I am a newbie and was exactly in your shoes two months ago.
My immediate reactions:
1. Whatever you do, DON'T GET THE STARSENSE 127EQ. I bought a Powerseeker 127EQ as my first scope, and if I understand things correctly the optical tube is the same. I was lucky I could send it back! I spent more and got me a Celestron OMNIA 150 XLT. Happy!
2. On the other hand, while a 10" Dob would be a wonderful telescope, it's a bit on the other opposite… probably wonderful optically, but it might not be an ideal first scope. In my case, as I do most of my observing from a balcony, a Dob is in general not a good choice and I opted for tripod-mounted.
My suggestion: stop and do some more studying in order to expand your choices. Look up telescopicwatch.com They have a fantastic section of telescope reviews by price brackets. That will give you a much better understanding of what a good first scope would be (there is no single answer to that question: it all depends on where you live, what you like/dislike,…).
Take the time to do your homework – a good weekend – and get a good grasp of the relative advantages and disadvantages of the main types of optical tubes and mounts. The mount is at least as important as the tube, and I'd argue that it's more important.
If you're impatient to start watching the night sky, start out naked eye or, if you have a pair of binoculars in the house, start using those.
This is the important advice. What follows are more personal opinions:
A. Having a GoTo in your scope is a trade-off. For the same money, you can get more aperture, better optics and a better mount without the electronics. Personally, I think that part of the fun and education is in the chase so I opted for non-GoTo, but everyone is different and all choices are valid. Just be aware of the trade-off.
B. Choosing your scope is very much a matter of balancing aperture (the diameter of the primary mirror or lens) with cost and practicality. Bigger aperture gives you the ability to see more, and to see better. But in general it makes for bigger/heavier optical tubes, requiring bigger mounts. In making this choice, every type of scope (refractor, Newton, Cat) has its pros and cons. I'd say, choose the biggest effective aperture that you can afford in a package that you are confident you can handle. A 4" refractor, a 5"/6" Mak or SCT, a 6-8" Newtonian… all have their charms and are classics for a reason!
C. Don't be afraid of collimation. If you're reasonably handy with tools, you can do it too! So don't let that rule your choice. But if you really hate the prospect of maintenance, well, that's a pretty strong argument for a refractor or a Cat.
D. Whatever you do, get a good book – NOW! You can start reading before your scope gets home. Turn Left at Orion, suggested above, is the one I got and it's wonderful. Make sure you get the latest edition. I also got "Astronomy for Dummies" (on the kindle) and it's an excellent complement – the two books cover entirely different grounds.
Phew… sorry for the long post!
Edited by radiofm74, 27 February 2021 - 06:57 AM.