Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Celestron Omni 120mm vs Orion 120mm Astroveiw ST

  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 ShaneinSpace

ShaneinSpace

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 16
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2019

Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:48 AM

I am fairly new to Astronomy. I purchased a Celestron Inspire 100mm Telescope for my 4yo son, Shane. Now he is 5yo. After viewing Jupiter and its 4 moons this week i want to upgrade our Telescope since he shows intrest way more then I expected him to. He is constantly asking me to go outside with the Telescope. Anyways...i am on a very fixed budget so I want a scope for around $500-600. I'll be using the Telescope to mainly view ANYTHING in Space. I am looking for something that will give me clarity and details over seeing a wider image. We like the details. I also noticed when I used a 2x Barlow lenses on a 10mm eyepeice that the image of Jupiter became "blurry" and adjustments made more difficult. So if like a scope that you could use different lenses and Barlow to take full advantage of the scope. I wish I was more knowledgeable about Telescopes to give the technical terms lol but I'll learn as I go. Any info and even pictures would be so appreciated. Thank you so much!
  • Jon Isaacs and Cali like this

#2 Augustus

Augustus

    Fly Me To The Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 8162
  • Joined: 26 Dec 2015
  • Loc: Connecticut

Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:58 AM

I'd avoid both and get a 10" or 8" Dob.


  • beanerds likes this

#3 wrvond

wrvond

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1793
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2014
  • Loc: West Virginia

Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:39 AM

You're talking about moving from (essentially) a 4 inch diameter scope to a 4.7 inch scope. Not a lot of difference for the money you are investing. As Augustus has pointed out, a Dobsonian is a good choice. Inch for inch the reflectors give the most aperture per dollar. An 8 inch reflector will give you quality views that will keep you occupied for many years. A brand new Orion XT8 Dobsonian reflector can be had for $400.00 with free shipping.


  • beanerds, CounterWeight, Gary Z and 1 other like this

#4 Hesiod

Hesiod

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3274
  • Joined: 13 Jan 2013

Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:52 AM

I'd guess a 5 years old would have major issues at moving a 10" Dob...

The AWB OneSky 130 is, on the other hand, a little telescope your son could even start to manage by his own, and sells at a bargain price.

https://shop.astrono...ector-telescope.

 

Not a large increase in aperture, but take note that

a)your refractor is designed for low-power observations and even a 100/1000 one (plus its suitable mount, e.g. OMNI 100) could make sense as an upgrade

b)large telescopes are, well, large : a 10" Dob is easily in the 30kg

c)if get a telescope which is too large could met issues which are to now unknown to you: as an example, a 10" mirror may take some time to stabilize before can get sharp views. This is just one among the reasons why telescopes of such size are not very popular for 20-30' long sessions

 

It should be also useful to know how much time you spend each night out with your son and the telescope, and if he want to "take the helm".


  • Augustus likes this

#5 Gary Z

Gary Z

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1456
  • Joined: 26 Jan 2012
  • Loc: New Mexico

Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:01 PM

Concur with the suggestion to go with an 8 inch Dob for your purposes.  If there is a local astronomy club they can help you to better use the Dob.  In fact, by letting them help you, your knowledge and understand will increase significantly rather quickly.  Love what you are doing for your son!!!

 

Gary


  • Augustus likes this

#6 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 79634
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:31 PM

Shane:

 

Hello and :welcome: to Cloudy Nights.  

 

You are very lucky that your 5 year old son is showing such an interest in astronomy and observing the wonders of the universe.  

 

Others have suggested an 8 inch Dobsonian, that certainly offers you the most capability for your dollar.  

 

But refractors also have their virtues.  Of the two you suggest, the 120mm ST at F/5 versus the standard 120mm F/8.3, both have their advantages and liabilities.  The standard 120mm will be significantly larger and heavier but will be a better all around scope. The 120mm F/5 is primarily a low power, deep sky scope that is not well suited for viewing the planets.  Both are achromats so both will show significant chromatic aberration, purple haze surrounding bright objects like the planets.  But the 120mm F/5 will show considerably more.  

 

The advantage of the 120mm F/5 is that it offers a wider field of view and is more compact, it will probably be easier for your son to use.  But it won't be a great deal different than your current scope.  

 

In your situation, I would be inclined to invest in a better diagonal and some better eyepieces for your current scope. I don't know what eyepieces came with the scope, it's possible they're an H20 and H10?  These are quite poor eyepieces and definitely an issue.  I am familiar with the diagonal, it's has a limited clear aperture, a standard diagonal would provide better views with the possibility of wider fields of view.

