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View Full Version : A good telescope?



Solfe
2003-Sep-07, 02:44 AM
With all of the Mars Hype, I was thinking of buying a telescope. I have a young child and want to involve him as soon as he is able.

Is a Astro Scan Wide Field scope worthwhile? (It looks like a ball with smokestack) I see that it is marketed as a nice second telescope. It looks big enough for my son to use and sturdy enough to withstand all he can dish out.

I don't expect to see much, I just want to see what is nake-eye visible, clearer.

Let me know what you think -

Solphe.

parejkoj
2003-Sep-07, 04:16 AM
The Astroscan is a wonderful piece of equipment. I've only gotten a couple of chances to use one but they are amazing: simple to point, very wide field of view, easy to carry and cute too! I'm really glad you asked about it, because I just might go out and buy myself one! They are essentially the ideal beginner's scope since it is very easy to figure-out where you are pointing and a breeze to move around, while allowing a wide enough field of view to actually find what you are looking for -- with a 15mm lens the field of view is roughly 3 degrees, or 6 times the size of the full moon! How's that for handy?

Just out of curiousity, where are you looking to get it from? Edmund Scientific seems to have some good deals on it. Their basic package comes with two eyepieces, while the deluxe has three, plus a Barlow 2.5x magnifying lens, a screen for viewing the sun and a carrying bag:

http://scientificsonline.com/search.asp?t=ss&ss=Astroscan

If you've found something better, please post! I've been wanting a scope for myself for a while and this would be perfect for me...

Kaptain K
2003-Sep-07, 08:09 AM
As the BA likes to point out, there is a website attached to this board! 8)

http://www.badastronomy.com/bitesize/scopefaq.html

Hypatia
2003-Sep-08, 07:43 PM
Is a Astro Scan Wide Field scope worthwhile? (It looks like a ball with smokestack) I see that it is marketed as a nice second telescope. It looks big enough for my son to use and sturdy enough to withstand all he can dish out.

Solphe.

A friend, who has two larger scopes (16" schmidt-newt and a 6" dob), bought one & he loves it. He takes it along on our camping expeditions and for public programs..

I also got my first peek into a 4.5" Orion Skyquest dob last week (I have the 10" version) and it has beautiful optics, is easy to us and is kid's size a (for $200).

DALeffler
2003-Sep-08, 09:18 PM
Is a Astro Scan Wide Field scope worthwhile? (It looks like a ball with smokestack) I see that it is marketed as a nice second telescope. It looks big enough for my son to use and sturdy enough to withstand all he can dish out.

That's gotta be the simplest telescope ever invented, therfore, one of the best telescopes ever invented. A friend brought one over and he almost didn't get to go back home with it...

The best telescopes are those that are used, IMHO. And that thing is so easy to use it will get used, all the time. I know of no other telescope that you can use in your lap. Kinna expensive for the aperature you get, but to show a young'n the sky - no question I'd highly recommend it.

I bought an 8" dob after my friend bought the AstroScan; just to have more ap than him. I remember letting him look through the 8" after I found something amazing I'd already seen before and almost hurrying him at my 8" 'cause of something new I'd seen in his Astro Scan. It's like a stable set of binoculars without the wiggle & wobble.

The one draw back I think I remember was eye piece barrel size. I wouldn't buy a lot of eye pieces unless they can be used on another telescope barrel.

Other than that, Oh, yeah!!

Doug.

Solfe
2003-Sep-10, 03:25 AM
The Astroscan is a wonderful piece of equipment. I've only gotten a couple of chances to use one but they are amazing: simple to point, very wide field of view, easy to carry and cute too! I'm really glad you asked about it, because I just might go out and buy myself one! They are essentially the ideal beginner's scope since it is very easy to figure-out where you are pointing and a breeze to move around, while allowing a wide enough field of view to actually find what you are looking for -- with a 15mm lens the field of view is roughly 3 degrees, or 6 times the size of the full moon! How's that for handy?

