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dmp58
2003-May-29, 01:13 PM
OK, here's the deal.

I've decided that I want to get involved in astronomy in a bigger way. This means I need to purchase my first telescope. I've read and read, but all the advice seems to be so noncommittal as to what type to buy as to almost be useless. So, I'm looking for biased views on what I should get.

Letís assume a few things. I've three young children who may catch the bug too. Money is not an issue. I'm a newbie (well that's obvious), so I don't know if planet hopping or deep sky objects are my eventual interests, but I want a half decent chance viewing both with my first scope. I'm in a city, so I've got to deal with a fair bit of background light pollution.

So what do YOU suggest?

Thanks!

Glom
2003-May-29, 01:53 PM
First, what is your astronomy experience so far? Have you exhausted everything you could do with binocular and naked eye observation?

In light polluted areas, deep sky objects aren't as easy to find. You're probably better starting off with planetary observation. For that, you'll want a refractor. Without a secondary obstruction, you don't get diffraction that reduces the detail on the image.

Take it someone else...

gethen
2003-May-29, 02:02 PM
If you're in a populated area there's a good chance that there's an astonomy club nearby. If there is it's really helpful to visit, talk to other amateurs, and get a first hand idea of what type of scope you'd like.
And welcome to the BABB.

ToSeek
2003-May-29, 03:42 PM
You might take a look at the advice given in this thread. (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=5762)

dgruss23
2003-May-29, 04:25 PM
Another thread with some good advice is this one (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=4197&highlight=telescope).

Good luck!

David Hall
2003-May-30, 02:03 PM
Money is not an issue? Can you send a few scopes my way too then? :D :P

mike alexander
2003-Jul-07, 10:56 PM
I've mentioned this before on other sites but I'll say it again: at least think about building your own first scope. ESPECIALLY if there are kids involved.
Grind the mirror, build the mount (both require relatively little money, space or tools. Granted it can get a bit messy).

This is the place amateur astronomy started (heck, all astronomy started). You will learn how a scope works by actually making it. Contrary to popular belief, it is very hard to make a totally useless mirror. My first scope was homebuilt, and I'm sure if I were to take the old mirror out of the box and test it I would be appalled at the quality. No matter. I remember the first time I silvered it, put it in the tube and looked at Saturn. It was...

Well, I'm still stargazing, and its been about 35 years.

aurorae
2003-Jul-07, 11:04 PM
I've mentioned this before on other sites but I'll say it again: at least think about building your own first scope. ESPECIALLY if there are kids involved.
Grind the mirror, build the mount (both require relatively little money, space or tools. Granted it can get a bit messy).


I agree that building your own is a good thing to do, but grinding mirrors is becoming less common. Decent quality mirrors can be had for relatively small amounts of money.

mike alexander
2003-Jul-07, 11:28 PM
I agree. But as Russel Porter and Albert Ingalls pointed out, once you get rouge under your nails and pitch in your hair you will know what's really going on in that scope. Then by all means buy a super-dooper job (which I recently did). I enjoy my new Meade enormously. I love my old scope.

Kaptain K
2003-Jul-08, 06:36 AM
I'm going to put in my two cents worth here.

First, I am going to assume that when you say money is not an issue, you are speaking relatively. If you have the money, there are companies that will sell you one that will set you back a significant fraction of a megabuck! :o

Second, I assume that you are more interested in looking at things than looking for them.
My recommendation:

1) Get a computerized goto telescope. Looking at things is much more rewarding than looking for them. And it is much less frustrating than looking for and not finding them.

2) Get the biggest scope you can afford to lose interest in. After all, you may grow tired of astronomy (it happens) and the scope may wind up under a tarp in the garage.

3) Someone mentioned a refractor for planetary observation. While it is true that refractors work better for planets, that is on an aperture for aperture basis. On a bang-for-buck basis, aperture rules. A 10" Schmidt-Cassegrain will beat a 4" refractor in showing planetary details.

4) Do not expect deep-sky objects to look like photographs you see in magazines or on line. We don't call them faint fuzzies for nothing.

5) As was mentioned, find a local astronomy club. They love to show off their scopes and can give you firsthand advice and hands-on experience. Sky & Telescope has a list of astronomy club on their website.

diddidit
2003-Jul-08, 12:15 PM
If money is TRULY no object, you might as well feed your budding obsession (http://www.obsessiontelescopes.com/)...

did

Schultze
2003-Jul-08, 01:04 PM
Wow. Money no object?

Here ya go, a 229mm APO...http://www.tmboptical.com/images/telescope%20pictures/tmb9b.jpg

Only 30K and they make four others that are larger. The ultimate refractor. So many scopes, so little money. :(