 

Jon


  • Mark Costello, AndresEsteban, wrvond and 1 other like this

#7 gene 4181

gene 4181

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4803
  • Joined: 12 Nov 2013
  • Loc: n.e. ohio

Posted 17 June 2019 - 03:03 PM

 The Celestron Omni series 102 f 10  refractor on the CG 4 mount (included)  will be a step up in quality and capability  over that Celestron  f 6.5 Inspire  , the Omni 102 is 436.99 at HPS , a very good deal at the moment considering  $$$ JMO  



#8 ShaneinSpace

ShaneinSpace

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 16
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2019

Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:07 AM

Thanks for the info. I never heard of a DOB telescope till now. As I stayed I am new. If I am correct it's a Reflector style Telescope on a different mount and not a typical tripod? It seems like it's an excellent deal to be able to get a 8-10" scope in my price range. The views some users posted are amazing!

That being said. How portable is that style scope? Not that I'd really use it to travel but I want to be able to put it in my car and go somewhere less effected by light pollution. Thanks again.
  • Jon Isaacs likes this

#9 wrvond

wrvond

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1793
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2014
  • Loc: West Virginia

Posted 18 June 2019 - 02:15 PM

Thanks for the info. I never heard of a DOB telescope till now. As I stayed I am new. If I am correct it's a Reflector style Telescope on a different mount and not a typical tripod? It seems like it's an excellent deal to be able to get a 8-10" scope in my price range. The views some users posted are amazing!

That being said. How portable is that style scope? Not that I'd really use it to travel but I want to be able to put it in my car and go somewhere less effected by light pollution. Thanks again.

Yes, and no. wink.gif

Reflectors are just that, as opposed to refractors which is what you have. Reflectors can be configured on a german equatorial mount (GEM) on a tripod (the mount and the tripod are actually separate components), which is called a Newtonian, or on a dobsonian base which is an alt-az base. To further complicate things, you can have alt-az mounts on tripods, but not with a reflector (just not practical) though Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes (for example) which are catadioptric telescopes can come on forks mounted on a tripod. Cats and cass' are another type of reflector that folds the light path three times instead of the newt's twice.

Posted views - don't be suckered by the photos you see posted - you aren't going to see that in your eyepiece. For one thing, the dark adapted human eye doesn't see much in the way of color. Those pictures you see are lots of stacked frames that are processed to come out with a single image. Instead of one 60 second photo, you might have 60 one second photos, for example.

However, an 8 or 10 inch reflector is going to present much brighter views than your refractor. Or even a 10" refractor, for that matter. Nearly all professional observatories, and even the Hubble telescope, are reflectors.

The most common path for folks is to purchase (new or used) a reflector from such outfits as Orion or Meade. You can get a solid tube or a truss tube. Solid tube is like a section of culvert pipe. A 10" dob tube is going to be 12" in diameter and about 45 inches long for an f/4.7 10" dob. My solid tube XT10g has one captive screw with knob that allows me to separate the tube from the base. Making portability easier. A truss tube design will break the tube down into two sections, plus the truss rods and the base, making it even more compact. This design does not hold collimation as well as the solid tube design.

By the way, alt-az (altitude - azimuth) mounts are much easier to set up and use than GEM's when it comes to visual. For astrophotography (AP) the GEM's rule.


Edited by wrvond, 18 June 2019 - 02:40 PM.


#10 wrvond

wrvond

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1793
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2014
  • Loc: West Virginia

Posted 18 June 2019 - 02:40 PM

With two people sharing the scope and one of those people having a relatively low frustration level (you decide who that is), I want to recommend a Dobsonian mounted reflector with GoTo probably in the 8" size (due to cost).

The GoTo can be a bit of a chore to set up, but once you do get it aligned you can walk away from the scope and come back to find the target still in the view. This makes switching observers a non-event. While switching observers when using low power oculars isn't difficult, when you start getting into any kind of meaningful magnification the objects can really zip across the field and be gone before your son can even get up to the scope (or vice versa). 

 

https://www.telescop...uts?keyword=xtg

 

Here is a Meade 10" truss tube dob - I don't believe they offer a GoTo -

https://www.meade.co...-dobsonian.html


  • CounterWeight and howardcano like this

#11 Mark Costello

Mark Costello

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Posts: 3551
  • Joined: 08 Mar 2005
  • Loc: Matthews, NC, USA

Posted 18 June 2019 - 02:56 PM

Hi, Shane and welcome to Cloudy Nights.

