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Infinite Space
2010-Apr-27, 03:07 AM
I am suffering.
lol -- wait, not funny.

Hey y'all :)
I'm Sherry ...i need help.

So, I was supposed to order my [15, almost 16 yr old] son a telescope for Christmas, but the one he had on his list was a cheaper celestron, so i started researching, which I'm infamous for....
i usually wont buy anything until i have researched it to death. I usually regret spending so much time on it, but i just can't help myself.
Needless to say, i still have not ordered a telescope...my poor son.
Anyway, i have always been interested in the night sky...when i was younger, my mom made the mistake of buying me a cheap tasco [or something], that thing never worked.
I'm guessing that alone scared me off from just purchasing the first thing i see.
I don't even know if anyone can give me any advice, cause I'm not even really sure what I'm asking, or if I'm even asking anything....maybe i just needed to vent.

So my son wants a refractor, because he wants to use it for terrestrial viewing as well.
I kind of want a dob., and [[I kind of DO want]] a GOTO scope.
So i was thinking maybe i would just order a good refractor and maybe a smaller reflector, or maybe I'll just give in and spend everything on a really good refractor.
Is it better to buy the tube and the mount separately? And what about a mak-cass? You can use those for terrestrial viewing right?
They seem really nice, but expensive for what you get.
Not sure what my budget is, i guess i just want peoples opinions first (on their experiences with certain models or whatnot), but it probably won't be more than $800. I need thoughts on eyepieces and accessories as well.
We mainly want to look at planets and such, possibly a few deeper things.
I saw a stellarvue that was amazing, but i think it was a bit expensive for a first scope.
I guess i have been leaning towards an orion, celestron, or whatever someone else may suggest.

OK guys, so sorry for the LONG post, and thanks in advance for any thoughts or expertise.
:silenced:

Sherry

grapes
2010-Apr-27, 04:15 AM
Welcome to BAUT, Infinite Space!

The Meade ETX (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/473861-REG/Meade_3514_03_55_ETX_90PE_3_5_90mm_Catadioptric_Te lescope.html) is hard to beat, for capability, portability, and views. It has a motor, GO-TO, and tripod. And upright viewing for terrestrial.

I have an old one.

Nick Theodorakis
2010-Apr-27, 04:29 AM
I'm a reflector man (Dob) myself, but with your specs I might be tempted to go for the Orion SkyView Pro 120mm EQ Refractor Telescope (http://www.telescope.com/control/telescopes/refractor-telescopes/orion-skyview-pro-120mm-eq-refractor-telescope), but also get a right-image diagonal to go with it (about $50 bucks), sicne it says it comes with a star diagonal, and you also want it for terrestrial viewing. But check with them to make sure it's compatible. It comes with some pretty decent eyepieces (25 mm and 10 mm Sirius Plossls, which are the same ones I have), which for the 1000 mm focal length, get you 40x and 100x magnifications. Add a 2x Barlow (about 50 bucks) and that's still keep you under $800, barely.

You can save a little by going to down to 100 mm aperture, but it has a shorter focal length, and is not upgradable to computerized or goto control like the 120 mm is.


Nick

redshifter
2010-Apr-28, 02:29 PM
This is kind of a tough call IMO. A scope that works well for terrestrial observering might not be the best option for astronomy, and vise versa. In fact, a reflector telescope will be pretty much unusable for terrestrial observing. You might look into a spotting scope for terrestrial use and see about a dedicated astronomy scope as well. What is your budget?

Actually, the best 'telescope' that works well for both terrestrial and astronomical use might be a pair of binoculars. Have you considered that route?

Here's some good food for thought regarding telescopes. IMO it's a must read for anyone considering a telescope purchase: http://scopereviews.com/begin.html

thevez2
2010-Apr-28, 04:34 PM
Actually, the best 'telescope' that works well for both terrestrial and astronomical use might be a pair of binoculars. Have you considered that route?
I started my journey this year with a pair of Orion 10x50s. Very happy with them. I'm learning much more using them then if I'd dived right into a scope. I hope to get a lot of use out of them this summer, and hopefully will be ready to purchase a scope next year.


Here's some good food for thought regarding telescopes. IMO it's a must read for anyone considering a telescope purchase: http://scopereviews.com/begin.html
Great link. Seen it before, but glad to read it again. Have it printed in my Astro binder now, will come in handy later.

Grey
2010-Apr-28, 06:31 PM
The Meade is definitely a nice scope. But if it were me, I'd spring the extra $50 for the 5 inch (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/616917-REG/Meade_0515_03_60_ETX_125_AT_5_0_125mm_Catadioptric .html). We've got an old 8-inch Celestron scope, and the catadioptric configuration works fine for both terrestrial and astronomical observation, but the 8-inch starts to get a little harder to move around easily, and there's a big price jump.

grapes
2010-Apr-28, 06:58 PM
That is a good deal. The smaller is more portable, of course, but you probably don't want to haul it carry-on on airlines anymore, anyway.

aastrotech
2010-Apr-29, 09:27 AM
I'd suggest you get him to download the astronomy program "Celestia" first. It's free with a lot of add ons, planets with high rez surfaces, galaxies, spaceships, real and science fiction. Play with that for a couple of months. Then see if he still wants a telescope. If he likes it he'll probably want a telescope more. If he doesn't he'll probably be real bored with a telescope.

Infinite Space
2010-Apr-30, 07:26 PM
This is kind of a tough call IMO. A scope that works well for terrestrial observering might not be the best option for astronomy, and vise versa. In fact, a reflector telescope will be pretty much unusable for terrestrial observing. You might look into a spotting scope for terrestrial use and see about a dedicated astronomy scope as well. What is your budget?

Actually, the best 'telescope' that works well for both terrestrial and astronomical use might be a pair of binoculars. Have you considered that route?

Here's some good food for thought regarding telescopes. IMO it's a must read for anyone considering a telescope purchase: http://scopereviews.com/begin.html

Thanks redshifter...I have already read that article, along with MANY others, and 3 books, star charts & star maps, & the stellarium program; we have also gone to the local observatory here!!
I know that you CAN use a telescope for both astronomy and terrestrial, however, that is not as important to me as getting a good quality scope, that i know people have had good results with.
It doesn't have to be the biggest or the absolute best; like i said, i wanted a Dob. but i know you cant use those for terrestrial viewing.

@ aastrotech... This is just as much for me as it is for him. I have always wanted a nice telescope. I absolutely love astronomy, and i can see he shares the same passion.
Honestly, I'm already pretty set on getting a scope, so all i really want...is peoples opinions on say... an $800 budget. I feel like that's a pretty good starting point.

@grapes... it was brought to my attention that Meade was somehow inferior to Orion or celestron. In the beginning, i had found a Meade that i liked, but someone said they weren't as well made.?.

@ EVERYONE ELSE... thanks for your opinions and thoughts, i appreciate it!!

grapes
2010-Apr-30, 11:51 PM
Since I purchased mine, they were bought out I believe. Dunno about quality control since then personally, really.

redshifter
2010-May-01, 02:03 AM
Honestly, I'm already pretty set on getting a scope, so all i really want...is peoples opinions on say... an $800 budget. I feel like that's a pretty good starting point.



With an 800 budget, you could get an Orion XT8 (non-intelliscope version), a couple good eyepieces as upgrades, and a good pair of binocs or a spotting scope for terrestrial use.