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View Full Version : Yay! New Telescope for Christmas



Stupendous Man
2001-Dec-26, 06:33 PM
My wife knew I had been looking for a first scope about a year ago.
So, so goes to Wal-Mart and comes back with this pretty nice Meade Etx-60at that comes with the computerized tracking dealie on it. It was nice, albeit somewhat limited.

We returned it today.

In it's place, we changed over to a Skywatcher 6" Dobsonian. Quite a change.
Anyone else have this scope? Anything I should know about it that's not well-covered in the instructions?
Cheers.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: stupendous man on 2001-12-27 08:20 ]</font>

aurorae
2001-Dec-26, 09:02 PM
In it's place, we changed over to a Skywatcher 6" Dobsonian. Quite a change.
Anyone else have this scope? ANything I should know about it that's not well-covered in the instructions?
CHeers.


I am not familiar with the instructions, but similar units I have seen have been very nice and pretty much all ready to go as is.

You might want to consider getting a 1x finder, like a Telrad or some kind of red dot finder.

If you are a newbie to finding your way around the sky, I'd suggest getting a copy of Turn Left at Orion

Another item that is handy to have is a pair of binoculars. 7x50 or 10x50 are very useful for scanning the sky for objects. Lots of observers pack their binos along with their scope.

Stupendous Man
2001-Dec-27, 01:23 PM
Thanks for the reply.
The scope came with a finderscope, and I have a copy of "Nightwatch" by Terence Dickinson.
Now all I need is a set of binoculars., and I guess I'm all set.
Well, that and some clear skies... It's been overcast here for a solid week!
Grumble..

aurorae
2001-Dec-27, 05:33 PM
On 2001-12-27 08:23, Stupendous Man wrote:
Thanks for the reply.
The scope came with a finderscope, and I have a copy of "Nightwatch" by Terence Dickinson.


Nightwatch is a very good book, too.

The reason I mentioned a 1x finder, is that some people (including me) find one to be very useful. For most objects (including all the Messiers) I can find them a lot faster using only a Telrad rather than using a small finderscope (like a 6x30 or 8x50). For harder to find objects, I usually use both -- the Telrad to get me in the neighborhood, and then the finder scope to get to the actual spot.

YMMV. Some folks have different preferences.

If you get a chance, attend a star party at your local astronomy club and see if you can try out some different finders to see what works best for you.

Stupendous Man
2001-Dec-27, 08:27 PM
Thanks for the information.
Happy Viewing.
J

ljbrs
2001-Dec-28, 01:31 AM
Stupendous Man:

A short while back, I bought a prize-winning (tested by Sky & Telescope) 8-inch Orion SkyQuest Dobsonian (with a Telrad, Telrad books, and a number of astronomy books) for relative's daughter. Dobsonians are great telescopes if one is interested in observing. A Dobsonian is a good purchase. Watch out for those department-store telescopes. Among other things, one usually has to throw away the eyepieces and get some decent eyepieces to replace them.

ljbrs /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

aurorae
2001-Dec-28, 04:12 PM
On 2001-12-27 20:31, ljbrs wrote:
Watch out for those department-store telescopes. Among other things, one usually has to throw away the eyepieces and get some decent eyepieces to replace them.


Usually, the under $100 "toy" telescopes come with two eyepieces of dubious quality. One is usually a 4mm Huygens, which is basically impossible to use. The eye relief is tiny, as is the exit pupil, and with the 60mm refractor the magnification is such with a 4mm that even if the eyepiece was any good, and if the mount was steady, and the field of view were actually large enough to find something, the image would be too dark to view anything. Ugh. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif

Wally
2001-Dec-28, 04:28 PM
On 2001-12-27 20:31, ljbrs wrote:
Stupendous Man:

A short while back, I bought a prize-winning (tested by Sky & Telescope) 8-inch Orion SkyQuest Dobsonian (with a Telrad, Telrad books, and a number of astronomy books) for relative's daughter. Dobsonians are great telescopes if one is interested in observing. A Dobsonian is a good purchase. Watch out for those department-store telescopes. Among other things, one usually has to throw away the eyepieces and get some decent eyepieces to replace them.

ljbrs /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif



Wow lbjrs! Anyone in your family want to adopt me? I could use a rich uncle (aunt???) like you! All I got this year was a propane powered deep fryer for cookin' turkeys. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Stupendous Man
2001-Dec-28, 09:55 PM
Finally, a clear night last night (more snow tonight, but oh well).