 

The "Dob" is short for Dobsonian, a type of telescope which is named after the late John Dobson, an amateur astronomer and telescope maker who put on outreaches in which this type of telescope, made by him, was heavily featured.  If you look at this biography,

 

https://en.wikipedia...eur_astronomer)

 

you'll see pictures of a couple of Dobs.  

 

The Dob refers to the type of mount, and technically, any telescope make can be placed on it.  But building them for mounting Newtonian reflectors allows the maximum advantage to be taken of their features.  So, generally, Dobs refer to Newtonian reflectors on Dobsonian mounts.   The Dob mount moves along the same axes, altitude (up-down) and azimuth (around the compass), as the tripod carrying your Inspire refractor.  The big difference is that the mount is very low to the ground.  It consists of a rocker box holding the reflector and allowing it to move "up-down" (altitude) and that attaches to a platform set on the ground and on which the rocker box moves around the compass (azimuth).  The rocker box doesn't have to be very tall since the center of mass of the reflector is closer to the rear thanks to the relatively heavy mirror assembly.  It might be this feature that makes Dobs so popular.  That is, the Dob mount allows for relatively large telescopes (8-12" and with truss tubes - larger) to be portable and within the reach of a lot of amateurs. It also makes the Newtonian reflectors notably easier to use since the eyepiece orientation changes a good bit less than a Newtonian reflector mounted on an equatorial mount.  

 

Back to your questions about your next telescope, I'll just note that if you got a Dob, you could keep your Inspire telescope for lower power viewing.  An 8" or 10" Dob would be in your budget.  The tubes are about 4' long for both commercial 8" and 10" Dobs so you should be able to fit them in your car.  One thing to be aware of is that as mentioned by other people responding, the assembled Dobs are not light.  The 8" is 40-45 lbm and the 10" is 60-65 lbm.  This is split almost evenly between the optical tube assembly (OTA) and mount (rocker box and platform together).  So the weight may not be all that a problem in of itself and it shouldn't take long to get a Dob ready to observe.  But a 20-35 lbm tube that's 4 feet long and 10-12" wide is bulky, something you might want to be aware of in getting it through a house door or car door.  Sometimes, you might have to collimate a Dob.  It's not hard to do, just something to be aware of.

 

In your first post, you mentioned two 120mm refractors, an F5 tube and an F8.3 job.  Jon Isaacs' post has some nice information comparing the two, in which he talks about chromatic aberration (shows up as a thin purple haze around the planets and blue haze around bright stars). I'll only add this.  There's a chart somewhere on this size that shows the relative chromatic aberration for different achromatic refractors such as the one I own, the two you're looking at, and the one you have now.  According to this chart, the color error of the 120mm F8.3 refractor will be about the same as the color error in the Inspire refractor you have now.  So, the purple haze around the planets in a 120 F8.3 refractor won't be any worse than what you're currently seeing in the 4"F6.5 refractor.  I used to own a nice 4"F6.5 achromatic refractor, like your Inspire refractor, just better built.  The lens in it was really sharp.  In spite of the purple haze surround their images, I was able to make nice observations of Jupiter and Saturn at powers up to 220X.  I would be able to do as well, maybe a bit better on a 120mm F8.3 job with a good lens.

 

The 120mmF5 job will have more chromatic aberration.  Most people here owning them using them just to look at deep space objects (DSOs) at low or maybe mid powers (say 100X give or take) and not the planets or the moon.

 

One final thing about Dobs.  Images formed by them do not include chromatic aberration.  This might be why some people responding to your note are steering you to them, that and the ability to get a larger telescope with the same budget.

 

Back to the 120mm telescopes.  The F8.3 job won't be light, either.  Figure on the complete assembly weighing about 50 lbm, maybe a bit less, with the mount, including a counterweight, taking about 35 lb.  Speaking of counterweights, complete 120mm F8.3 rigs usually include a German equatorial mount or GEM.  These are different from your tripod and the Dob.   One axis is pointed at celestial north (pointing it at the North Star is good enough for visual observing).  Moving the OTA on this axis allows for "nulling out" the effects of the earth's rotation.  It seems like a lot of people prefer to use the alt-az mounts such as the Dob mounts.  But there are a couple of advantages of the GEM.  First, most of the time, you only have to slew on the "right ascension" axis, the one pointed at celestial north, with just an occasional tweaking of the other axis, the "declination" axis.  Second, equatorial mounts lend themselves to "star hopping" with standard star charts.

