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Celestron or Meade ?

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#1 starhunter345

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:13 AM

Hello Friends,

I am from India and I am planning to buy my first Telescope of 6", but I am confused with Celestron or Meade. As well I have some questions in my mind like -

0) Is 6" is right aperture to start with?

1)shall I go as Reflector(Newtonian)or SCT.... my most liking is deeper sky, so which one is useful?

2)Whether GOTO is the right option for me?

So need your expert opinion on which one shall i buy.

Thanks for your help in advance.

Regards,

Mohit

#2 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:38 AM

Mohit:

First let me Welcome you to Cloudy Nights. :waytogo:

Both Celestron and Meade make good telescopes. If deep sky is your desire, bigger is better but what is most important are the conditions, the how much light pollution there is. Will you be observing from the city or from somewhere more isolated?

Jon

#3 rcdk

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:47 AM

On the goto question, picture yourself using the telescope. Will you enjoy hunting down objects to view, or would you prefer to let the telescope do that for you?

Many first-timers plop their new telescope down under the stars and find they have no idea where to even start.

#4 csrlice12

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

"Many first-timers plop their new telescope down under the stars and find they have no idea where to even start."

Yep, and the full truth is, that's how we all started out. Even as a kid with a christmas telescope, put it together, take it outside, plop it down on the ground, .....

Here's where I disagree with you...Even with NO knowledge of the night sky, there are things to view. Some obvious, some just point the scope at something and look.....It's those first views that determine how in'depth we go in this hobby. For some, it will never go beyond plopping it down and looking around, and this is fine. I'll admit earlier on, some of the things I've seen, I didn't know the names or designations, I only know I saw it in the eyepiece--this sparked my interest in learning other things about the universe. The sky is there for all of us, there is no right or wrong way to do this hobby (well, I guess if you smashed up your equipment after every viewing session, that'd be going the wrong way)

#5 Space Dragon

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:59 PM

The sky is there for all of us, there is no right or wrong way to do this hobby (well, I guess if you smashed up your equipment after every viewing session, that'd be going the wrong way) [/quote]

Love it........brilliant :smirk:

#6 Doc Willie

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:54 PM

Much depends on your budget. Priority should be aperture. 8" is significantly better than 6. The most aperture for the money is a Dobsonian mount. An SCT with GOTO will cost about 3 times as much.

Meade vs Celestron is far less important than who your dealer is. Meade and Celestron are both big companies who do not emphasize service. If there is a problem, you will want to be dealing with a dealer who will take care of you.

I started with an 80 mm f/10 refractor, and got very frustrated in the first few months trying to find things. When I got a GOTO it was like a miracle. Then I outgrew that and got a large Dob, and I often do not use the finder computer on it at all. We live and grow.

#7 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:55 PM

Many first-timers plop their new telescope down under the stars and find they have no idea where to even start.



Fortunately, Mohit has Cloudy Nights so we can help him with that.

Jon

#8 cavefrog

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:13 PM

Many say the SCT is the best all around and versatile unit.

#9 RobertED

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:46 AM

I have owned BOTH!!! I totally enjoyed using BOTH!!! Sorry, I may NOT help you make a choice.....but I think you'll do well with either!!!!
I currently own a basic C-11 and Atlas mount. I love Lunar and Planetary observing/photography. I also do love going after the Deep Sky Fuzzies for a change of pace. Clear Skies, starhunter!!!!

#10 Sniemiec

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

Welcome Mohit

You have already made the best decision for your astronomy journey.

You have joined this forum, and asked for help.....

You will not find a more helpful, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable bunch of people anywhere! You will soon come to realize ( as I have) that you are joining a unique (or at least unusual!) truly global 'family'. Willing and able to discuss the most esoteric and complex questions about optics (amongst many other topics), or what color you should paint your home made 'scope. With equal enthusiasm and lack of judgement.

Their knowledge is encyclopedic, experience vast, enthusiasm infectious, and desire to help - truly humbling.

