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spaceditto
2003-Feb-10, 08:51 PM
after looking at various telescopes i was wondering which one is the best for a beginner the refractor, newtonian reflector, or compound.thoguht i do have two already i want i new one tht is more easier to use than the one i got as a gift and the other one is a handme down

RichField
2003-Feb-10, 09:40 PM
It depends.

Seriously, if you could tell us what type and size the other two scopes are the answers you get would probably be more helpful. It would be pretty silly for me to recommend a dob if that's the one you're having difficulty using.

Also, what you want to do as a beginner will let those who understand the tradeoffs between the different types you mention fine tune the response for your needs.

Rich

Glom
2003-Feb-10, 09:45 PM
A Dobsonian has a sturdy simple mount that makes it easy to use and therefore very suitable for a beginner. A Newtonian equatorial mount is good for the more advanced, especially those who want to use a piggy-back for astrophotography, but the mounts are never quite that sturdy and they can be tedious to set up.

Refractors are often said to be better if you want to focus on planetary astronomy (I don't know why), while Newtonians are better for deep sky.

The Bad Astronomer
2003-Feb-10, 09:53 PM
Try here (http://www.badastronomy.com/bitesize/scopefaq.html). I have advice for first-time telescope buyers.

David Hall
2003-Feb-10, 11:54 PM
On 2003-02-10 16:45, Glom wrote:

Refractors are often said to be better if you want to focus on planetary astronomy (I don't know why), while Newtonians are better for deep sky.


Refractors generally have longer focal-lengths, which is good for high-magnification, narrow-field views where detail is desired. Most newtonians are "faster", and have larger FOV's, better for large-angle deep-sky objects.

Most people go for newtonians, as they are relatively simple and give the most "bang for the buck" in terms of light-gathering. Newbies especially want to see these objects with as much clarity as they can, and light-buckets are best for this.

Mountwise, Dobsonians are cheap, fast, and easy to use. Point and shoot, as it were, perfectly adequate for eye-only viewing. Equitorial and other mounts are more expensive, more complicated, larger, and heavier, but necessary if you need to track the sky with precision, such as for astrophotography.

It all depends on what you intend to do with the scope. Remember, the saying is "The best telescope is the one you will use".

Dickenmeyer
2003-Feb-11, 03:30 AM
On 2003-02-10 16:45, Glom wrote:
Refractors are often said to be better if you want to focus on planetary astronomy (I don't know why), while Newtonians are better for deep sky.


One advantage refractors have in planetary astronomy is the lack of central obstruction that you get with all Newtonian and catadioptric scopes due to the secondary mirror. Refractors therefore have inherently better image contrast inch for inch and this is important for viewing tiny, dim surface features on planets. One option for getting the best of both worlds is a short-tube, wide-field refractor that gives good contrast for lunar and planetary work and satisfying views of clusters and nebulae at very affordable prices. Orion, for one, has several in the 80 to 120 mm range and are noted for good quality at reasonable prices while Stellarvue has some higher end models (at higher end prices). Still, eventually you'll fall prey to aperture fever (size matters) and great big refractors cost great big dollars, whereas reflectors are much less expensive inch for inch, so I love my brand new 8 inch schmidt-newt, central obstruction and all.

Mainframes
2003-Feb-11, 10:55 AM
I myself have caught aperture fever, I have however found a makeshift cure for it.....

I am a student.... I have no money.....

traztx
2003-Feb-11, 10:06 PM
Lack of money is no problem. Look for a local astronomy club and attend some star parties. I stopped wanting a bigger scope when I joined a local club and now have access to a number of club scopes at our dark sky site.