 

All the best in picking out a winner, be it a Dob or 120mm refractor....


Edited by Mark Costello, 18 June 2019 - 03:13 PM.

  • Jon Isaacs and Augustus like this

#12 ShaneinSpace

ShaneinSpace

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 16
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2019

Posted 18 June 2019 - 03:22 PM

I really enjoy all of your enthusiasm and knowledge. All of you have giving me valuable information and not a simple "review" found from others but in depth knowledge which I trust fully. Before I never would have thought of a DOB telescope but now that's what I am considering. Incredible value. Hopefully soon I will be able to purchase a 8" DOB telescope.

My user name "ShaneinSpace" comes from my 5yo son Shane. Haha. He is so fascinated with Space and is his interest that I am going to do my best to provide him with the resources to view and learn about space. Hopefully the skies will be clear tonight on the East coast to view the "Strawberry" moon. He won't leave me alone about it. Lol
  • Jon Isaacs, Mark Costello and CounterWeight like this

#13 Vondragonnoggin

Vondragonnoggin

    Cosmos

  • *****
  • Posts: 8619
  • Joined: 21 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Southern CA, USA

Posted 18 June 2019 - 03:26 PM

Get goto or an intelliscope push-to 

 

The young ones will easily become fidgety and frustrated when you can’t find stuff quickly which in turn will make you frustrated.

 

From experience. My 8 year old got me into astronomy. He’s 17 now.


  • Mark Costello and Eddgie like this

#14 Mitrovarr

Mitrovarr

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Posts: 2808
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2004
  • Loc: Boise, Idaho

Posted 21 June 2019 - 01:31 AM

Thanks for the info. I never heard of a DOB telescope till now. As I stayed I am new. If I am correct it's a Reflector style Telescope on a different mount and not a typical tripod? It seems like it's an excellent deal to be able to get a 8-10" scope in my price range. The views some users posted are amazing!

That being said. How portable is that style scope? Not that I'd really use it to travel but I want to be able to put it in my car and go somewhere less effected by light pollution. Thanks again.

A 10" dobsonian is pretty portable. Assuming a standard sedan-type car, the optical tube will fit in the trunk along with a fair amount of other stuff. The base will take up one of the back seats. Either an 8" or a 10" will generally take two trips to carry to and from the car (one trip for the base, one trip for the tube).

 

The 8" isn't as much smaller as you would think. It's about the same length. The main difference is the weight and a bit less bulk.

 

Either one is not as heavy as it looks. There's a whole lot of empty space in that tube. It will certainly be a lot larger and heavier than what you have now, though. If you are about normal strength for an adult you should have no trouble moving around either one.

 

Note that if you feel ambitious, a 12" dobsonian is a lot less portable, mostly because they get too long to fit across the trunk or backseat of most vehicles. For 12" and up you usually want a collapsible tube or a truss or something, unless you have a suitably large vehicle (like a truck with a topper, or something).


Edited by Mitrovarr, 21 June 2019 - 01:31 AM.


#15 Binojunky

Binojunky

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5645
  • Joined: 25 Dec 2010

Posted 22 June 2019 - 09:26 AM

A 10" dobsonian is pretty portable. Assuming a standard sedan-type car, the optical tube will fit in the trunk along with a fair amount of other stuff. The base will take up one of the back seats. Either an 8" or a 10" will generally take two trips to carry to and from the car (one trip for the base, one trip for the tube).

 

The 8" isn't as much smaller as you would think. It's about the same length. The main difference is the weight and a bit less bulk.

 

Either one is not as heavy as it looks. There's a whole lot of empty space in that tube. It will certainly be a lot larger and heavier than what you have now, though. If you are about normal strength for an adult you should have no trouble moving around either one.

 

Note that if you feel ambitious, a 12" dobsonian is a lot less portable, mostly because they get too long to fit across the trunk or backseat of most vehicles. For 12" and up you usually want a collapsible tube or a truss or something, unless you have a suitably large vehicle (like a truck with a topper, or something).

Portable?, depends on a lot of things, whats portable for you may be a nightmare to others with health, age problems etc, just saying,D.



