View Full Version : Intro Scope recommendations: Solar System / Computerized systems

2010-Nov-18, 12:23 PM
Greetings everyone.

I am a beginner astronomer and like many others am looking to buy my first scope. To be honest, I'm interested in some of the more basic "solar system" objects, such as the moons of Jupiter / Saturn, maybe the ISS. While I would like to also "know" what the more celestial objects are, I'm not so interested in the resolution as much as the identification. I also would like a scope that lets me see ground based objects up close. My main focus is to get my young kids interested in astronomy.

As such, I'm looking for a good begginer scope that is really easy to use. I've been very interested in the computerized set up scopes, with some of the built in catalogs for identification, maybe a GPS system. I'm looking at the $500 - $1000 range.

The first one I've been eyeing is the NexStar 102SLT Computerized Telescope (~$500). It's only a 4" apature, but I'm guessing that will satisfy my basic needs. Also does anyone know the difference between the celestron 3 point "star align" system and true GPS models? Are the GPS models worth the cost?

Any recommendations would be welcome.


2011-Jan-18, 02:29 PM
Hi Bill, My 1st scope was the 90mm Nexstar version of your scope. I loved the goto to bits, it was very helpful for a newb finding his way around the sky. I got away from astronomy for some time as I had seen as I could with that scope. I sold it and went off doing other things. A few months back the urge came back, but I thought I needed a bigger scope this time around. I bought a 200mm dob. You get a slight increase in performance, but the amount of messing around to try find anything, am glad I know the sky better this time around. . If was given a choice, for a newb, go for the goto scope.