Anyone here into telescopes / skygazing?

  Batch 11:05 30 Apr 10
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Not a PC issue, but wondering if anyone here has any views on buying a basic telescope for casual "skygazing".

Have seen this click here at Jessops and wondered if it is a reasonable product for the purpose / price. I suppose that this is the sort of price point I'm thinking of (by way of contrast, Jessops has other scopes up to £3600).

Any thoughts appreciated.

  naineysman 21:50 30 Apr 10

Dont buy anything advertised at 'can manify x times' buy as much apeture as you can afford.

I bought a great 6" reflector for £400 (Camera store) and a suberb 3" refractor for £90 (Lidl), both on EQ mounts.

have a look here click here

  wotan 15:46 01 May 10

Hi, sorry I have not had a chance to log on before now, I agree with your other reply that most 'cheap' offers are not really suitable for astronomy purposes. The type of scope you are looking at is only meant for youngsters and those not sure if they want to look at the sky or just be able to say "I have a telescope".
Before you buy anything, decide what it is you are going to use it for, are you going to use it in the back garden, in which case a really solid mount is not a problem, but if you are going to travel around, the weight is a big consideration.
I have a 4" TAL and a 6" short tubed reflector both on equitorial mounts. The TAL has a very solid base and is ideal for concentrating on individual objects or small areas of the sky, the 6" is lighter to carry around and covers a wider area so is more suitable for general sky watching.
My personal preference is the TAL, and if you are serious about your skywatching I would recommend you to have a look at the complete range of TAL scopes available in the U.K., the optics are very good and the standard of equipment available is high, and the prices are very competetive. Hope this helps you in your choice.

  961 16:10 01 May 10

I've been down this road

The average 'scope is difficult to set up and peer through. If you are wanting to look at the moon, you'll find by the time you've focussed on it, OMG, it's gone. It really does move that fast

If you buy a slightly better scope it may need setting up and getting used to the ambient temperature, which may take some (considerable) time. If the temperature in the garden is minus 4 you may not be entirely happy with this

You may be well advised to start with a pair of good astronomical binoculars

click here

Alternatively, before you throw large amounts of dosh at this, join an astronomical club so that you can see what each type of 'scope will produce, depending on wether you are watching planets, moon or deep space

  provider 2 16:42 01 May 10

I think 961`s suggestion of astronomical binoculars is a good one and also the advice to have a look-see using a club`s equipment before shelling out large amounts of dosh.

Even with a good amateur telescope you will still be looking at very small points of light; nothing at all like the kinds of images you may have seen from large, professional telescopes or satellites.

Also, it can get damn cold and generally uncomfortable standing or sitting outside for hours at a time at night and you will have condensation problems in the telescope to deal with as well, not to menion light-pollution if you live in a city.

Lastly (and I hope I haven`t put you off), have a look at "Turn Left at Orion" by Guy Consolmagno and Dan M. Davis (Amazon) if you can. It will give you some advice on using a telescope and explain something you might think is only too obvious ... what exactly it is that you are looking at, where and in what season of the year.

  Batch 17:42 01 May 10

Well, what can I say guys other than many thanks. Looks like contributors to this PC forum has delivered again. Seems to reflect the fact that, one way or another, there are diverse interest out there.

I'll digest, explore and may come back for more.

Thanks again.

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