As to your original question. I had the same questions as you very recently, and came to the following conclusions (mostly as a result of surfing this forum)

There is no one right answer!
The two most important things are dark skies, and diameter of aperture.
The best scope is the one you will use the most.
SCTs are the easiest config of OTA to live with, but are a compromise in many ways
Celestron and Meade both make superb scopes. But do not provide any decent support in US. Let alone the rest of the world. Better to rely on your local dealer! That is the relationship you need to build.
Buying the scope is merely the start! You will inevitably develop the need for other attachments. Then this forum, and your dealer really become important.
Summarizing many viewpoints- a 6-8" SCT, with a GOTO mount is difficult to beat as a place to start.
The best way to find out what works for you is to find a local club. Go along and ask questions! You will be welcomed.

Whatever you decide - good luck, and let us know...

#11 EFT

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 04:46 PM

Mohit,

A 6 inch SCT or a 80mm or so refractor on a CG-5 level mount with goto is an excellent and well priced place to start. The 80mm will give you nice wide views to take in large objects like the Andromeda galaxy whereas the SCT would give you higher magnification views of smaller objects like the Ring nebula. The CG-5 level mount (like the new Celestron VX mount) would leave you with some room to grow and the ability to use different types of telescopes and is relatively easy to use. I would stick with Celestron at this point.

#12 bcuddihee

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

If you are going with an SCT, i would suggest an 8" as it has enough resolving power to show detailed views of planets and is really the baseline for resolving globular clusters. It also is forgiving of eyepieces making use of plossls and 68 degree ep's very enjoyable. If you ever decide to go with binoviewers the additional aperture is essential. Anything less, SCT wise, IMO will leave you wanting.
bc

#13 tecmage

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

Hi Mohit,
Welcome to Cloudy Nights. My advice is if you get the chance, try out some equipment first. Is there an Astronomy Club near you?

#14 starhunter345

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:40 AM

Thank you so much friends for your grand welcome and sharing excellent thoughts on my question and guiding me on that…..

Actually, here in India I stay in Mumbai a highly polluted city in the world, so dark sky is next to impossible for me, and I also aware that for my hobby I need to go out of city at least 100 miles away… and I am going to do that on each of the weekends from now....:)

Regarding deciding on 6" Celestron telescope (SCT) is due to budget constraint, because we don't have a direct shop or a direct dealer of Celestron / Orion /Meade etc. in India,(so this cost me double the actual price after import) and I have also seen that there is no direct shipping possible from any of the major sites like Amazon, telescope.com etc. I know Ebay does that but I don't have good experience with ebay global / India in past…

I was in US (Texas – Austin) for some while last year for company's work and I enjoyed the darker sky then that time I decided to buy one 11” telescope of Celestron over there, but then I got to know that importing Telescope in my country is a very BIG Deal and still if I am importing the same and taking along with me then I need to salute each Custom officer (corrupt ppl) ……:(

Anyways friends, I finally decided to go with Celestron Nextstar 6 SE GOTO, after reading lots and lots of material from “CloudyNights”.
I strongly recommend Cloudy Nights is the excellent site for anyone who is interested in gaining information on Astronomy / Astrography / on Equipment / for Beginners, because here you get knowledge based on Experience and not just a theory / concepts. As well for any in-depth material and all kind of queries regarding Astronomy gets well answered.

I feel myself proud to be a member of such a excellent and extraordinary site. Thanks to site administrator for the same for giving me a membership.

Thanks each of you who guided me. I will keep you all posted on my progress. Also I will require your help on buying accessories like eye-pieces, filters and many more thing.

Once again Many Thanks to you all…...God Bless you all ..:)

Regards,

- Mohit

#15 CJK

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:18 AM

Welcome, Mohit! I applaud your determination in pursuing this hobby! Please do keep us posted!

-- Chris

#16 csa/montana

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:16 AM

Mohit, another Welcome to Cloudy Nights! We are most fortunate to have you as a member of Cloudy Nights! We look forward to reading updates of you aquiring your scope, and the kind members here with lots of knowledge & experience, will be glad to guide you to eyepieces, etc., to help you get the most out of your scope!

#17 csrlice12

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:33 PM

Be sure to give us a first light report! Welcome to CN!

#18 tecmage

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:42 PM

And don't forget pictures!

#19 Madratter

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:32 AM

Priority should be aperture.


I simply can't agree with this. I have big scopes (20"). I have small scopes (4"). I use all of them for deep sky observing.

In my opinion, useability is far more important than aperture. If it is something you can and will take outside, you will see far more than with some bigger telescope that is just too much effort.

