By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Nov 29

Telescope recommendations?

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Muzzer13/12/2017 22:39:21
avatar
2904 forum posts
448 photos

My daughter is hoping to get a better telescope for Xmas and has identified a couple of possible models around the £300 mark. At this stage she'd rather stick with manual positioning and spend her money on the scope itself - a motor system can come later.

Can the resident star gazers offer opinions on these scopes and / or suggest alternatives in a similar price range?

Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope

Sky-Watcher Skyliner-200P Classic Parabolic Dobsonian Telescope

Thanks for any help!

Murray

Edited By Muzzer on 13/12/2017 22:40:10

Mike E.13/12/2017 23:45:48
191 forum posts
1 photos

A good place for information would be "Stargazers Lounge"; a friendly helpful site. I've been at this hobby for many years, but am not up to speed on current commercial offerings.

Rik Shaw14/12/2017 08:22:14
avatar
1239 forum posts
336 photos

Murray - I am not deeply into astronomy but a friend who is once told me years ago that it was best if contemplating a reflector / mirrored type for hobby use to go for one of minimum 7" diameter. Maybe the more knowledgeable “gazers” around here can offer more up to date tips.

Rik

john carruthers14/12/2017 08:40:52
avatar
584 forum posts
171 photos

Are you members of your local astronomical society? If so you can 'try before you buy' by attending their public meetings to get hands on experience, and maybe borrowing one of their 'loaner' scopes to try.

An 8" dob is a good way to start learning the sky, quick to set up, easy to use, but not easily upgraded to tracking or goto later.
It will probably need collimating before use and checking thereafter to get the best from it.

Bear in mind it will come with only basic eyepieces and accessories. Better eyepieces, filters etc can be acquired as you go along.

A copy of 'Turn Left at Orion' is a sound investment with any scope and age group.

John.

Neil Wyatt14/12/2017 08:57:32
avatar
Moderator
15700 forum posts
659 photos
73 articles

If photography and GOTO is not on the agenda and you have reasonable dark skies, the Skyliner is a superb scope that will let you see very deep. I have looked through one at a reasonably dark site and the views were great, it benefits from eyepiece upgrades.

To put those dobs on a GOTO mount will be problematic - you can buy goto dobs, but they come as a package. You would also need a mount costing much more than the scope to take the weight.

How about this:

www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/sky-watcher-star-discovery-150p.html

or this:

www.firstlightoptics.com/reflectors/skywatcher-explorer-130p-supatrak-auto.html

Shorter focal length will give just as bright views and perhaps a better viewing experience but these will still be good for planets with a Barlow that multiplies the lens power. There is alifetime of viewing in objects you will see with a 130mm scope, and you can get amazing photos for up to 30-60s exposure with the alt/az tracking mounts.

I have a 130P-DS which is a version of the 130P optimised for photography and it gives excellent views (on the one time I looked through it properly!).

Muzzer14/12/2017 12:32:54
avatar
2904 forum posts
448 photos

Thanks for those suggestions! I'll get the Turn Left at Orion book and will probably go for one of those ones Neil suggested. As a fairly inexperienced star gazer, Lara hasn't got a lot to go on, so experienced opinions are invaluable.

She has a reasonable DSLR, so I'm wondering about getting an adaptor for it. That would allow for the long exposures and by the sound of it a whole extra dimension would open up.

It's looking as if she may eventually become a professional stargazer, as she is currently on course to start a masters in astrophysics next year, once she's finished her current combined masters in mech eng for which she has already managed to get a first. No idea where she got that from!

Murray

Neil Wyatt14/12/2017 16:59:48
avatar
Moderator
15700 forum posts
659 photos
73 articles
Posted by Muzzer on 14/12/2017 12:32:54.

It's looking as if she may eventually become a professional stargazer, as she is currently on course to start a masters in astrophysics next year, once she's finished her current combined masters in mech eng for which she has already managed to get a first. No idea where she got that from!

Murray

One of the nice things about astrophysics is that many people whose professional work is desk based are also amateur observers.

Clive Brown 114/12/2017 19:18:55
214 forum posts
5 photos

When I had a telescope, and that was some while ago, I got a lot of use out of "Norton's Star Atlas". As well as the good charts, I enjoyed the wealth of supplementary information that it contained, all very concisely described.

My 'scope came with a rather inadequate tripod. i spent much time in the workshop improving the mounting, including better angular scales to make star finding easier. Should have bought a "go-to" perhaps!

john carruthers15/12/2017 08:37:17
avatar
584 forum posts
171 photos

A humble webcam would open a whole new area of study, start with the moon (easy to find) then move on to the brighter planets.
A webcam and free Registax software can capture stunning planetary detail.
A dslr on a Dob would require a counterweight.
There are adapters available to hold a phone to the eyepiece for reasonable photos.

Loads of free planetaria programmes around for all the common platforms.
I'm a bit of a dinosaur and still use HNsky, but Sky Safari is versatile and runs on a phone.
Stellarium is another well known planetarium.

Neil Wyatt15/12/2017 09:25:31
avatar
Moderator
15700 forum posts
659 photos
73 articles

+1 for Stellarium, but also +1 for the suggestion of visiting/asking on Stargazer's Lounge.

Neil

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric Engineering
Ausee.com.au
ChesterUK
Eccentric July 5 2018
Warco
Sarik
Allendale Electronics
emcomachinetools
TRANSWAVE Converters
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest