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Thread: Which telescope should I choose? (and some more questions)

  1. #1
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    Default Which telescope should I choose? (and some more questions)



    I'm planning to upgrade my devices recently, and I'm now confused with these questions:

    1. I'm planning to buy an Advanced VX equtorial with 8'' scope, should I choose Newtonian or S-C?
    - Which one is better for taking nebula pictures and which one is better for taking planets? I've read from some articles but they are not talking about how much difference there is between these two type of scopes. They only said something about "this is good for planet/nebula" but I have no idea which one is better.
    - I'm having a budget for this scope & equotarial at approximately $1000-$1500.
    2. Is it necessary to have an auto polar alignment equipment? Or I can do the polar alignment with polar scope and some computer program?
    3. Is there any software that can control the Advanced VX goto system?
    4. Is there any recommendation on the 60mm guiding/finding scope?

    Thank you for giving these advices!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Which telescope should I choose? (and some more questions)

    Hey Ming,

    1. I'm planning to buy an Advanced VX equatorial with 8'' scope, should I choose Newtonian or S-C?
    - Which one is better for taking nebula pictures and which one is better for taking planets? I've read from some articles but they are not talking about how much difference there is between these two types of scopes. They only said something about "this is good for planet/nebula" but I have no idea which one is better.
    - I'm having a budget for this scope & equatorial at approximately $1000-$1500.
    If you're talking about the 8" astrograph Newtonian then its shorter focal length (FL) is best suited for DSOs. The SCT with its long FL is best suited for planetary/lunar. Either of these scopes is right on the hairy edge of being too much payload for the AVX mount. For planetary/lunar imaging this should be okay because of fo the very short exposure times. But for DSOs, you need to guide this scope for long exposure AP and then is when this payload weight becomes problematic.

    2. Is it necessary to have an auto polar alignment equipment? Or I can do the polar alignment with polar scope and some computer program?
    I think you are confusing terms. There is nothing (to my knowledge) that automatically gives you a polar alignment mainly because you physically have to move the mount. There is equipment that will give you an automatic goto alignment though. The polar scope gets you close but then you will have to some additional fine tuning to get very close. There are several different methods available to do this, none of them automatic.

    3. Is there any software that can control the Advanced VX goto system?
    Yes, any program that uses the ASCOM drivers will control your AVX mount. Planetarium programs like Cartes du Ciel, Stellarium, SkyTech X, Starry Night, etc, and camera control programs like Astrophotography Tool (APT), Backyard EOS/Nikon, and Sequence Generator Pro all work with the ASCOM drivers giving them control over you mount.

    4. Is there any recommendation on the 60mm guiding/finding scope?
    Not really, just as long as it can be FIRMLY attached to your mount and it has a robust focuser that can be locked. I found a 70mm frac on Craigslist (for $10) that I modified to act as my guide scope.

    Hope this helps. Since I own an AVX mount, don't hesitate to ask more questions.

    Cheers,
    JT
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    Default Re: Which telescope should I choose? (and some more questions)

    SCT with a fr6.3 focal reducer is a better choice. Given Herschel and NGC galaxies the SCT is a much better DSO scope, the FR6.3 gives you a reasonable wide field except for M31 and large nebulas. Planetary nebula require lots of focal length/magnification. SCT does this well.
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    Default Re: Which telescope should I choose? (and some more questions)

    Either of these scopes are really pushing the capabilities of the AVX for long exposure AP (I believe the shorter focal length of the reflector would help a little bit) and when you add in the weight of a guiding scope, you compound the issue. The SCT would do well with planetary imaging because of the very fast exposures. If I were sticking with the AVX, I would opt for a lighter and shorter refractor for long exposures. If you're thinking about having one scope for visual and for imaging, you likely will quickly decide a second visual only scope is looking better and better.

    There are several products to assist with the polar alignment, and many people really like some of them and get very good and quick results. But these are convenient and not necessary, even the polar scope. You should learn to do a drift alignment and will need a reticle eyepiece (it can also be done using a DSLR and a program that will show a reticle on your PC).
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    Default Re: Which telescope should I choose? (and some more questions)

    The Newt will allow shorter exposures (or capture more photons per pixel for the same exposure), but will put more strain on the mount. If you intend to do both DSO and planetary AP with one scope, get the SCT and a focal reducer.

    You should be able to do a perfectly good polar alignment with just a polar scope, if you understand how to use it. With a drift alignment to follow up, you can get excellent frames. In fact you shouldn't need guiding until you go over 60- or 120-second exposure times.
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    Default Re: Which telescope should I choose? (and some more questions)

    With the AVX I would not use either scope. Get the AVX and a short refractor 72mm Astrotech for about 1200. Learn how to use the equipment and then pick up a Mak_Cas for planetary.
    The AVX is a great mount but not for a 8" scope of any kind. I do mount an 8" SCT on my AVX for outreach but not for photography only visual and even then it is pushing the limits of the mount.
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    Default Re: Which telescope should I choose? (and some more questions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Christo View Post
    With the AVX I would not use either scope. Get the AVX and a short refractor 72mm Astrotech for about 1200. Learn how to use the equipment and then pick up a Mak_Cas for planetary.
    The AVX is a great mount but not for a 8" scope of any kind. I do mount an 8" SCT on my AVX for outreach but not for photography only visual and even then it is pushing the limits of the mount.
    Many thanks. You saved me $799 as I was considering the AVX for AP using my 8SE OTA. And... I believe the stock Alt/Az mount for the 8SE is far better for visual.

    On the other hand I do have an Astrotech72ED which is probably doable with the AVX. So maybe it is still an option.
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    Default Re: Which telescope should I choose? (and some more questions)

    Quote Originally Posted by gcisko View Post
    On the other hand I do have an Astrotech72ED which is probably doable with the AVX. So maybe it is still an option.
    The AVX will more than handle the 72. Get an offaxis guider or small guide scope setup for about 250 and you are set.

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    Default Re: Which telescope should I choose? (and some more questions)

    Hey jaetea,
    After I did some more investigation I decided to only do the DSO instead of doing the planetaries. Also I decided to downgrade to a 6'' instead of 8'' for the AVX mount. Thanks a lot for the information!
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