There are many hundreds of objects that can be seen in a telescope as small as 4 inches.

I'm not disputing that aperture is nice to have. I own the 20" for a reason. But I don't think it is the priority.

-- Shifting gears as to whether the OP should get a goto scope or not, we don't have enough information. A lot depends on what you want to look at and how. Some people are stamp collectors. They like getting as many objects logged as possible. A goto scope can make those people very happy. On the other hand, some people really enjoy the hunt and knowing the context of where an object actually is, etc. A goto scope for them may be nothing but added expense. Some people are in the middle. I'm one of them. Sometimes I enjoy just seeing a lot of different objects fast. Sometimes, I like taking my time and doing it the old fashion way.

#20 csrlice12

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:46 AM

and somedays its a matter of which do I want to use today.....Last night for the Moon/Jupiter viewing, I broke out the dob. Why? The XLT tracks, why would I want the dob? Why, because I was able to pull it out, collimate it, and be viewing while I'd still be North aligning the tripod of the refractor. I was also using my heavier eyepieces too, and at 2.2 and 3.08 lbs, that's just too much for a balanced refractor on an EQ mount. Also, because of the moons brighness, I was worried that Jupiter might be too washed out with the refractor. With the dob, even with the moon in the FOV, Jupiter showed 3 to 4 bands (in and out). Now, it was early 6-7pm total viewing time. Also, the dob is stored in the shed, so it was already cooled down, the refractor was inside, so it would have taken some cooldown time. Like Madratter said though it really depends on what you want to do that night. There are nights I prefer the refractor over the dob, especially if I'm doing planetary, lunar, or double star viewing, or if I don't want to "nudge", but just sit and watch.

#21 Madratter

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:46 AM

Anyways friends, I finally decided to go with Celestron Nextstar 6 SE GOTO, after reading lots and lots of material from “CloudyNights”.


Enjoy the new scope. A tremendous amount can be seen in a 6" telescope. There are literally hundreds of deep sky objects that can be seen (if not 1000 at a dark site). And that isn't counting planets, lunar details, variable stars, double stars, new comets, and the like.

Do be aware that poor collimation can make a SCT like this one seem like a dog when in fact, collimating it properly can make a huge difference.

Enjoy, and make sure you take it outside!

#22 bierbelly

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:48 PM

Thank you so much friends for your grand welcome and sharing excellent thoughts on my question and guiding me on that…..

Actually, here in India I stay in Mumbai a highly polluted city in the world, so dark sky is next to impossible for me, and I also aware that for my hobby I need to go out of city at least 100 miles away… and I am going to do that on each of the weekends from now....:)


WATCH OUT FOR TIGERS!!!

Regarding deciding on 6" Celestron telescope (SCT) is due to budget constraint, because we don't have a direct shop or a direct dealer of Celestron / Orion /Meade etc. in India,(so this cost me double the actual price after import) and I have also seen that there is no direct shipping possible from any of the major sites like Amazon, telescope.com etc. I know Ebay does that but I don't have good experience with ebay global / India in past…

I was in US (Texas – Austin) for some while last year for company's work and I enjoyed the darker sky then that time I decided to buy one 11” telescope of Celestron over there, but then I got to know that importing Telescope in my country is a very BIG Deal and still if I am importing the same and taking along with me then I need to salute each Custom officer (corrupt ppl) ……:(

Anyways friends, I finally decided to go with Celestron Nextstar 6 SE GOTO, after reading lots and lots of material from “CloudyNights”.
I strongly recommend Cloudy Nights is the excellent site for anyone who is interested in gaining information on Astronomy / Astrography / on Equipment / for Beginners, because here you get knowledge based on Experience and not just a theory / concepts. As well for any in-depth material and all kind of queries regarding Astronomy gets well answered.

I feel myself proud to be a member of such a excellent and extraordinary site. Thanks to site administrator for the same for giving me a membership.

Thanks each of you who guided me. I will keep you all posted on my progress. Also I will require your help on buying accessories like eye-pieces, filters and many more thing.

Once again Many Thanks to you all…...God Bless you all ..:)

Regards,

- Mohit


Due to the poor availability of commercially made telescopes in India, have you considered making your own 6" reflector?

#23 CJK

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 12:50 PM

Priority should be aperture.


