up my own collection of these some day, its immensely fascinating.


    The Dobsonian looks like a viable choice, I will most likely read some reviews on the models that Dizzy linked before I just jump into purchasing one.

    JimK, you mentioned that I should be prepared to see "LOTS" of things, could you possibly elaborate on this a little more? With a scope in that budget range could I hope to see some shape/formation of Andromeda, or will it just appear as a slightly larger white dot on a black background?

    I will try to google for some sample images that can be achieved from a dobsonian, better still, if anyone here has their own "gallery" and could link me up with some budget ranged astrophotographs, I would be interested to see

    I had plenty more questions, but I'm at work right now and have forgotten most of them over the morning

    Thanks for the advice

    Regards

  6. #6
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    Default

    hi Jayla!
    i can see the ring of saturn as well as jupiter and 3 of her moon with my celestron astromaster 114. saturn apear about the same size of the "o" letter print on your key board and the ring about fingernail tick and white. as for jupiter a little bigger, the two orange/red band can be seen but not the red dot. the moons are only 3 bright white dot.
    i should be able to see andromeda and some nebula nut i dont expect to much from this scope. hope this help good luck!

  7. #7
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    Jayla, welcome to the forum. Please read the Sticky, "The Philosophy of Telescope Buying" at the top of this forum, if you haven't already done so. It may give you some insight.

    Aperture rules, for light grasp, but it does not rule all the time when it comes to portability and ease of use. It's a personal choice as to how much bulk and weight you are willing to move around, especially if you are like me and need to move frequently around the yard. Don't overlook this as you make your decision.

    For planets and double stars, consider that you will do best with a longer focal length. It will give you more power. But it will also give you a narrower field of view which is exactly the opposite of what works best for wide clusters and other objects which need a wide field of view at low power.

    May I also add that an equitorial mount works best for astronomy. It is absolutely necessary for photography. A Dobsonian mount requires two movements in order to track an object, while an equitorial mount requires only one control in order to track once the mount is polar aligned (easy for visual use). I enjoy my equitorial mount if for no other reason than being able to track with one hand while I try to achieve fine focus with the other. That's important at high power. Believe me, equitorial is easy to understand.

    For general purposes, something in the f7 to f8 range will show you a variety of things. f4-6, best for low-power, wide-field. f10-13 and up, best for planets and anytime higher power is needed, and a wide field isn't necessary. Refractors are sharper with better contrast, reflectors give more aperture, catadioptrics are short and compact.

    I've heard it said that an 8" SCT on an equitorial wedge-mount is hard to beat for an all-purpose scope. I agree, but my ST80 refractor goes out the door more often.

    Just some thoughts, and my own opinions.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Hi again jayla ...On the scope thing , if you buy a good pair of binoculars and a sturdy tripod that would let you learn the skys ... Your budget will get you a telescope but iy might not be quite what you want .. binoculars will suit two purposes ..Both astronomy and daytime observing ... And you can learn the skys while saving for a nicer entry level scope ... A good pair of binoculars and tripod will stay with you for a long time , mabey your whole live while a starter scope might get replaced when you want something bigger to satisfy your hunger for more aperture ...Like jim.k. was saying aperture rules ...The bigger the lens or mirror will gather more light which will show more detail in fainter objects ...Again , "left turn at orion" will explaine a lot of what you can see with a scope from light polluted skys and what sizes these objects will be ...
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    That's good advice from Rich. 10x50s can also be hand-held, and you'd be surprised how much you can see. Another good book is the National Audubon Society Field Guide To the Night Sky. It explains a lot of astro stuff we all need to know. It's also small and has a vinyl cover, great to carry along.

    If you go for a Dob, see if you can squeeze in an 8". I've heard it said that the most notable jumps in aperture are to 8" for Newtonian for reflectors, and to 4" for refractors.

    Try to find a star party in your area. You will learn so much by actually seeing some scopes and looking through them, as well as talking to folks.

    Also, don't be underimpressed by images you see of faint objects. Some are very faint, but the fun is in finding them and seeing them live with your own eyes. Some things can be said to be observed mentally, that is, just thinking about what it is, even though it may not really "look" like much. I felt that way the first time I saw Uranus, just a blue-green dot.

    BTW, we each differ somewhat in our likes and dislikes, so don't let us get you all confused on here, lol. You'll find your niche eventually. The best thing is that it is a fun journey to get there. Keep asking and we'll keep on helping.

    Oh, and most folks eventually end up with more than one scope for different purposes. The more the merrier.

    Clear skies, pal.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayla View Post
    JimK, you mentioned that I should be prepared to see "LOTS" of things, could you possibly elaborate on this a little more? With a scope in that budget range could I hope to see some shape/formation of Andromeda, or will it just appear as a slightly larger white dot on a black background?

    I will try to google for some sample images that can be achieved from a dobsonian, better still, if anyone here has their own "gallery" and could link me up with some budget ranged astrophotographs, I would be interested to see

    I had plenty more questions, but I'm at work right now and have forgotten most of them over the morning

    Thanks for the advice

    Regards
    Hi Jayla,

    Welcome to Astronomy Forum.
    As for the "LOTS" of objects that one can see visually in a telescope Google astronomy related sketches. Also realize that many of the sketches are not made in areas with a lot of light pollution.

 

 
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