I am buying a first telescope for my son for Christmas. (My son has a passion for astronomy, has taken Astro 101 in Uni). The purpose would be to explore deep space, nebulae and planetary bodies (+pics like everyone else).
I did the research, read Nighwatch and all the threads (thank-you all BTW). I landed on Celestron 31045 AstroMaster 130 EQ Reflector (with the plan of investing in accessories that could go with as he upgraded the scope). I got a good price @BB and ordered. All was well. Until yesterday. They oversold, apologized and refunded my money, so I am back to square 1. All the deals are pretty much gone in our area.
So I went back to my research (again thank-you all), and came up with these alternatives:
1. Orion StarBlast II 4.5 Equatorial Reflector
2. Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector
3. Orion 9825 Apex 127mm Maksutov-Cassegrain
4. Orion 9827 AstroView 6 Equatorial Reflector
Since these are more than I planned to spend (my original plan was to buy a go-kart and upgrade into a Ferrari ) and I don't know a lot about the difference in optics (my son is the expert but wants to be surprised at Christmas), I would appreciate any advice/help/experience that the community has had with any of these choices. (Or if there is a better one that I may have missed?).
Any and all input would be greatly appreciated.
Thank-you & Happy Holidays.