New Guy here. Newcomer to a telescope, but fairly acquainted with the skies. Well, I'm not well aquainted with objects in the sky, but I am acquainted with driving hours searching for immersion in darkness, sitting around for hours watching the sky change, surprising myself at the amount of vehicle gas used, and going back home with memories that don't fade as fast as magnitude 14 stars in Bortle 7 skies.
I think it's time the sky and I took it to the next level.
I've narrowed my telescope search to an Explorer Scientific Carbon Fiber Refractor with F/7.5 127mm FCD100 glass (triplet). LET'S ALL GIVE A CHEER FOR GALILEO! I considered reflector telescopes and the various configurations and shapes of primary mirrors and secondary mirrors, but they don't seem to fit the bill for my interests at the moment. Mark my words. I will own a 16in or greater Dobsonian one day! (Cheers to wishful thinking). Catadioptrics have a bit too much focal length for my needs with beginner AP.
This is a long term investment, because this refractor will be my only scope for the foreseeable future, which will consist of learning the sky, visual astronomy, short exposure AP with tracking (unguided), and image processing. I'll look into guiding systems when the time is right, but there's much to learn about the sky visually, imaging, and image processing before guiding becomes a necessary skill. It's not the best visual scope (immediate future is visual astronomy) given its aperture compared to reflectors, but it's an improvement over 8x, 50mm binoculars! It's not the best scope for a beginner AP; however, I would rather not purchase two scopes, and trials and tribulations rarely drive me away from a hobby or skills that requires patience and fortitude. This scope fits the bill for my start with visual astronomy (biggest aperture that I can afford) while being very apt for AP with inherent growing pains.
The carbon fiber version cuts weight to 12lbs, which will allow me to use the Explorer Scientific EXOS-2GT with PMC-Eight mount. This mount is a budget mount, but after reviewing its functionality, I love it! 30lb payload capacity. ASCOM compliant. Belt driven with PEC. Memory drive to save settings. Wireless. 8 CPU processors. King tracking rates. 2 inch steel tripod legs with spiked feet. Bubble level (thankful). Illuminated polar scope. 2-star and 3-star alignment. It's accompanying app is open-source (my favorite aspect). Sorry, this is not a commercial. I may upgrade to a better mount in the future when I dive into guided AP, but I'll have to see how the EXOS-2GT performs first. I really don't want to forgo the open-source aspect of the ExploreStars app.
I also added items to accompany the above investment (basic items):
1. Farpoint 2 inch laser collimator with 2 inch Cheshire eyepiece. I will use the laser to ensure the focuser is centered and use the Cheshire to ensure that the lenses are centered and collimated.
2. Orion Q70 38mm and 26mm eyepieces with Celestron 2.5X Barlow lens. This will give me 6 different magnifications depending on the location of the Barlow lens. Red LED headlamp. I'm still learning about vignetting and exit pupils of eyepieces. Any knowledge on the topic would be appreciated. Shorter focal length eyepieces = smaller exit pupils.
3. USB Dew Heater. 20000mAh external battery.
4. Lens wipes, microfiber cloth, and a glorified turkey baster for air blowing.
Items you might think are missing:
Case; I have a padded guitar bag, in which I will add bubble wrap, or I will cut the original material from the scope's packing to fit into the bag.
Finder scope; I'm going to go without one for the time being. This will add to the required skill of acquiring a target.
Sky Map: Google will suffice. Plus I really enjoy just surfing around the sky.
Let me know what you think!
Edited by FocusedNaim, 25 August 2019 - 12:07 PM.