So I take it out, drop in the 25 mm eyepiece, and WOW! Spectacular large image of the near full moon! Beautiful. Wait a few hours for it to cross the sky, and then BAM! A clear view of Jupiter and the moons! You could even make out the bands of color in the atmosphere! Well that just blew me away! I love this thing. It's so shiny and beautiful, and looks like it means business!
I think I'll save up a few bucks fro some even better eyepieces. It came with a 2" eyepieve adaptor. Maybe I'll see about those...

Russ
2002-Jan-02, 03:14 PM
On 2001-12-28 16:55, Stupendous Man wrote:
Finally, a clear night last night (more snow tonight, but oh well).

So I take it out, drop in the 25 mm eyepiece, and WOW! Spectacular large image of the near full moon! Beautiful. Wait a few hours for it to cross the sky, and then BAM! A clear view of Jupiter and the moons! You could even make out the bands of color in the atmosphere! Well that just blew me away! I love this thing. It's so shiny and beautiful, and looks like it means business!
I think I'll save up a few bucks fro some even better eyepieces. It came with a 2" eyepieve adaptor. Maybe I'll see about those...


I note that you wrote this on the 28th. Were you in a position in which you could see the Moon occult Saturn? Did you know that was going to happen? You may have been too far north to see it but you were lucky to have clear skys that night. Here in the Cincinnati area it was thick clouds.

Congratulations on scoring a new scope!

Here is an unsolicited suggestion. If you don't already subscribe to either "Astronomy" or "Sky & Telescope" that would be a really good thing to do. Better if you get both. They have good "Upcoming Events" sections so you will be able to plan what you want to see. Good sky charts as well.

Have a great time with your new scope.

Hale_Bopp
2002-Jan-02, 03:20 PM
The way it has been around here, The "Upcoming Events" in Astronomy and Sky and Telescope should be titled, "What you are going to miss."

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif

Rob

GENIUS'02
2002-Jan-02, 04:27 PM
On the note of "cheap" telescopes, i have two one that i got a long time ago, and yes it is absolutely useless but i also have a tasco which when i talk to ametures and pro's alike i get mixed feelings, however i'd like to state for those people thinking of buying a telescope but do not want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars just incase they don't like the hobby, my tasco galaxee newtonian reflector gives brilliant images as good as any of the expensive ones i have tried, and it wasn't all that expensive. However do not trust the box as they over-rate its power capabilities (they say it can magnify 375X but it can only manage 212.5X. but that aside there is nothing wrong with image quality.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Jan-02, 05:05 PM
On 2002-01-02 10:14, Russ wrote:
Here is an unsolicited suggestion. If you don't already subscribe to either "Astronomy" or "Sky & Telescope" that would be a really good thing to do. Better if you get both. They have good "Upcoming Events" sections so you will be able to plan what you want to see. Good sky charts as well.
Since we're all online, this may be helpful too. Sky and Telescope has their This Week's Sky at a Glance (http://www.skypub.com/sights/sights.shtml), and Earth and Sky their Skywatching Center (http://www.earthsky.com/Features/Skywatching/) each month. Astronomy (http://www.astronomy.com/home.asp) magazine also has some lists of events, but the urls seem to change a lot. NPR's Stardate has online Weekly Tips (http://stardate.org/nightsky/weekly.php), and PBS's Stargazer (Star Hustler Jack Horkheimer) has recent show scripts (http://www.starhustler.com/Currentshowscripts.html).