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Beginners telescope


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Hello George welcome to the forum.

A great way to get into astronomy is with a Dobsonian reflector which is easy to use and gives good results. If you can stretch your budget a little further to https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/skywatcher-heritage-130p-flextube.html or a bit more to this https://www.firstlightoptics.com/dobsonians/sky-watcher-heritage-150p-flextube-dobsonian-telescope.html then you will have a great telescope.

Anything less than £175 will sadly be money down the drain.

 

You will be able to see the moon, some planets - albeit at small scale and stars with these two scopes.

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I think TerryMcK is right about budget constraints. Astronomy isn't a cheap hobby unfortunately. But if you really only have about a £150 limit I'd go for a small achromatic  refractor. 

 

Orion 80ST

 

Orion Observer II Kit

 

Orion Starblast

 

The small scopes in the above links can get you started in astronomy. The mount and tripod quality are as important as the scope itself. A light refractor should be OK a light portable mount.  

 

PZu7HeTl.jpg

 

A small refractor such as the Sky-Watcher ST80 can be remarkably effective. You'll be surprised what you can see with a 3" refractor.

 

RpOkXFFl.jpg

Edited by Nightspore
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There are a lot of scopes out there on the used market and some good deals to be had. An obvious auction site is one place but also a site that purely deals in used Astro kit “Astrobuysell”.

When you look through the used kit on auction sites it seems that there are many scopes advertised that have been unused gifts or being sold by people who bought a scope but never had the time to use it, so they are in near perfect condition. Gumtree is also worth a look. But obviously, when buying second hand you need to research the item so you know it’s what your after and you know what it’s worth.

When your starting out it’s an absolute minefield and there is so much to consider:  eg Does it need to be easily portable for moving from the house to the bottom of the garden (or beyond), does it need to be compact and easily put away after each session. 

You do need to consider how it will work within your lifestyle. The best scope is one that you will use. If you get one that’s too heavy, cumbersome, or complicated then you may find that you rarely use it, no matter how good it is.

And by the way, welcome to the forum and ask away with anything you need help with.

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12 hours ago, Nightspore said:

I think TerryMcK is right about budget constraints. Astronomy isn't a cheap hobby unfortunately. But if you really only have about a £150 limit I'd go for a small achromatic  refractor. 

 

Orion 80ST

 

Orion Observer II Kit

 

Orion Starblast

 

The small scopes in the above links can get you started in astronomy. The mount and tripod quality are as important as the scope itself. A light refractor should be OK a light portable mount.  

 

PZu7HeTl.jpg

 

A small refractor such as the Sky-Watcher ST80 can be remarkably effective. You'll be surprised what you can see with a 3" refractor.

 

RpOkXFFl.jpg

 

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Just now, George Mc said:

What about this any good? I can budget more  but not sure if I am really going to use it much we went on a night skies tour in tenerife in the summer and were amazed but obviously they used professional equipment and thanks for your help 

Screenshot_20211208-094316_eBay.thumb.jpg.70d196df4493958033075fdfcd2953e3.jpg

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55 minutes ago, George Mc said:

Screenshot_20211208-094316_eBay.thumb.jpg.70d196df4493958033075fdfcd2953e3.jpg

 

 

The Synta 'StarTravel' series of achromatic refractors are very well known in amateur astronomy.

 

IeEFeKQl.jpg

 

They are sold under a variety of brand names. Sky-Watcher is the Synta house name but they are also sold under Orion, Meade and Omegon.

 

tlHnX8Yl.jpg

 

I have two, both now have aftermarket focusers. These GSO - made focusers aren't necessary but do improve the fine focusing and they also rotate around their own axis. The advantage is that they can accept 2" diagonals.

 

YXsNJgRl.jpg

 

The scopes themselves are achromatic doublet refractors.

 

G0KQtrWl.jpg

 

Regardless of the fact that they aren't massively expensive, they are very good starter scopes with sharp, bright images.

 

RDcMTPWl.jpg

 

Mine occasionally still get used.

 

dvJTmPsl.jpg

 

They are very good for low magnification wide angle views of star fields and deep sky objects. However, they will take magnifications of up to 160x (in good conditions) for lunar and planetary observing with little chromatic aberration (false colour).

 

05LxtqHl.jpg

 

You would get excellent views of lunar features with an ST80. You can see the rings of Saturn with some detail and Jupiter's Great Red Spot.

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12 hours ago, George Mc said:

Screenshot_20211208-094316_eBay.thumb.jpg.70d196df4493958033075fdfcd2953e3.jpg

The Skywatcher ST80 is great value for the low price. It's easy to maintain and can be improved if you fancy your DIY skills. From that photograph, the mount may be a bit shakey which is irritating but not the end of the world (and can always be upgraded later). You will also need an eyepiece and it's not clear if one is included in that offer. If you only get one eyepiece, something around 20mm/25mm will give you a nice wide view of the sky with the ST80.

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