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Quote:
Originally Posted by gduke2010 View Post
Thanks Eric and Flatbutt. Looked at some telescopes on line and can buy a higher quality telescope for not much more money. So, I'm not buying the one on Craigslist. The video was very helpful and seems like a reflector telescope might be the best entry level scope.

I live in a great location to look at the sky in the Carson Valley, near the desert and mountains. would like to see the Orion Nebula.

thanks,
Gary
On a really dark night, you should be able to see the Orion nebula without a telescope. With binoculars or a telescope it will be even better. It's still not remotely going to look like any of the images that anyone posts online because while the human eye has some amazing capabilities, the eye can't take a "long exposure" like you can do with a camera.

In addition to the inexpensive telescope that you posted, you can also get a comfortable chair and a pair of binoculars and see amazing stuff.

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Old 01-19-2020, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric Hahl View Post
Had a 16x20 metal print made. Kinda digging it.
Mate....you need to sell that stuff. Very, very cool.
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:55 AM
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Mate....you need to sell that stuff. Very, very cool.
I'll buy one
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by flatbutt View Post
I'll buy one
I can make you one. PM me if you want one.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:19 AM
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This is a great starter telescope. It's a newtonian on a dobson based. Otherwise known as a Dobsonian. It big enough to gather lots of light yet small enough to move around easily. It can be carried outside, set down and its ready to use. It probably comes with a 25mm eyepiece which will be great for viewing Orion and doing sky scanning.

https://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Dobsonian-Telescopes/Classic-Dobsonians/Orion-SkyQuest-XT8-Classic-Dobsonian-Telescope/pc/1/c/12/sc/13/p/102005.uts?refineByCategoryId=13

Check your local craigslist, you may find one for 1/2 price. There's no tracking, you have to do that manually but its very easy to sweep the sky.

Let us know what you do.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:24 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #445 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Hahl View Post
This is a great starter telescope. It's a newtonian on a dobson based. Otherwise known as a Dobsonian. It big enough to gather lots of light yet small enough to move around easily. It can be carried outside, set down and its ready to use. It probably comes with a 25mm eyepiece which will be great for viewing Orion and doing sky scanning.

https://www.telescope.com/Telescopes/Dobsonian-Telescopes/Classic-Dobsonians/Orion-SkyQuest-XT8-Classic-Dobsonian-Telescope/pc/1/c/12/sc/13/p/102005.uts?refineByCategoryId=13

Check your local craigslist, you may find one for 1/2 price. There's no tracking, you have to do that manually but its very easy to sweep the sky.

Let us know what you do.
That is a great starter scope and is what I previously had. If you want to spend less, there are smaller versions. The above is an 8", then below there is a 6" and a 4.5".
https://www.telescope.com/Orion-SkyQuest-XT6-Classic-Dobsonian-Telescope/p/102004.uts

https://www.telescope.com/Orion-SkyQuest-XT45-Classic-Dobsonian-Telescope/p/102009.uts

The reason that the size is important, if you don't know, is that astronomy is all about how much light you can gather and focus. The larger the objective lens, the more light you'll "catch" and the brighter the image. (vaguely/simplified) That's why long exposures are helpful in astrophotography, because a longer exposure allows you to capture light over time.

That's why telescopes are often called light buckets. Think of the light from stars, galaxies, nebulae, etc... as being like rain that's falling. If you were trying to catch rain in a bucket, you'd catch more rain in a very wide bucket than a very narrow bucket. (size of the objective lens). For astrophotography you can imagine sticking the bucket outside for 1 second (you'll catch some rain) or for 3 hours (you might fill your bucket).

Binoculars have the benefit of both eyes seeing stuff which your brain assembles into a better picture than if only one eye was looking. I think what I've heard, IIRC, is that looking with both eyes is like looking with an objective lens that's 1.4 times larger (like when Porsche first started using turbos on their race cars. There are even ways to convert telescopes to be views like binoculars, through both eyes. (There are various reasons why that's not very common)
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Hahl View Post
This is a great starter telescope. It's a newtonian on a dobson based. Otherwise known as a Dobsonian. It big enough to gather lots of light yet small enough to move around easily. It can be carried outside, set down and its ready to use. It probably comes with a 25mm eyepiece which will be great for viewing Orion and doing sky scanning.
Yeah, I think a 25mm and a 10mm which are decent starters. The 25 makes for a nice wide angle which is often underrated, and the 10mm gives decent magnification.
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Last edited by masraum; 01-20-2020 at 09:53 AM..
Old 01-20-2020, 09:51 AM
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Here's a new one. Just released by Celestron and pretty neat. Looks like its super easy to use and find objects.

https://youtu.be/3AkK45h9WJo
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Hahl View Post
Here's a new one. Just released by Celestron and pretty neat. Looks like its super easy to use and find objects.

