I was hoping to solicit some advice from the wise Cloudy Nights voices...here's my situation:
After years of casual observation using only a pair of Nikon 10x50 binoculars on a tripod, this year I finally made the leap and built a 10" Dobsonian. The project turned out really well and I've been very pleased with the optical performance. I went with the 10" size based on my location (Birmingham, Michigan), which suffers from significant light pollution, thinking that 10" would provide sufficient aperture to see interesting things, and so far I'm pretty happy with how it's working.
Now, as the weather is getting colder, I am discovering the downside of this scope - in addition to being heavy and awkward to move (53" stem-to-stern and 12.5" tube), the mirror takes a long time to cool down, and it's kind of the opposite of "grab and go". I'm contemplating purchasing a smaller, more portable scope for short-duration seeing when the conditions don't warrant dragging the "circus cannon" Dob outdoors. I'm mostly interested in just visual observation (no astrophotography), and it would be great if the smaller scope had some faint-fuzzies capability in addition to planets/moon. While a go-to might be neat, I'm not going to say it's entirely necessary, as I've had relative success finding stuff just using the alt/azimuth setting circles on my Dob.
I've poked around a bit and contemplated things like:
- Celestron Nexstar 6SE
- Meade ETX 125
- Celestron NexStar 127SLT
- Orion Starblast 62mm
- SkyWatcher ProED 100mm
Obviously, from the variety of things on this list, it's probably clear I don't really know what I should be looking for. Really I just need something that can be moved by a single person, fit in the back of a compact SUV, and ideally acclimate to temperature relatively quickly to compliment my existing low-power binoculars and large-unweildy Dob. I'd like to set a nominal budget limit of $1000USD.
Advice is welcome! Thanks!
Edited by Beeham, 08 November 2019 - 05:16 PM.