Hey guys, I am new to astronomy and looking to upgrade my telescope to something a bit better that will last me a while and give me good quality views of the moon, planets, and hopefully be able to see some DSOs as I learn the sky better.
I currently have a 60mm Celestron Firstscope 60Az that was gifted to my by a friend. I recently started using it and getting into astronomy more and wanted something better. I had been looking around and the general consensus seemed to be to get a dob for the most cost effective best views. I started looking into an 8" dob, the Apertura AD8 in particular is what I see recommended a lot of a good deal with accessories, however everything appears to be out of stock everywhere. I found a OrionXT4.5 over the weekend for $50 that I picked up as it seemed cheap and would be a step up over my current scope, however I still would like to eventually get something bigger once I get a little better at using it and finding things in the sky.
Basically my question is, is there much of a difference between different models? I saw an Orion XT8 for sale on the classifieds that is in my state for a decent price and would save me $200 or so from buying one used. Is buying a used telescope typically a decent idea or do you run the risk of things being wrong with it etc? Is that XT8 and AD8 essentially the same scope minus the extras the AD8 might come with such as the fan etc? Would it be overall better for me as a beginner to just try and buy the cheaper used one and start with that vs buying a brand new one?
Spending $50 on a used XT4.5 didn't seem like too big of a deal as if it had issues, it was not a lot of money but if I am investing in an 8" I want to make sure it will last me and do what I need/want it to as they start getting more expensive and significantly bigger as well.
In addition to eventually getting a better/bigger scope I am also interested in what accessories I may be interested in, both to use with my current 4.5 and eventually down the line with an 8" when I finally pull the trigger. I saw this Eyepiece set recommended on reddit https://www.amazon.c...ZAR6D53CV9VPTHQ which I was thinking about picking up. Looking at the sun is also something I am very interested in and was wondering what my best options would be for that? Try to buy a solar lense for my 60mm and use that for sun gazing? Or get a filter for the 4.5 and use that one if/when I get a bigger scope? Interested in any recommendations as I am still very new to this.
Hope this is the right place to post this and ask these questions. I have always had a love of space, had a cheap dinky telescope when I was a kid that I never learned how to use and now I want to invest in something to really learn how to use and enjoy the night sky. I also live in a fairly light polluted area. When I look at the light polution maps, my town is right on the edge of Red/Orange sections. Unfortunately my state does not seem to have a lot of dark areas and it seems the best I could get without driving quite far would be a "yellow section" on one of the maps. Any advice and recommendations would be greatly appreciated.