I simply can't agree with this. I have big scopes (20"). I have small scopes (4"). I use all of them for deep sky observing.

In my opinion, useability is far more important than aperture. If it is something you can and will take outside, you will see far more than with some bigger telescope that is just too much effort.

There are many hundreds of objects that can be seen in a telescope as small as 4 inches.

I'm not disputing that aperture is nice to have. I own the 20" for a reason. But I don't think it is the priority.

-- Shifting gears as to whether the OP should get a goto scope or not, we don't have enough information. A lot depends on what you want to look at and how. Some people are stamp collectors. They like getting as many objects logged as possible. A goto scope can make those people very happy. On the other hand, some people really enjoy the hunt and knowing the context of where an object actually is, etc. A goto scope for them may be nothing but added expense. Some people are in the middle. I'm one of them. Sometimes I enjoy just seeing a lot of different objects fast. Sometimes, I like taking my time and doing it the old fashion way.


Couldn't agree more. Great post.

-- Chris

#24 coutleef

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:10 PM

once you own your 6se, if you ever have whatever problem ask the question un the nexstar forum on CN, a forum further down in the list of forum. we are a nice group of folks just asking to help out a new SE user

good luck

#25 starhunter345

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:20 AM

Hello Friends,

Thank you once again to each of you for more and more guidance and also for your knowledgeable thoughts.

After reading through all your thoughts ....some of the early / quick questions raised in my mind ....which are as follows......

FYI: I ordered my Celestron 6 se but its under shipment and I will get it after 2 more weeks.... so your thoughts on my questions will be a JUMP START for me ….:)

Questions:
1) How do I make sure that when I start using my scope, its perfectly "Collimated"? Because it is coming from US and in shipment may be its collimation may get hampered..Honestly I am a beginner and till today never used telescope, only just piped-in through School-Lab telescope or telescopes available in Planetarium (managed in controlled conditions :)... so by taking into that consideration.. How can I make sure that my scope is perfectly collimated? Can I know some simple testes? .

2)As per my dealer's recommendation, in this package I also bought Celestron eye-piece set, I think in that pack I have some 6 eye pieces and 9 filters (approx), so my question is
- How shall I use these different types of eye pieces and filters and on what occasion? is it that for viewing different stars, nebulae or messier object these accessory can be of help ?

3) How as a beginner should I calculate the magnification?

4) Actually, I don't want to use GOTO option on regular basis, I want to learn Astronomy ....I think you will feel this statement very funny..:) but seriously I want to learn Astronomy so I am going to use GOTO as my backup plan, if I got stuck some where then Celestron's 4000+ database will help me there...:) So you may ask me questions like …..if you want to learn Astronomy then why don't you go for Telescope with EQ mount, good Aperture like 8" or more? but then I heard from people that EQ setup is little tricky than Altazimuth and its time consuming for a beginner...because initially if I am getting stuck up in my telescope’s setup rather than viewing through it ….then that may hamper my interest in hobby, as well time is also a factor (just one night in weekend).
- So my question is how do I effectively use my Telescope to learn Astronomy? Can I learn my astronomy hard way by using this telescope?

5) Shall I install 8SE OTA on 6SE Mount ….. if I want to buy in future?

6) Shall I use this Telescope for Solar viewing ? Which are the good Filters for solar viewing? Will this telescope get useless after solar viewing? OR shall I buy different refractors for the same…..is yes then which one? and what should be its right aperture?

7) Is it possible to increase 6SE capacity more than its currently holding? like by purchasing some good eye pieces etc..(you may find this question funny) but I am just checking probability …

8) Can I use this telescope to take photographs of some stars, messier objects? If yes then can you please suggest some good cameras and its required accessories too?

9)Is it good to buy Celestron Power Tank?

I have some general question like,
a) Some of the big aperture telescope’s have cooling fan at the bottom, so why they use that for? What is cooling fan function in telescope?
B) For Planetary observations what should be the choice like Refractors or Newtonian ? and what should be right aperture ?

Currently these questions raised into my mind, if you can guide me on that then as I said earlier it will be JUMP START for me ….

As well as thanks friends on alerting me on TIGER threats…..it is becoming serious threat now in my area too.

Once again thanks to each of you and waiting for your reply on my questions

Regards,

- Mohit






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