#16 Mitrovarr

Mitrovarr

    Mercury-Atlas

  • -----
  • Posts: 2808
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2004
  • Loc: Boise, Idaho

Posted 22 June 2019 - 12:03 PM

I mean, I did say the weight shouldn't be a real problem if you are about normal strength for an adult. If you aren't due to health problems, advanced age, etc., then it might be different.



#17 Eddgie

Eddgie

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 24898
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2006

Posted 22 June 2019 - 02:16 PM

At 5 years old, your son is not going to be able to take out any scope that is going to show much more detail than you can see in your current scope, so the people that caution you on a dob are I think giving bad advice if it is based on the size, weight, and setup difficulty, because you are going to be the one that sets it up even if it is 5" refractor.  

 

Here is the problem with the Dob though.  At 5 years old, I would be concerned with his motor skill level. While tracking is not hard for an adult, it may be for a child and he may get quickly frustrated with trying to track a planet even at low powers.

 

I agree with the comment that having a scope with a digital handset or Go2 will help you quickly locate targets but the digital handset (Orion calls it "Intelliscope) models still don't have tracking so while it lets you find targets easily, it would once again not be 5 year old friendly when it comes to tracking.  

 

When all of this is put together, I am going to give you an option that you have not yet heard, but one I would suggest is going to give you everything you might need though the total price might be a tiny bit above your budget.

 

  • More detailed view
  • Go2 (so it has tracking and your 5 year old does not have to try to manually track Jupiter at 200x)
  • Go2 (so you can more easily find things) 
  • Comfortable
  • In you budget (well, you might have to stretch a tiny bit).

I recommend an early used Celestron 8 Si.  This is the fore-runner of the Celestron 8SE.  The major difference was that it did not use an OTA that had a standard dovetail, so the scope could not be used on other mounts.  I have seen these sell for $500.d (Tip... Used the "Wanted" function in the CN Classifieds.  This will surprisingly quite often turn up exactly what you are looking for.)

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=EWvfncFKkcY

 

Alternately, you can look for a used Celestron 8SE mount like this:

 

https://www.cloudyni...-6se8se-tripod/

 

and put a used C6 or C8 on it.

 

https://www.cloudyni...-ota-brand-new/

 

This gets you a lot more detail than you will get in any 4" or 5" scope in your price range, and it has Go2, which makes it easier for you to find things, and it has tracking, so that when you have centered a planet, your son will be able to just step up, look through, and focus as necessary.

 

And the best part is that these will be fully depreciated.  If you decide that you or you son loose interest, you can usually sell it for about what you paid for it. 

 

Again, while an 8" dob is probably a better all around telescope, if you don't have the time or patience to learn to find things it can be frustrating for you, and for a 5 year old, it might be frustrating to track a planet at high powers. 

 

I used to overestimate the capabilities of kids around telescopes and in the end, I realized that their motor skills are not really sufficient to manage the movement of a telescope when used at high powers. I have had a lot of kids look though telescopes at star parties, and at 5 years old, they simply are not well equipped to do anything but look though the eyepiece. 


Edited by Eddgie, 22 June 2019 - 02:28 PM.

  • CounterWeight, Augustus and kksmith like this

#18 kksmith

kksmith

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 521
  • Joined: 08 Mar 2018
  • Loc: Montana

Posted 23 June 2019 - 05:55 AM

You can use different lenses and a different Barlow with your current scope. I, personally, would keep the current scope and upgrade the diagonal, eyepieces, and Barlow. Most of those that come in "kit" form with a telescope like this are barely useable. For the diagonal,I would go with a GSO dielectric. Eyepieces - Astro-Tech Paradigm ED in a couple of sizes, and a GSO Barlow.

 

I would put off getting a Dob or SCT in a larger size for now. Reason being is your son wants to "go see stuff" now. With the dob and the sct, there is set up time. Plus collimation time if needed. Plus time for the optics to adjust to temperature. Kids have short attention spans and want to do stuff "now!" Your current scope is grab-n-go-n-see. Upgrade the eyepiece, diagonal, Barlow chain and enjoy and grow with what you have.

 

My view on "Go To" set-ups is this - they get you on target fast, but I think it becomes a crutch for learning where things actually are in the night sky. Learning is part of the fun.


