Hi all, me and my family (me, wife, 7yo daughter) are relatively new to astronomy. My daughter has a big fascination with space (mostly moon and planets but is starting to be interested in nebulae etc. and has shown a lot of interest in learning more). So far we have been using a tabletop Celestron FirstScope with the basic 20mm and 4mm eyepieces it comes with. I also grabbed a couple of Plossl eps on Craigslist (25mm and 10mm) and we've enjoyed looking at the moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars and feel like it's time to upgrade. It'll be a present for our 7yo daughter, but in reality it will be used as a family scope (until she gets older). After all of the research I've done on this site (and others) I was drawn toward the Orion XT line of dobsons. Originally I was thinking the XT6 but read so many compelling arguments for the XT8 so that's what I'm thinking now. Granted, my daughter won't be able to move it by herself for several years. I'd be open to other suggestions if you think there would be something of high quality but more manageable for a 7yo, but otherwise I will move ahead with the XT8. With that in mind I see Orion offers the scope (with a 25mm Plossl) or for an extra $40 as a kit which includes Orion Shorty 2x Barlow Lens, 1.25", Orion Star Target planisphere, Orion MoonMap 260, Orion Telescope Observer's Guide book, Orion RedBeam Mini LED keychain flashlight. It seems to me that all of this will be useful for us as beginners but if you with experience think otherwise, please let me know. If I do move forward with the XT8 with kit as mentioned, will I be missing anything that you think we'd really find helpful (let's say, in our first year)? I was looking at a Celestron 8-24 zoom EP if that would useful. Any thoughts you have on all of this would be greatly appreciated. If it wasn't for Covid we'd find a local astronomy club and see if anyone had one for us to check out.
Edited by USA2CUP, 23 February 2021 - 03:48 PM.