https://youtu.be/3AkK45h9WJo
I didn't watch the whole video, but based on what I saw, I assume rather than putting the intelligence into the mount, they are relying on the computing power that everyone over the age of 10 seems to carry in their pockets. If that's the case, then that's genius. It's like integrating satnav into a car stereo vs just allowing a connected smart phone do it. I assume it saves tons of money in several places by not requiring the hardware integrated into every scope, plus I would guess easier development of the software, plus an easier and better upgrade path.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:49 AM
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Thanks, again, looked at the telescopes. Going to look at them a few more times. Really, like the Celestron with the phone app.
Old 01-20-2020, 07:00 PM
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Looking at the Celestron web-site....the StarSense Explorer telescopes.
Some are 'reflector' scopes and some are 'refractor' scopes.
What's the diff?...and which is better for a starter?
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:20 AM
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Looks like there are 4 versions available.

Two refractors at 80mm(3") and 102mm (4") objective.

Two reflectors at 114mm (4.5") and 130mm (5.1") objective.

All are going to be very close in overall size and weight give or take a few. Of the four I would go for the largest aperture to give me the brightest image. My choice is the 130 Newtonian.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:30 AM
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Thanks for the quick answer Eric.
I'll check it out.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:35 AM
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But...

Reflectors need to be aligned to give their best performance. This is accomplished by tilt adjustments on the primary mirror and tilt/centering adjustments on the secondary mirror. Sounds scary at first buts it's very easy to do. Just takes some practice to it just right.

The refractors will not need, nor do they have any adjustments to make. If you go the refractor route get the 102. Bigger is usually better in this game.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:35 AM
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That (refractor) might be better for me knowing that. They are both the same price...but the 102 would be a little less brighter? (than the 130)
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevej37 View Post
Looking at the Celestron web-site....the StarSense Explorer telescopes.
Some are 'reflector' scopes and some are 'refractor' scopes.
What's the diff?...and which is better for a starter?
A refractor is what most folks think of as a telescope, basically half of a binocular, or simplified, a tube with a lens at each end.

In a reflector the main lens is a concave mirror at the bottom of the tube that reflects up to another mirror near the top. The user looks through an eye piece that is perpendicular to the main tube axis.

Generally, when you make the objective lens larger, the telescope gets longer. In a refractor that can get big and unwieldy fast. In a reflector the tube length is effectively cut in half so you can get a much larger objective lens in a shorter package.

As stated earlier, a larger objective allows more light to be caught so often folks eventually trying to get the biggest that they can handle and afford.

I started with a 102mm (4") refractor. I eventually upgraded to an 8" Newtonian reflector (there are several types of reflector) on a Dobsonian bar because that's generally the way to get the biggest objective for the money. Refractor are usually on either equatorial or alt/az mounts which are taller and more expensive than the simpler cheaper and shorter Dobsonian mounts.

The two more expensive mounts are more likely to have some sort of tracking and the ability to tell it "i want to look at X" and it will point the telescope for you (of course that adds cost due to microcomputer and motor and gearing)

Dobsonian mounts are generally all manual. You have to point the scope at what yippy want to see. That's usually done via star hopping. Start on a bright elk known star, then bounce from dimmer star to star like connecting the dots until you get to the part of the sky that you want to see.
Old 01-22-2020, 09:46 AM
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^^^ Thanks. Lots to learn here. First thing I need to decide...do I have enough of a clear view of the sky from my deck. Some trees..mostly to the N and NW.
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:53 AM
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That (refractor) might be better for me knowing that. They are both the same price...but the 102 would be a little less brighter? (than the 130)
Of course, everything that Eric did is spot on.

Yes, the 102 will gather a little less light, but it's still a decent scope, especially if you've got a decent place to view from.

Reflectors also have a central obstruction that reduces the amount of light they catch over a refractor of the same size (but they are almost always bigger)
Old 01-22-2020, 09:59 AM
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^^^ Thanks. Lots to learn here. First thing I need to decide...do I have enough of a clear view of the sky from my deck. Some trees..mostly to the N and NW.
Got any binoculars or someone that you could borrow some from?. Get out there with them and a comfy chair and scan the skies. See what you can see.
Old 01-22-2020, 10:01 AM
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^^^ Thanks. Lots to learn here. First thing I need to decide...do I have enough of a clear view of the sky from my deck. Some trees..mostly to the N and NW.
I want to stress something most newbs overlook...how much viewing are you really going to do? Most of us don't know that answer till we get into it, so not spending a ton o' money to start with is wise AND getting something easy to set up and use is kinda important too.

eg, a Go To GEM, German Equatorial Mount can be a hassle for beginners to setup, align and use. The Dobs (point and shoot) with an Alt/Az mount is much easier to set up but star hopping is a method to be fully embraced with puppy like exuberance. It's time consuming but there's no better way to get familiar with the sky.

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Old 01-22-2020, 10:03 AM
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