Just out of curiousity, where are you looking to get it from? Edmund Scientific seems to have some good deals on it. Their basic package comes with two eyepieces, while the deluxe has three, plus a Barlow 2.5x magnifying lens, a screen for viewing the sun and a carrying bag:

http://scientificsonline.com/search.asp?t=ss&ss=Astroscan

If you've found something better, please post! I've been wanting a scope for myself for a while and this would be perfect for me...

Scientificsonline was my etailer of choice. I am wait for my wfe to give the go ahead! Anyone know a goverment grant I could apply for? I figure it would be easier than getting my wife approve this expensive toy. The government is in to all kinds of wacky things now - "I plan on looking for Bin Laden on the moon sirs."

Solphe

parejkoj
2003-Sep-10, 12:51 PM
Scientificsonline was my etailer of choice. I am wait for my wfe to give the go ahead! Anyone know a goverment grant I could apply for? I figure it would be easier than getting my wife approve this expensive toy. The government is in to all kinds of wacky things now - "I plan on looking for Bin Laden on the moon sirs."
Solphe

heh... that just might work. Or you could ask for one of these telescopes (http://www.takahashiamerica.com/BRC250.htm) first. Then when she says no way, you can ask for the Astroscan as a compromise... ;)

One caveat about the Astroscan though, it won't give the greatest views of planets. It wasn't designed for planets. What it does well is wide-field views of deep-sky objects with a lot of background stars. You'll probably be able to make out some things -- a few bands on Jupiter, separate the rings from Saturn, maybe the polar cap on Mars -- but don't expect too much in that regard.

I'm currently waiting on a reply from Edmund looking for a little more detail about their eyepieces and carrying bag. I'll probably pick one up shortly thereafter (either basic or deluxe, depending on what the reply says) and I'll let you know what I learn.

parejkoj
2003-Sep-12, 05:51 PM
Figured some of you might be interested in the response to my questions about this scope.



The tote bag is not padded, it is heavy duty nylon, more designed for carrying for viewing than for traveling or packaging. You can carry lenses in it, but not the tripod.

The lenses are made by Speedfair, and are 1.25". The sun screen mounts in the carry-strap hole on the scope. The eyepiece projects the image onto the screen, which is at the end of the pole that is mounted there. There is a picture in the catalog, but unfortunately not on the website.

They are permanently collimated, and shold only become a problem if the sponge underneath rots, which I am told takes thirty years or more. We do repairs on them here if necessary, but do not advise any repairs to mirrors, etc,.


So it looks like I'll just be getting the basic set and going somewhere else for a Barlow, solar cap/filter (I'll have to look into this one) and a UHC filter (probably from Lumicon (http://www.lumicon.com), unless people have other recomendations) and jury-rigging some kind of padded carrying case. Oh, and I found a picture of the sun viewing screen at Ward's, it is essentially a sheet of nylon on a metal rod (I can make me one of those!):
http://www.wardsci.com/EC/Products/Catalog/index.cfm?categoryID=3848

ToSeek
2003-Sep-12, 06:39 PM
I've had my Astroscan for about 20 years now and have been very happy with it. As indicated, it has a wide field of view and isn't great for planets, but it's good with deep sky objects. I've seen a lot of galaxies and nebulae with it, but was only barely able to spot the Martian pole cap and some very vague surface variations in the recent perihelion. Jupiter's moons are easy to spot, but the surface features are just faint bands - don't think I've been able to see the Great Red Spot. Saturn's rings are barely visible in the default eyepiece, more visible in the 28mm I bought for it a couple of years ago which roughly triples the magnification.

kookbreaker
2003-Sep-12, 09:07 PM
Edmund Scientific was my old place of work (until the Edmund family sold the division to buy another optics company). I have an Astroscan and its a fine instrument. The were made in the US or Japan up until about 2 years ago when they started being built in China. Unfortunately, its not built by one of the better Chinese optics companies and there may be some consistancy problems. But Edmund does still have a 30 day money-back gaurentee, so inspect well.

gethen
2003-Sep-12, 10:08 PM
Welcome to the BABB, kookbreaker. Does the name intentionally sound like kookaburra, or however the aussies spell that tree's name?

kookbreaker
2003-Sep-13, 04:44 AM
Its the name I use on the Randi.org message board. Where kooks get broken. Much like here. :)