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Thread: Help Write a Letter to Santa for a First Telescope

  1. #1
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    Default Help Write a Letter to Santa for a First Telescope



    I know there are a couple of posts with people asking for advice on Christmas shopping, but I think I have a few rare requirements/challenges/specifications I'd like to share with advice-givers, if you please.

    I'm 51 and have terrible trouble with my astigmatism. My eyesight isn't that bad, it just messes with my ability to use eyepieces. I recently checked a telescope out of the library (Orion StarBlast telescope) and was finally able to see the rings of Saturn. My wife noticed my joy and suggested she get me a telescope for Christmas.

    I've had a good binoculars, but I can never really see what I want to see, namely any sort of detail on the planets.

    I'm primarily interested in observing planets and not really any DSO. I'd also like to do solar and lunar observations. I think about $300 would be reasonable. I live in an area with some light polution (far northern suburb of Chicago). I would be the primary if not sole user of the instrument and I would use it where I could get to by car. I might like to ultimately take photographs in the future. It would be nice to have an all in one type setup.

    I'd rather have a tripod than a table mount. The one I borrowed from the library was a table mount and it was diffucult to get the whole table in the right place, additionally I think most places I'd use it I wouldn't have a table available.

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    Default Re: Help Write a Letter to Santa for a First Telescope

    If you can find a local astronomy club or observing group, you can probably try out some equipment used by the club members to correct their astigmatism. This is a common affliction and there are several solutions. Long eye relief eyepieces (designs which let you place your eye at least 20mm from the lens) allow you to view with your glasses. There are astigmatism corrective lenses available from Tele Vue Corp which screw into several of their eyepiece models. These are premium priced products, but you may be able to find lower priced alternatives. Some people with severe vision restrictions use modified web cameras or dedicated astronomy cameras to view the planets on a computer or tablet, but the video results are not as good as visual viewing with the equipment in your desired price bracket.

    The moon and the major planets are bright targets, so you don't need a big telescope to view them, but they require high magnification to see detail well and that requires fairly high quality optics in both the telescope and the eyepieces. Your astigmatism will need to be properly accommodated by any optical system for you to see top quality views. You will also discover that the planets are only in optimum positions in relationship to your location on the earth for a few months each year and once you have seen Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, the other planets reveal very little visual detail in even the finest quality high magnification amateur telescopes. I don't want to discourage you from buying a telescope and getting into this hobby, but if you doubt that your interest will extend beyond viewing the moon and planets, I expect that you will only use the telescope a few times, then end up selling it. The money spent would be better appreciated, if your wife's gift was to buy some telescope time at a local observatory to see some spectacular once in a lifetime views of the planets with the guidance and commentary of a professional astronomer using a really large telescope.

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    Default Re: Help Write a Letter to Santa for a First Telescope

    Call Al Nagler at TeleVue. He can make correctors for astigmatisms... you just have to give him the number from the optomerist. I have a buddy here in Vegas with a sever astigmatism who contacted him and ended up with the issue solved.

    In case you're new to this game, Al Nagler has an eyepiece design named after him.
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    Default Re: Help Write a Letter to Santa for a First Telescope

    The good news is that you don't have to worry at all about light pollution when you are going after planets and the moon, so if observing from the backyard that is just peachy.
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    Default Re: Help Write a Letter to Santa for a First Telescope

    Santa

    Hubble

    STAT!!!!
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    , various other bits and bob.

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    Default Re: Help Write a Letter to Santa for a First Telescope

    Please Santa - get me a goto scope and a long relief eyepiece set so I can wear my glasses.
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    Default Re: Help Write a Letter to Santa for a First Telescope

    Quote Originally Posted by Lowjiber View Post
    Call Al Nagler at TeleVue. He can make correctors for astigmatisms... you just have to give him the number from the optomerist. I have a buddy here in Vegas with a sever astigmatism who contacted him and ended up with the issue solved.

    In case you're new to this game, Al Nagler has an eyepiece design named after him.
    Excellent suggestion. There are two ways to go. TeleVue specializes in accommodating astigmatism.

    Tele Vue Optics: DIOPTRX™

    The alternative is using long eye relief eyepieces and viewing with your glasses.
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    Default Re: Help Write a Letter to Santa for a First Telescope

    Santa brought me a Celestron NexStar 130SLT, an AC adapter and a extra set of lenses and filters.

    I managed to take it out once since Christmas. It was very cold and I hadn't set up the hand control guide yet. I aligned the red dot pointer and looked at the moon a bit. Every night since it's been bitterly cold and/or snowy.

    As soon as the new year comes around I'm going to join the Lake County Astronomical Society here in Illinois.

    Thanks everyone.

 

 

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