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New Scope and thanks to the folks on the forum.

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Being relatively new to this interest, I have been asking numerous questions on this forum over the past few months and I have always received useful and informative replies. A short time ago I asked questions re the advantages of a refractor with ED glass as I was considering something to complement my existing ST120. I am aware that all to often advice can be given, but then it is never known as to weather or not it was useful or actually resulted in anything. Therefore, by way of saying thankyou to all on the forum, I thought I would show what your inputs have resulted in.

After gathering information through this site and searching the net, I drew up a list of criteria and a list of scopes that would meet them. Obviously finances had to be considered so a budget was set. (That unfortunately ruled out certain scoped.....at least new). I was prepared for the search to last months before finding something suitable and there was no rush as I had my trusty ST120.

However, only a short time after starting the search, a scope that was one of a small number at the top of my list came up on the used market.


An Altair Starwave Ascent 102 ED.


Although this has the FPL 51 glass and not the FPL53, I considered that it would be more than sufficient for observing.

After exchanging various emails with the seller, a deal was done and I am now the new owner of this fantastic little scope.


The only use I have had so far is to try it on some daytime targets and the moon in twilight. There is an obvious lack of CA compared to my ST120 and the two speed focuser is a joy to use. It’s also surprisingly light. It lacks a build in finder shoe, but this was obtained for a few pound. It does however, have the screws for mounting the shoe on either side of the tube which is useful.

I look forward to getting it into action.


so thanks again to the forum for helping me out with all your useful hints, tips and advice.




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30 minutes ago, MarkAR said:

New scope looks great, can't really go wrong with an Altair scope.

I did like the idea of an Altair scope as they get good feedback on the forum and several members have kit by Altair. It gives you confidence in the brand.

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Very nice. The Sky at Night Magazine rate it very highly.




One size fits all lol.




It is very similar to my 102mm Altair Starwave with a 714mm focal length (f/7).  S-FPL51 has a good Abbe number. My 72ED DS Pro probably has a CDGM equivalent to FPL51.  It is very well colour corrected.




You can use your new Starwave Ascent on the Saturn opposition in thirteen days! Honestly; there isn't much you can't see with a good 4" ED doublet. At four kilo (same as my Starwave) it's a nice compromise between weight and aperture size. I was talking to Bill Paolini on Astronomy Connect a few years back and he's always maintained 4" is his favourite refractor aperture size as it is the best combination of portability with performance.  He did some experiments with a 6" triplet and aperture masks of 5" and 4". He reckoned the performance differences between 4" and 5" were negligible compared to the 6". The 6" obviously showing the most detail. But he reckoned there wasn't a huge difference between the 4" and 5" and the 4" was the better compromise, especially with considerations of weight and overall convenience. And of course, Messier used a 4" refractor lol. 

Edited by Nightspore
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