  • beanerds likes this

#19 ShaneinSpace

ShaneinSpace

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 16
  • Joined: 15 Jun 2019

Posted 24 June 2019 - 01:14 PM

I should have mentioned before that my son although 5yo is extremely patient with learning Astronomy. In fact more patient then actual learning. So I have incorporated Astronomy in learning to prepare him for school. He will sit there and watch me set up the Telescope and knows I have to focus the scope. Already he knows to use the finder scope and knows the difference between a 20mm and 10mm eyepeices and that using a 2x Barlow lenses magnifies what we can see. We ccurrently use a Space App "Sky Portal" to locate objects. Being that it's in real time the app shows us what's in the sky and we point the Telescope towards that direction. Very basic but works well for now. I am glad to admit it but hate to say it i think he knows more then me. Almost like I set the Telescope up and he tells me where to look, what it is, and when it will be out.

We were able to view Saturn the night before on a very clear sky. I was amazed that we could see the rings using the 100mm Inspire and a 10mm lenses with 2x Barlow. It wasn't in great detail. Grainy and bright but he was a static with joy over it.

I am also looking at a used Orion XT8 Plus Telescope I found locally for sale for $225usd Ive seen pics and talked to the seller and its in excellent condition. If I purchase it I will let you know. With the money I saved id like to upgrade the Telescope to get the most from it. Thanks again

#20 beanerds

beanerds

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1006
  • Joined: 15 Jul 2008
  • Loc: Darwin Australia

Posted 28 June 2019 - 03:43 AM

Good on you , I would also hold off on buying just now as well as it's nothing about your son , he sounds really keen to learn and all my kid's went through this stage at one time or another ( its awesome times ) and one by one they dropped away as other things came along , but that OK .

The advise on getting 2-3 quality eyepieces like Meade Plossls , SuperViews etc in the 10 -32mm range and a GSO diagonal will make a huge difference in the views .

Can you post a few photos of the scope and supplied eyepieces , diagonal and barlow ?, as the ones you get with some scopes are average at best to down right terrible at worst ! and do nothing to support up and comers like your son and yourself and it sounds like you both are doing fine , keep it up mate as this is a HUGE ! hobby that gives years / decades of fun and learning so don't rush in to fast just now , enjoy and learn as much as you can ..

Beanerds

Edited by beanerds, 28 June 2019 - 03:47 AM.


#21 CounterWeight

CounterWeight

    Star walker

  • *****
  • Posts: 10844
  • Joined: 05 Oct 2008
  • Loc: PDX, OR.

Posted 28 June 2019 - 01:31 PM

Looking on the used market and buying from well documented seller or if local a sample observing session to test optics all good, will stretch you observing dollars.

 

My first advice is to not be in a hurry.  Take time as you are and learn about the differences and pro/con of each scope type. Refractor, 'Cat' type SCt's and variants, and Newtonian.  After that learn about the mounts and how they work.

 

Next I'd recommend to look to see if the is an amature astro club in your area that you can join, some as with the case of at least one near me have a loaner scope 'library' where you can borrow a scope and try out. Also just to brush shoulders with other enthusiasts.

 

 

 

I am a huge fan of 'goto' mounts, especially when with kids, or any group where folks take turns at the eyepiece.  I know with my daughter (from about 5) it allowed to keep the interest level high by easily switching between and comparing different type objects,  and having tracking priceless when viewing at medium to high powers and even more so if there are multiple viewers (if your child has a friend / friends over that also wants to view).  Fun to turn it off (tracking) so the can watch objects pass through the field of view and explain about them being stationary and the earth rotating...  I did teach the kids how to focus and that in itself had different levels of challenge depending on the object and magnifications and the child.  Asking them and having supplies necessary to draw what they saw was too much fun.

 

As an aside from all that's been mentioned, the undying popularity of refractors may be in  a large way that you do not need to understand acclimation (how different telescope types handle temperature differential, and you do not need to understand and perform collimation and this makes them very easy to think about fielding.  So though a refractor a lot more expensive for the aperture and all that means, they are the easiest to just take out and use.

 

I still like to recommend the good old 8" SCT type scopes for the relative view and cost, but even they might need collimation - something I feel can be difficult for folks starting out - it all has to do with QA/QC of the scope you get.

 

The good news is IMO we in in an amazing time for amature astro and all the offerings, the general quality, and the price points compared to 5/10/15 years ago.  And there is an active used market thanks to the web and sites like here on CN and my favorite used site Astromart.

 

There is spending money and then money well spent. Asking questions and looking about at the different gear as you are, a great way to start, so imo you are going towards that money well spent.




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics